Whalen's late free throws lead Sun past LynxAug 23, 2009 - 3:02 AM UNCASVILLE, Conn.(AP) -- The Connecticut Sun quickly made up for a tough overtime loss the previous night.
Lindsay Whalen had 21 points, including two free throws with 34 seconds left to give the Sun the lead for good, and they beat the Minnesota Lynx 98-94 on Saturday night. Connecticut was coming off an overtime loss at New York on Friday night.
"After a game like that, you know you have to put it out of your mind because you have to come back within 24 hours and play again," said Whalen, who also had eight rebounds and eight assists. "It was a track race for the most part and we hung tough and got a couple stops when we needed to. ... Coming off last night this is huge for us, a good win."
Sandrine Gruda also scored 21 points and had seven rebounds, and Tan White added 15 points for the Sun (14-12), who pulled a half-game behind second-place Atlanta in the Eastern Conference.
Anete Jekabsone had 13 points and Chante Black added 10 points and six rebounds for Connecticut.
"Following up last night, that's a huge win," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "We got a lot of good performances. I thought Amber, Erin (Phillips), and Chante off the bench in the second half were really crucial. They did a great job."
White and Jekabsone made free throws in the final 22 seconds to seal the win.
Candice Wiggins and Tasha Humphrey scored 21 points each to lead the Lynx (11-15), who have lost five straight and eight of their last nine. Renee Montgomery had 18 points and Charde Houston scored 11.
"I'm really impressed with the effort that our team gave tonight," Minnesota coach Jennifer Gillom said. "Just a few things happened towards the end that went their way and I thought that was what determined the game. ... I was hoping this would be a stepping stone towards a turn around, but we just didn't quite get there."
With the Sun ahead 93-92, Black blocked a shot with 25 seconds left that led to White's free throws, giving the Sun a 95-92 lead.
Humphrey, who topped her previous season high of 17 in the first half, missed a three-point shot for the Lynx with 10 seconds remaining.
"You have two teams that can score a lot of points in transition, in half-court sets and it showed that," Montgomery said. "It was the team that got the most stops that was going to win and there were couple of key stops that we didn't get and a couple of key calls that could have went either way and it just hurt us."
Minnesota shot 61 percent (20 for 33) in the first half and trailed by eight early before using a 15-0 run to take a 10-point lead.
The Sun rallied to take a one-point lead at 37-36, but Minnesota closed the half on an 18-8 run.
Humphrey eclipsed her season high of 17 points with 18 in the first half, leading the Lynx to a 54-44 lead at halftime.
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