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Minnesota (5-3) at Tulsa (1-8) Preview: A Rookie Watch for Lynx and Shock

First pick of the 2011 WNBA draft, Maya Moore, joins picks 2 and 7 on the court tonight in Tulsa.  (Photo by <a href="http://www.112575.com/">Craig Bennett/112575 Media</a>)
First pick of the 2011 WNBA draft, Maya Moore, joins picks 2 and 7 on the court tonight in Tulsa. (Photo by Craig Bennett/112575 Media)

Tonight is the second meeting between rookie sensations Liz Cambage and Maya Moore. The first and second picks of the 2011 WNBA draft have been carving their niche in the league from the early-goings in their first season.

The first meeting between the top two picks went to the Lynx, but the Shock did not go down without a fight. Tulsa clawed back to lose by 10 after being down by as many as 20 at the end of the third quarter. Statistically in that game, Moore struggled to her worst shooting night of the young season, hitting just 2-of-10 attempts from the field. She finished with seven points and seven boards, but also added three assists and three steals in the 75-65 Minnesota victory.

 

Cambage wasn't shooting lights-out either, with a 5-of-14 performance. She was, as always, solid from the line where she dropped in 6-of-8 attempts. But her highlight of the night was by far her performance on the boards. Cambage pulled down a season-high 15 rebounds, as well as adding two steals and two blocks for the Shock. Her 16-point, 15-rebound night was her second double-double to start the season, a feat she hasn't matched since the contest in Minnesota.

For the season, these two greenhorns are definitely making waves in their rookie class. Cambage is averaging 15.3 points and 6.4 rebounds a game. She's leading the league in total number of free throws with 50 and she's in the Top 20 in every statistical category. Moore, who was tapped as the prohibitive pre-season favorite for rookie of the year, comes in with averages of 13.5 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists a night.

But before you think that these two rookies are the ones to watch tonight, take a peek at Tulsa's Kayla Pedersen. She has a solid spot in the starting lineup, where she contributes 11.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game, playing from nearly every spot on the floor for nearly complete games. You might see No. 14 draining threes from the wing, dishing it into the paint to Cambage or playing her signature hard-nosed defense to force a turnover.

With three of the Top 6 rookies as discussed in yesterday's WNBA podcast, one thing is sure. No matter where your allegiances lie, the future of the W will be on display for all to see. For this trio, the future isn't just now, it's tonight.

You can watch tonight's game on LiveAccess at 8 p.m. EST or follow along in the Swish Appeal game thread!