Monarchs snap six-game losing streakJul 3, 2009 - 3:04 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Tough work on the glass and 21 points from Nicole Powell were just enough to end the Sacramento Monarchs' road woes.
The Western Conference's worst team ended a six-game losing streak and won the finale of its five-game road trip, 74-68 over the Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.
Sacramento (2-8) used a 22-4 advantage in second-chance points and a 10-2 run down the stretch for its first victory since June 12.
"We need wins and we need them desperately," Powell said. "Hopefully we can build on this."
Kara Lawson scored 14 points, Hamchetou Maiga-Ba added a season-high 11 and Rebekkah Brunson scored the go-ahead basket with 34 seconds left before blocking a shot moments later, ensuring the Monarchs' first win in weeks.
Roneeka Hodges scored 15 to lead five Lynx players in double figures, as Minnesota's three-game winning streak came to an end. A 13-for-21 night from the foul line and lack of defensive rebounding ultimately did in the Western Conference leaders.
"We didn't box out, didn't even make contact half the time," Lynx coach Jennifer Gillom said. "Most teams don't pressure us as much as they did."
Despite trailing most of the second and third quarters, Minnesota took a 64-59 advantage with 5 minutes to play. But Sacramento stepped up defensively, holding the Lynx to just two more field goals. It was a dramatic change from two days earlier, when the Monarchs gave up 11 straight points down the stretch in a two-point loss to the Chicago Sky.
Minnesota (7-4) raced to an 11-2 lead, with the Monarchs missing seven of their first eight shots. But Sacramento clawed back and Powell hit a pair of 3-pointers to end the first quarter, then added two buckets early in the second as part of a personal 10-2 run that gave the Monarchs a one-point advantage.
Sacramento wound up leading 34-33 at halftime, and went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter to push the lead to 41-34. Renee Montgomery's 3-pointer with 6 minutes left in the period sparked an 11-2 Lynx run to turn the momentum, with nine of the points coming from the bench - the first contributions from it during the game.
The Monarchs didn't fold, though, hitting 5 of 6 foul shots in the final seconds to clinch the victory.
"One of our greatest attributes is our perseverance," Sacramento coach Jenny Boucek said. "Being able to respond well to adversity, challenges, staying in the moment and just fighting, fighting, fighting. That's hard to do when you've lost as many as we have already."
MINNESOTA 68 FINAL
Jul 2 11:17 PM
MINNESOTA 33 HALFTIME
Jul 2 11:17 PM
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