Lynx maul Liberty

Marilyn Indahl-US PRESSWIRE

Just the Facts, Ma'am: Lindsay Whalen had 18 points for Minnesota, and New York shot a paltry 25% from the field, as the Lynx romped over the Liberty 73-46. Maya Moore added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota; New York was led by the 13 points of Cappie Pondexter. For fail, swollen feet, missed shots, fear of Rebekkahs, too much pink, and ounting the days, join your intrepid and exhausted blogger after the jump.

We're almost to the end of our years in exhile. That's what I have to hold on to as I weather train delays and missed connections because the Q59 is an evil, evil bus and there are too many trains involved in getting to Newark. I consider it a miracle that we're only down 18 to the Lynx at the half, because we've been shooting badly and the place is mostly empty.

No, put it this way: there were still caps being given out to people arriving midway through the second quarter, and they were only supposed to go to the first 4,000 people. There are way too many Lynx fans here. (We dealt with two of them through a spare pair of floor tickets handed to us by a friend. She doesn't like being up that close, and neither do we. And since they were on the Lynx side of the floor, they were happy. And since we didn't have fans cheering for everything the Lynx did two rows behind us, we were happy. Everyone wins! :))

Halftime featured breast cancer survivors being given custom jerseys at center court, and an adorable hug between Essence Carson and her mom. (Dang, her mom's young, or at least young-looking.)

So far, play of the game is Lindsay Whalen's no-look pass to Rebekkah Brunson. The alley-oop to Devereaux Peters to finish the first quarter was right up there too. And I'll eat my pink-and-white breast cancer awareness cap if Cappie Pondexter's heel isn't bothering her, because there's no way that Lindsay Whalen with the ball is visibly faster than Cappie Pondexter without the ball.

Somehow, despite the uniforms being standardized, the Liberty managed to have the ugliestÎ{ Š BHA uniforms in the league. The shade was repugnant, and black and seafoam green do not go as accenting colors. Yet another reason to detest pinkwashing.

I can't with this team. We get Seimone Augustus and Maya Moore to go 8-24 from the floor, and we still manage to lose by an amount that makes me have to do complex arithmetic in my head. We get to the line more often than they do and force them into 15 turnovers, and we still lose by 26. I can't. I am no longer capable.

Rachel Jarry had the unfortunate task of being assigned to Plenette Pierson. I don't think this was the matchup that she was looking for, and she kept getting tangled up in Plenette's arms. That sounds much more interesting than it is, but you know the way Plenette gets her arm hooked with her defender's and suddenly she looks like the victim. The one shot she took, she missed badly- but she crashed the boards something fierce as soon as it left her hand, and almost came up with the o-board. Lindsey Moore got some time near the end of the game and burned Leilani Mitchell on a play that she apparently didn't get credit for. I thought she'd managed to get a basket and a steal, not necessarily in that order. Amber Harris even got into the action late in the game. We gave up a basket to Amber Harris, you are all fired, OMG. Sugar Rodgers hit a three, because apparently the only people in the building who remembered that Sugar Rodgers can shoot a little were the Georgetown alumnae, Cheryl Reeve, and every fan of any faction of the Big East. The steal she had to get a fast break going was pretty nice, too. Again, it's like she did that a bit at Georgetown. Devereaux Peters kept thinking she had a jump shot, which helped us a good bit. Those long arms got all up in the rebounding, and especially on defense. I was pretty sure she had more than one blocked shot. No, seriously, the arms were everywhere. Monica Wright spent more time than I expected thinking she was a point guard, even with Whalen on the floor. The pull-up at the free throw line was working for her. So was occasionally having Cappie Pondexter defend her, but we'll get to that later, this paragraph is long enough as it is.

Rebekkah Brunson scares me. I like her and everything, no matter how strangely she spells our name, but when she's in game mode, that's a woman I would not want to meet in a well-lit alley, let alone a dark alley. I'm pretty sure at least two of her rebounds came simply from glaring at people around her. She's fierce and tough, and you knew all this coming in. Janel McCarville kept going outside to shoot, and it looked like that might be a bad sign when she hit the three-pointer early on, but she cooled off from the field after that. She did a nice job setting screens and moving the ball around. It should come as a surprise to no one that she and Lindsay Whalen have a very good two-man game- there was a nice play early on where they went back and forth for a while before Whalen bounced off a McCarville pick and took it to the hoop. Seimone Augustus's shot was pretty, but the rim was not her friend this evening. I got the feeling she might not have been playing at full speed, but they didn't need her to play at full speed. Maya Moore is a lot more solid than I remembered her being, which I think I always remember about her- I keep thinking she's more of a three than a combo forward. She picked up her double-double in the most efficient fashion possible, getting both her tenth rebound and her tenth point on a sweet little putback. I think she might have taken Bill's stupid threat a lot more personally than she was willing to let on. Lindsay Whalen played like the ultimate maestro of the offense. Okay, maestra, whatever, I don't speak Italian. But she was brilliant. Even when she wasn't making the first pass, she was making the pass that led to the pass. And this was the night she decided to break down whichever defender happened to be in her general vicinity (which was usually Cappie Pondexter) and go right to the basket. She was awesome.

Toni Young demonstrated her vertical with a sick block near the end of the game, but that was pretty much when she got the bulk of her minutes. She and Leilani Mitchell had a bad miscommunication on a play that shouldn't have taken as many attempts to get right as it did. She also blew a defensive assignment badly. Leilani Mitchell made the offense run more smoothly, but I'm not sure that engine lubricant is a good comparison for a professional basketball player. Alex Montgomery brought the hustle, but not much else. Even her defense was off tonight. And I really wish that if she were going to shoot the long jumper, she'd make sure that her feet were behind the line, especially since she overshoots a lot of the time, which means that she's passing up potential three-point chances for big fat zeroes and bad rebounds. DeLisha Milton-Jones was hot early, but cooled off later, and I don't see the wisdom in trying to play her alongside Plenette. Neither of them is really a three at this point in their careers, and the age and lack of mobility that they share really doesn't go well against Rebekkah Brunson and Devereaux Peters. That was not great matching up by Bill. Kelsey Bone had the best game of the bench players, though I wish she would be more assertive. She at least got after rebounds, for the most part, but she has got to hit her bunnies. Her defense was... not terrible.

Which is more than I can say for Kara Braxton. Her offense was horrible. Her defense was terrible. Her passing was atrocious. Her rebounding was appalling. Arguably, the best play she made all night involved using her... er... um... the things were supposed to be aware of the health of all night... as springs to bounce off her defender for an and-1. That is not what we mean by being physical. Kamiko Williams rebounded well, but if she's going to take the midrange to long jumpers, she's got to practice shooting them so that she can actually hit them instead of creating long rebounds for the other team. Either that, or she's got to actually be a defensive presence instead of just a rebounding presence. I don't know what was the matter with Katie Smith, either. Her defense went from so-so to completely awful ("swinging gate" should never be a description of your defense, Katie May). She had one really horrible fumble on the sideline that made me shake my head. (And is also making me think of the really awful one that Kara had when Gulbeyan clearly signaled deflection. My head hurts again, thanks, Kara.) Plenette Pierson tried to carry the team, but she's not a reliable jump shooter, and she was getting pretty tightly defended. Cappie Pondexter still isn't herself. She couldn't keep up with Lindsay Whalen on defense, and her shots were falling funny on offense. Whatever's wrong with her, I hope it heals soon, even if that means not playing on it.

Yes, I'm saying that it might be time to SHUT.DOWN.EVERYTHING. There's nothing to be gained by making the playoffs, and the kids need more reps together. That means Kelsey, Toni, and Kamiko, Bill. Alex, too. Not Kamiko with the vets, not Kelsey with the vets, not DeLisha. That means either resting or benching Cappie until her heel, uh, heals. That means looking to the future and the Garden instead of a first-round exit against Chicago or Atlanta.

Officiating was all right. Denise Brooks had a good catch on a strange out of bounds call where Janel McCarville got hit by the ball a couple of times and Roy Gulbeyan still wanted to give the Lynx back the ball. Brooks corrected him. I don't know if she used a spritz bottle.

I skipped the auction on the concourse, so I don't know what kind of cool things were offered to raise money. I generally don't get involved in that sort of thing. I'd always rather go red than think pink.

There were hecklers in the endcourt who decided to act like it was a Lynx home game, up to and including disconcerting the free throw shooter. They weren't in Lynx gear, so I'm assuming they were generic rabble. Whatever the case, they can go step on a field full of Legos.

It's kind of adorable that my husband's Sophia Witherspoon jersey is getting as much attention as it is. People remember. Random people on the train ask us about the team and tell us stories about knowing the early Maddie. Someone who said she was Sophia Witherspoon's godmother went squee. Huh.

Rick Mahorn was in the house. He looked like he wanted to tell the camera guy where to stick the camera.

The defense was solid. That's all I can say. I mean, overall the Lynx shot well, but that was buoyed by Whalen. But the offense... my college team shoots better than that. And I'm not talking about St. John's, I'm talking about my low-level D-III alma mater.

If we don't beat Indiana, seriously, SHUT.DOWN.EVERYTHING.

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