MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Heading into overtime, Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve didn't like the looks on her players' faces. Thanks to Lindsay Whalen, those looks of shock quickly turned to joy.
The Lynx blew a 30-point lead before recovering to beat the Connecticut Sun 111-103 in overtime on Tuesday night behind Whalen's 27 points.
With the game tied at 103 with 52 seconds left, Whalen made six free throws down the stretch to help Minnesota avoid a disappointing loss.
``Naturally, after they tied it when we were up 30, we were a little shocked,' said Whalen, who was playing with a heavy heart after her brother-in-law was found dead in a Minnesota lake on Sunday.
``I knew I was going to hit those free throws. Coming down the stretch here, that's what it's going to take to win these types of games.'
Seimone Augustus had 21 points and Nicky Anosike had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Lynx.
Augustus, Nicky Anosike and Monica Wright missed four of six free throws for Minnesota in the final seconds of regulation, setting up Montgomery's shot.
The Sun (13-13) trailed by 30 midway through the second quarter, but Renee Montgomery made a 3-pointer at the end of regulation to force overtime. Montgomery had 33 points and Tina Charles added 19 points and 21 rebounds for Connecticut.
``We've seen her do that before,' Reeve said. ``If you let a player get excited about what they're doing, that kind of stuff can happen.'
Montgomery also committed an ill-advised foul against Whalen in overtime that cost her team in the final minute.
``We made some dumb plays in overtime,' Sun coach Mike Thibault said. ``We had turnovers, we took a couple of tough shots, a bad foul, we needed to commit.'
Anosike had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Wright finished with 17 points.
Minnesota scored a season-high 58 points in the first half and hit eight of its first 10 3-pointers.
``I think everybody was just stepping confidently into their shots,' Whalen said. ``We had them confused on our pick-and-roll set and we took advantage of that until they made an adjustment.'
Connecticut shot just 31.7 percent in the first half, missing its first 11 shots. It bounced back by crashing the boards and scoring 32 in the third quarter to trim Minnesota's lead to seven.
Connecticut handed the Lynx a 105-79 loss on May 27, but now has lost three straight and five of six.
The win helps the Lynx hold onto the fourth and final playoff spot in the West and builds on their momentum from beating Seattle, which owns league's best record, on Sunday.
Six of Minnesota's final next nine games are on the road.
NOTES: The Lynx signed F Kristen Mann and waived G Nuria Martinez. The 6-foot-1 Mann played three seasons with the Lynx after being drafted 11th overall by the team in 2005. She spent portions of 2008 and 2009 with Atlanta, Indiana and Washington. ... A fan in a purple No. 4 jersey sitting courtside held up a sign that said ``We Want Favre Back!' during timeouts.
The Associated Press News Service
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