SAN ANTONIO – Maya Moore has brought her winning ways from UConn to the Minnesota Lynx.
Seimone Augustus scored 20 points and Moore had 19 points and 12 rebounds as the Lynx clinched the top seed in the Western Conference with a 72-61 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Sunday
Minnesota (23-6) has won five straight games and swept the season series against San Antonio. It's the first time in franchise history that the Lynx have earned the top seed in the West.
"It's just a blessing to be on this team," said Moore, who went 150-4 with two national championships in her four years with the Huskies before coming to a Minnesota team that won just 13 games last year. "All of us have a really special situation, so I'm just excited to play well because we still have a lot of work to do."
The Lynx didn't score for nearly 5 minutes to start the fourth quarter, but the Silver Stars failed to take advantage. Moore scored eight points, hitting two 3-pointers, in the quarter to make sure Minnesota was never threatened.
"Just her maturity, people expect a lot from her," Augustus said of her rookie teammate. "She spoiled everyone with what she did in college, and she's come in and been everything that we've needed."
Roneeka Hodges led San Antonio (13-15) with 12 points, hitting 4 of 8 3-pointers. Jia Perkins and Tully Bevilaqua added 10 each for the Silver Stars, who have lost six straight.
San Antonio has lost 10 of its last 12 while the Lynx have won 10. The Silver Stars started the season 5-1 but are now only one game up on Los Angeles for the West's fourth and final playoff spot.
"I mean, big-picture situation, our season is to be determined," Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "They have ownership in that. It's not an easy thing. You're fighting some momentum that's going the other way. The only way you make a change is by yourself and taking ownership of it and going forward."
Minnesota held San Antonio to 30 percent shooting (19 of 63) from the field and outrebounded the Silver Stars 50-27. Lindsay Whalen had 10 points and Rebekkah Brunson had a game-high 14 rebounds.
After leading by only two points at halftime, Minnesota held San Antonio to 6-of-30 shooting in the second half to roll to the win. Augustus helped hold Silver Stars leading scorer Becky Hammon to nine points on 1-of-12 shooting from the field. Bevilaqua (4 of 7) was the only San Antonio player to shoot 50 percent or better from the field.
The Silver Stars shot 4 for 15 from the field in the third quarter as Minnesota took a 10-point lead. The Lynx took their biggest lead of the game at 60-47 on Jessica Adair's jumper with 1 minute left, capping a 12-3 run. Bevilaqua hit a 3-pointer shortly before the third quarter ended to make it 60-50.
Augustus scored 16 first-half points on 8-of-12 shooting, as the Lynx shot 18 of 35 in the first two quarters to lead 42-40 at halftime. Minnesota outrebounded San Antonio 21-11 in the first half, but the Silver Stars hit 8 of 15 3-pointers to stay close.