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Young, Hammon lead Silver Stars past Lynx, 77-61

Jul 11, 2009 - 3:14 AM MINNEAPOLIS(AP) -- Shutting teams down hasn't been a problem for the San Antonio Silver Stars this season. Getting some offense to go along with the defense, however, has been a challenge for a team that reached the WNBA finals a year ago.

That changed on Friday night in a 77-61 victory over the Minnesota Lynx, the first road win of the season for the Silver Stars (5-5).

Besides holding a Minnesota team that was second in the league in scoring to season lows for points and assists, San Antonio shot better than 50 percent from the floor for only the second time this year and bounced back from an ugly 53-point performance at Seattle on Tuesday night.

For good measure, San Antonio mixed in some defense late. The Silver Stars opened the fourth quarter on a 15-0 run and held Minnesota (8-5) without a point for more than 6 minutes.

Sophia Young scored 21 points and Becky Hammon added 19 to lead the Silver Stars, while Ruth Riley (12 points) and Belinda Snell (10 points) also reached double figures. Candice Wiggins scored 15 points and Nicky Anosike had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lynx.

"It was a very important game for us," Hammon said. "We hadn't won on the road yet and I thought the last game at Seattle, we probably played well enough to win, but we shot the ball terribly. It was nice to put a nice defensive game and a nice offensive game together."

Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes, whose team had lost two of three, saw progress against the Lynx.

"We're still finding our rhythm and gaining our momentum," said Hughes, who will coach the West team in the WNBA All-Star game later this month. "It was good to see us take their hit early because they came out and just delivered a blow to us. That's the thing I'm most pleased about."

A Lynx team playing without the injured Seimone Augustus jumped out to an early 13-4 lead, but San Antonio controlled much of the rest of the game and never trailed during the final 28 minutes.

The Lynx closed within two late in the third quarter, but that's when the Silver Stars pulled away.

San Antonio, which will host a rematch with the Lynx on Sunday, immediately went to Young and she scored on each of the Silver Stars' next two possessions. That helped the Silver Stars close the quarter on a 6-2 run and then extend the spurt to 21-2 in the fourth. Riley's basket in the paint with 6:14 to play pushed the Silver Stars' lead to 68-50.

Minnesota, which also turned the ball over 21 times, missed its first eight shots of the fourth quarter. When Wiggins made the Lynx's first basket of the period, they trailed 71-52.

"I had to rip them a new one," Lynx coach Jennifer Gillom said.

Specifically, she was disappointed in her team's defensive effort and inability to share the ball.

"We played together in the first few minutes of the game," Gillom said. "Then we got a little lead and people started playing individually. We have to correct that."

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