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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

June 24, 2011 at 1:37 PM

Checking in on Minnesota: The rematch

BrunsonSEA.jpgHow good is Minnesota? It could be revealed Friday at KeyArena in a rematch of what Seattle can call the worst game of its young season. The Lynx (5-1) defeated the defending champion Storm (3-2) by seven on June 9, jumping out to a franchise-best 22-0 lead en route to the win.
Minnesota is healthy, young, and brimming with talent. Seattle is experienced, but will play without three-time MVP Lauren Jackson, who’s day to day with a left hip strain. She’s averaging 9.2 points and 4.8 boards to start the season. Yet, even with Jackson, the Storm has struggled to display its true self.
Lynx F Rebekkah Brunson is a player to watch. Another double-double and she ties Jackson’s WNBA record for double-doubles in a season, set in 2003 at seven. Brunson is averaging 14.5 points and 13.3 rebounds this season.

Working to contain Brunson
and improve the Storm being outworked 42-36 in the paint — 14-0 on fast break scoring — will be mainstay F Camille Little, reserve Le’coe Willingham, who’s starting for Jackson, and C Ashley Robinson. All-Star Swin Cash may even swing into the post if coach Brian Agler opts to go with a three-guard lineup and play Katie Smith.
Seattle will obviously give up size without the 6 foot 6 Jackson, but Little and Willingham are just as grimy on defense. Robinson has also been playing with more confidence and is a great shot-blocker.
“Her defense is a staple for us,” Cash said of Robinson. “We know when she’s back there swinging and trying to block stuff, teams are a little bit intimidated to go inside. We know she has our back and she’ll set picks and get to the basket. Her offensive skills are going to start showing a little bit more. She worked really hard in the preseason.
“When teams think because Lauren is out, they can really attack us at that position, they’re going to be surprised.”
This time it’s Minnesota who’s had time off leading into the rematch. The Lynx last game was a 77-64 win against Atlanta on Sunday. Friday’s matchup, which also airs on KONG, is the second of the four-game series this summer.
*PHOTO CREDIT: Minnesota F Rebekkah Brunson passes over Storm PG Sue Bird by AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

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