BY MIKE PEDEN
When the Minnesota Lynx suffered a 65-55 road loss to the Seattle Storm on June 24, Seattle's radio play-by-play commentator speculated the Minnesota Lynx had drafted over guard Candice Wiggins as a result of subsequent high draft picks.
On Friday night at Target Center, Wiggins showed Seattle and the 7,856 in attendance her role is no less valuable with time, sinking five three-pointers as the Lynx blew out the Storm 92-67.
"I knew about that comment, and I almost laughed at it," Wiggins said. "He doesn't understand what's going on in my mind. I knew it would take me a while to find a rhythm."
Wiggins had no shortage of rhythm with 16 points and five assists off the bench. Her point total matched a team high with guard Seimone Augustus. Augustus sank eight of 10 field goals to reach that figure, finding her groove with the mid-range jumper all game.
The Lynx (12-4) needed seven minutes to find their team rhythm, with the Storm (9-8) holding a 14-11 lead late in the first quarter. A 19-2 Minnesota run initiated by one of Augustus' jumpers ensured that was the last time Seattle would be a threat.
So dominant was Minnesota that head coach Cheryl Reeve found extended minutes for her reserves. Center Jessica Adair took advantage, scoring a career-high eight points in just over 11 minutes, while forward Chardé Houston drained all four of her shots and a free throw to score nine points in almost 10 minutes.
"Jim Peterson (Lynx assistant coach) is always in my ear about poise. I repeat it to myself, it's helping me a lot," Adair said.
"We have so much trust and faith in each other," Houston said. "Coach is always putting pressure on us to make the great plays, help each other on defense. All that really ties in."
Minnesota shot 56 percent from the floor against Seattle's 41 percent for the game, causing Minnesota to outscore Seattle in every quarter but the fourth, when both teams put up 18.
For the Storm, forward Swin Cash scored a game-high 18 points with Le'Coe Willingham adding 14, but the biggest surprise was the Lynx defense hampering the Storm's All-Star guard Sue Bird. Bird was held to four points and one assist, making just one field goal in six tries.
"Lindsay Whalen doesn't get a lot of credit for her defensive prowess. She was really impressive on that end of the floor," Reeve said.
The Lynx win gave them their first series victory over the Storm since 2003, which also means the Lynx own a tiebreaker should the Western Conference playoff picture get murky. Minnesota maintained their one-game lead over San Antonio for first place in the Western Conference and will face them in the first of four meetings Sunday at AT&T Center.
Click below for an extended post-game conversation with Candice Wiggins following Minnesota's Faith and Family Night event.
Click below to listen to Swin Cash prior to Friday night's game, as she shares her plans after her playing career is over.
Programs available for DVD purchase
Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)
What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15
From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15
Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15
Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15