Game: Seattle Storm (1-4) at Minnesota Lynx (7-0) When: 5 p.m. Wednesday Where: Target Center, Minneapolis Meeting: Second (Lynx lead 1-0) TV: No TV
Arduous early season schedule aside, the Seattle Storm will need to gut out its first road win of the season Wednesday night in Minneapolis against the Minnesota Lynx to prevent dropping further in the Western Conference standings.
Still reeling from Sunday night’s 67-65 loss to LA, Brian Agler’s club plays the second of five consecutive road games against the undefeated defending WNBA champions. The game features a pair of former UConn stars squaring off as Seattle’s Sue Bird faces reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year Maya Moore. Seattle already fell once to the Lynx this season, dropping an 84-71 contest on May 27 in Minnesota.As Bird wrestles with running the offense and maintaining her role as the team’s leading scorer (13.2 ppg), Seattle will need 37-year-old Katie Smith to continue her recent offensive production. Known throughout her career as a defensive specialist, the former Olympian dropped a cool 19 points on 7-11 shooting shooting Sunday in LA. The five threes she nailed had the Storm in position to steal its first road win before another fourth-quarter collapse.
Don’t be surprised if Agler puts Smith on Minnesota point guard Lindsey Whalen to try to slow down a Minnesota team that hasn’t lost since the first round of the 2011 WNBA playoffs. Whalen enters Wednesday night’s contest averaging 10.4 ppg on 48 percent shooting. Her five assists per game helps power a Lynx offense that features four players who score in double figures.
- Former University of Tennessee standout Shekinna Stricklen continues to struggle through the early stages of her pro career. Entering Wednesday night, the No. 2 overall pick in the draft is averaging just 6 ppg on 34 percent shooting.
- At 1-4, the Storm lead only the winless Tulsa Shock (0-6) in the Western Conference standings.
- Ann Wauters rebounded nicely from her first poor game with nine points and seven rebounds Sunday against LA. However, Wauters allowed Sparks rookie Nneka Ogwumike drive around her and sink the game-winning bucket as time ran down.
- Tina Thompson is shooting an impressive 46 percent from behind the arc. However, the USC alumnus struggled against LA: Four points on 2-9 shooting.
- Seimone Augustus leads the Lynx in scoring with 18.1 ppg. An LSU product, Augustus is shooting 53 percent from the field through her team’s first seven games.
- Maya Moore is connecting on nearly 90 percent of her free throws in the early part of the 2012 season.
- The champions swept the Atlanta Dream in the 2011 finals in three games.
- The Lynx entered the league in 1999.
Coaches: Brian Agler is in his fifth season with the Storm. Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve is in her third season with the team.
Coming Up: The Storm head to San Antonio to take on the Silver Stars Saturday.
SEATTLE STORM 2012 SCHEDULE/RESULTS
|5/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||L||66-72||0-1|
|5/22/12||at Los Angeles||L||74-61||0-2|
|6/3/12||at Los Angeles||L||65-67||1-4|
|6/9/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|6/22/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|
|6/30/12||at New York||—||—||—|
|7/7/12||at Los Angeles||—||—||—|
|8/18/12||vs. Los Angeles||—||—||—|
|8/26/12||vs. New York||—||—||—|
|9/14/12||at San Antonio||—||—||—|
|9/21/12||vs. San Antonio||—||—||—|