In a game between two teams with nothing to play for and lacking five of the Olympians that are on both teams, the Seattle Storm would emerge victorious. Winning by a final margin of 78-64 to secure their 10th win of the season. Absent from the game were Lindsay Whalen, Maya Moore and Simone Augustus for Minnesota and Sue Bird and Abby Bishop for Seattle.
With their three go to players out, Minnesota looked early and often to their lone remaining team USA star Sylvia Fowles who quickly established her dominance down low over the much smaller Storm starters. Fowles would net eight points and grab five rebounds in the opening 10 minutes.
"They've got really good post players." Commented Storm coach Jenny Boucek after the victory. "Sylvia Fowles is an Olympian. We had a sense they would pound it in to her so we knew it was going to be a group effort [trying to stop her]."
In spite of the impressive early exploits of Fowles, Minnesota would only hold a 19-16 lead after one.
With Fowles having continued success at the start of the second, Seattle looked to its bench for answers and found one in Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis who dished out two assists, recorded a block and scored seven of her career high 16 points in the second period. At the half the Storm would lead 39-33.
Seattle would stretch their lead in the 3rd, as Jewell Loyd, Markeisha Galting and Quanitra Hollingsworth each contributed an offensive spark, and Angel Goodrich ran the offense with extreme efficiency creating headaches defensively for Anna Cruze.
"She ran our team well." said Boucek of Goodrich's performance. "I think that is indicative of us only having nine turnovers."
By the start of the final period the Storm had built a 60-48 lead.
With Minnesota lacking it's normal firepower, Seattle would stretch their lead in the 4th, never allowing the Lynx to have a chance at a comeback.
"Obviously our identity has been Lindsay (Whalen), Seimone (Augustus) and Maya (Moore) for so long." Said Lynx head coach Cheryl Reeve after the loss. "I'm pretty sure that's the first game I've coached where I haven't had at least one of them. It was different for sure."
The Storm were paced by the new career high 16 points of Mosquera-Lewis who also added four rebounds and four assists off the bench. Loyd added 14 points, while Goodrich finished with a season high 11 points to go with five assists and three steals. Rounding out the double figure performances for the Storm was the 10 points and 10 rebounds for Galting which marks her first career double-double.
Minnesota was led by Sylvia Fowles who finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds, both game highs. Also reaching double figures were former Storm guard Rene Montgomery (13 points) and Asjha Jones (11 points, six rebounds).
Seattle concludes its 2015 season at home Sunday against San Antonio.
Minnesota next faces Los Angeles in the first round of the WNBA playoffs.