Clinging to a one-point lead with three minutes left, Minnesota got late baskets, led by Kayla McBride’s five points for a 88-78 victory Sunday night over the New York Liberty.
The Lynx (13-7) needed a 12-5 run in the final minutes, sparked by a Bridget Carlson’s three-pointer from the right corner, which proved the needed distance to hold off the visiting Liberty (10-12).
Layshia Clarendon and Sylvia Fowles, who led Minnesota with 20 points, along with McBride, who finished with 16 points also chipped in with buckets down the stretch.
Natasha Howard led New York with 30 points. Both she and Fowles put on an offensive show – the Lynx veteran made her first six shots and didn’t register a miss until midway through the second quarter.
Eye test—MN forward Natalie Achonwa had her best game in a Lynx uniform. She had eight points off the bench but more importantly, looked healthy and provided play that shows up in the stat sheet, such as blocking out and setting screens.
Finally — New York looked a tad better than Minnesota in the first game for both teams after a month-long Olympic break. The host team’s rust didn’t shake off until the second half.
Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.