for this game

Wiggins, Hodges help Lynx cruise past Mercury

Jun 28, 2009 - 3:09 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- After the initial shock of losing her, the Minnesota Lynx are doing just fine without Seimone Augustus.

Candice Wiggins and Roneeka Hodges scored 22 points each, leading the Lynx to a 109-80 victory over the Phoenix Mercury on Saturday night.

Nicky Anosike and Renee Montgomery had 15 points each and Rashanda McCants added 11 for the Lynx (6-3), who scored a season high in points. Anosike also had eight rebounds.

It was Minnesota's second straight win without Augustus, who tore the ACL in her left knee during Minnesota's 104-80 loss at Phoenix on June 17.

"After the game one of their players said that they broke us. It was not well-taken," Minnesota coach Jen Gillom said. "We are not broken and we wanted to prove it to that team."

Added Wiggins: "It was about revenge because we lost a lot when we lost (Augustus). It's important for us to set a tone for the type of team we're going to be from here on out."

Cappie Pondexter and DeWanna Bonner scored 19 points each and Le'Coe Willingham had 13 for the Mercury (6-4), who lost for the second time in three games.

Diana Taurasi, the league's second-leading scorer at 22.4 points per game, had just eight points on 2 for 15 shooting. Neither of her baskets were from outside the arc, ending a 55-game streak with at least one 3-pointer.

"We have a lot of things we need to work on from this game. We can only get better," Bonner said. "Everybody has their off nights, but we have to bounce back from this."

Minnesota had a season-high 25 assists - including eight by Kelly Miller - while tying a season-low with just eight turnovers. Phoenix turned the ball over 19 times.

"Everybody contributed in different ways, defense, rebounding. We need that to win without Seimone," said LaToya Pringle, who had six rebounds coming off the bench.

The Lynx shot 44 percent from the field (37 for 84). Phoenix made 34 percent (23 of 67).

Minnesota led by 11 at halftime before Wiggins hit a 3-pointer and Hodges a long jumper early in the third quarter to push the lead to 63-43. A 3-pointer from Hodges late in the quarter extended the cushion to 82-52.

Hodges has taken Augustus's place and has totaled 49 points in four games, after going scoreless in the previous two.

"I think she has reached her maximum confidence level," Gillom said. "She's been given that chance and she's taken advantage of it."

Wiggins hit two free throws to cap a 10-2 run that gave the Lynx their largest lead of the game, 97-64 midway through the fourth quarter.