Monday WNBA Links: Lynx Sign Wojta, Shock Outrebound Mystics In Win, Chatman Calls Out Sky

It was an 11-game weekend with two overtime games, four games that amounted to blowouts, and the Tulsa Shock beating the Washington Mystics.

For harsh words from a couple of coaches, politically correct words from a star point guard, and a few tears from the league's top team, read on starting with Sunday's games and moving back to Friday's.

But first, some more injury news and a signing.

  • Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported this morning that Lynx forward Rebekkah Brunson will miss this week's games due to a strained left calf. With Jessica Adair still recovering from knee surgery and Devereaux Peters breaking her left hand last Thursday against the Sparks, the Lynx have signed 6'0" guard/forward Julie Wojta who they cut in training camp after drafting her in the second round. Read more >>>
  • Ryan Stewart of NewsOn6.com mentioned that the Tulsa Shock outrebounded the Washington Mystics 34-30, but that's only the beginning of that story. The Shock beat the Mystics 12-6 on the offensive boards (33.33%-21.43%) although the Mystics did still get 16 second chance points off that. But what makes the rebounding story noteworthy is that Washington is the third best offensive rebounding team in the league as of today (33.2%) while Tulsa gives up the second-most (33.8%). Read more >>>
  • Jayda Evans of the Seattle Times reports that guard Tanisha Wright felt backcourtmate Sue Bird was being "politically correct" in saying that she found her 11 shots within the flow of the offense to score a season-high 31 points. Without both Tina Thompson and Ann Wauters out due to injury, Bird took apparently took it upon herself to beat the Phoenix Mercury last night. Read more >>>
  • James Crepea of Newsday reports that coach John Whisenant focused on the New York Liberty's defensive effort as a reason for their 94-81 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars yesterday. And the combination of that unsatisfactory defensive effort and poor execution offensively was probably most significant in the Liberty's loss: they finished with 21 turnovers that led to 28 Silver Stars points and only forced the Silver Stars into 13 turnovers. Read more >>>
  • Donald Barnat of Sports Page Magazine writes that the L.A. Sparks easily handled the Atlanta Dream in a 79-63 win yesterday, their third straight at home. Playing without wing Angel McCoughtry, who is nursing a sprained left ACL, the Dream were simply outshot as they showed signs of fatigue during the back end of a back-to-back. Read more >>>

Saturday

  • James Oldham of the Indianapolis Star reported that forcing the Chicago Sky into 24 turnovers on Saturday shows just how good a defensive team the Indiana Fever can be when they're focused. Although the Sky did win the turnover battle in the fourth quarter to force overtime, six turnovers in the third quarter that led to 12 Fever points helped to dig them a 13-point hole for themselves. Read more >>>
  • Kristofer Habbas of SB Nation Arizona reports that it was clear from the facial expressions of the Phoenix Mercury's players on Saturday night that their 100-93 loss to the Atlanta Dream was decided by a lack of calls granted by the home officiating crew. And shooting 38.9% in the fourth quarter while the Dream shot 53.3% - including 3-for-4 from the 3-point line - certainly didn't help the Mercury's cause any. Read more >>>
  • Joseph D'Hippolito reported for the Seattle Times that Seattle Storm coach Brian Agler thought they lacked the weapons rather than the effort in an 83-59 loss to the Los Angeles Sparks on Saturday. The Storm's 30.6% shooting in the third quarter helped the Sparks to a 20 point lead heading into the fourth. Read more >>>
  • Mike Peden of the WNBA Examiner highlights the performance of guard Kara Lawson in the Connecticut Sun's 86-80 victory over the Minnesota Lynx on Saturday. Lawson led the way for the Sun with a team-high 22 points and season-high 10 rebounds, including a career-high 9 defensive rebounds. Lawson's career-best performance on the boards helped a dominant inside attack for the Sun that helped them hold the Lynx to a 21.74% offensive rebounding percentage, well below their average. Read more >>>
  • Roman Augustoviz of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports the Minnesota Lynx guard Candice Wiggins was "openly weeping in the hallway on the way to the Lynx locker room after her team lost its third game in a row -- for the first time since July 2010." Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve noted that it took them a while to start making shots, but even after a 50% second quarter it was arguably their 27.8% shooting in the third that really did them in. Read more >>>

Friday

  • Fred Mitchell of the Chicago Tribune reported that coach Pokey Chatman said after a 64-59 loss to the New York Liberty that the Chicago Sky are, "...not a very good basketball team right now. And that's what I told them." The Sky managed to get themselves to the free throw line at a high rate (21 times) but only made 6 (28.6%). However as Chatman also alluded to, they also missed a number of layups which contributed to the Liberty holding a small advantage in shooting efficiency and give away a close game at home. Read more >>>
  • Matt Breen of the Washington Post reports that Washington Mystics coach Trudi Lacey was disappointed with point guard Jasmine Thomas after a 78-73 loss on Friday because of how they matched up with the Silver Stars guards as well as the 18 turnovers the team committed. Granted, the Silver Stars started Becky Hammon and Danielle Robinson in the backcourt and really the Silver Stars' 52.6% shooting can't be attributed to the backcourt alone: Danielle Adams and Sophia Young combined to shoot 12-for-17 from the field. Read more >>>
  • Mark Cooper of the Tulsa World reports that guard Ivory Latta blamed "the Tulsa Shock's absent first quarter" against the Connecticut Sun on Friday on lacking energy, which plays a big part for their team. The result wasn't pretty: the Shock shot 21.1% in the first quarter while allowing the Sun to shoot 64.7%. It was a 15-point hole that the Shock struggled to dig their way out of entirely. Read more >>>
  • C&R took a trip down to L.A. this weekend and got a clarification on how the WNBA will support L.A. Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike's post-graduate work at Stanford: the league will offer $5000 per year to anyone who wants to go back to school. Read more >>>

There are a number of other WNBA links floating around out there as well that I didn't post here. Feel free to drop those in the comments along with any of your own insights or reactions to what happened this past weekend.

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