All tied up after one. The Minnesota Lynx evened the series defeating the Indiana Fever 77-71 Tuesday evening at the Target Center. The WNBA championship best of five resumes Friday night in Indiana. The game two numbers of note:
Possessions: Indiana 72, Minnesota 78
Offensive efficiency: Indiana 99, Minnesota 99
eFG percentage: Indiana 68, Minnesota 42
FT rate: Indiana 25, Minnesota 25
OREB percentage: Indiana 36, Minnesota 44
TO rate: Indiana 22, Minnesota 17
The difference. Minnesota toughness expressed in the noticeable advantage in offensive rebounding percentage. In raw numbers, the Lynx led 15-11 with Sylvia Fowles (5) and Maya Moore (4) inflicting most of the damage.
Minnesota also made their statement forcing Indiana into a high turnover rate. One game after the Fever did such a commendable job caring for the ball. Tamika Catchings was guilty of six of the sixteen Fever turnovers.
Efficiency, too close. Both teams checked in at a 99 offensive efficiency. A closer look reveals Minnesota had the slightest edge. Rounded out, the Lynx efficiency was .9872 to that of .9861 of the Fever. That is a + .0011 difference; As said, too close to call and for comfort.
Indiana Briann January 17 points
Minnesota: Sylvia Fowles 21 points
Indiana Erlana Larkins 21
Minnesot Sylvia Fowles 27 - Celebrating her birthday in grand style, Fowles shot 10 of 13 from the floor with 9 boards against just two turnovers. No small contribution in toward Cheryl Reeve's club pulling this one out.
Indiana coach Stephanie White was none too thrilled about the game two officiating.She opened Tuesday's postgame press conference with this statement: "Well, I guess first and foremost I learned a valuable lesson today. I learned that it pays to go public with comments about officials. Who would have known that? Because this game was a blood bath.
"I've never seen a player of Tamika Catchings' caliber get so disrespected in my life, never. And to me, that's a travesty. That's a travesty."
When asked about the biggest factor for the difference in the second half, White quickly responded, "Besides officiating?"
Can't let the officials be a cause of obsession. Move on. Time to put that aside and get back to the basics of game planning.
Following the Liberty series White said she would study Minnesota's sets to design a way to get her team in the best position to win. That still should be job one for White and her staff.
Minnesota cannot let Indiana get out to a significant early lead. Try to take the crowd out of it. That can be done primarily by not turning the ball over and allowing a subsequent run out transition baskets. Utilizing their physical presence shown in game two would be a Minnesota plus.