MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Sheryl Swoopes scored 10 of her 22 points in
overtime to help the Houston Comets beat the Minnesota Lynx 77-73
on Friday night.
Michelle Snow scored 13 of Houston's 16 fourth quarter points as
the Comets came from behind to force overtime after trailing by
five heading into the final period. Snow finished the game with 21
points and a career-high and team record 23 rebounds, Roneeka
Hodges added 13 points, and Dawn Staley chipped in 11 for Houston.
Playing in their third straight road game with only nine players
in uniform and a playoff berth in jeopardy, Houston came up with a
"We've been beat up all year and I just felt like we needed
this win," Comets coach Van Chancellor said. "I thought this was
as big of a win as we've had in Houston in a long time because of
who we've got hurt. I've never been in a situation with so many key
players hurt. I'm just shot. We've been on the road for a week.
They are shot -- I'm shot."
The Comets signed Edwina Brown to an injury exception contract
before the game just to get up to nine players, because they have
lost Tamecka Dixon, Tari Phillips, Dominque Canty and Tina Thompson
to injuries this season. The lack of depth has hurt Houston on the
road, as the team won for just the third time in its last 11 road
contests. But Friday's victory was Houston's second win in its last
three games away from Toyota Center, keeping playoff hopes alive.
"Winning two of three on the road is really big," Swoopes
said. "We're not in the playoffs yet. We've got four more left and
they are all going to be tough. But this was probably one of the
biggest [wins] for us this season."
The Lynx, meanwhile, saw their losing streak grow to a
season-high six games. Minnesota lost it's fourth straight game at
home despite Nicole Ohlde's career-high 25 points. Kristen Mann
added 16 for Minnesota, while rookie All-Star Seimone Augustus
chipped in 16 points on just 4-of-22 shooting.
The Lynx took momentum into the fourth quarter after going on an
8-0 run to take a nine-point advantage that Houston cut to five by
the end of the third. But then Snow took over.
"Once Michelle decided that she was going to get the job done,
she did it," Swoopes said. "There are times when I don't really
think Michelle realizes just how good she can be."
The fourth-year center went 5-of-9 from the floor and 3-of-3
from the free throw line in the final 10 minutes. She had a chance
to win the game in regulation, but her shot was blocked by Ohlde
just before the fourth quarter ended.
"If it wasn't on the first shot, it was on the second or the
third shot for her," Lynx coach Carolyn Jenkins said. "Tremendous
effort. That right there, those extra opportunities they were able
to get in the fourth quarter, the possessions we missed out on,
helped them get back in the game."
Swoopes hit three straight shots to give the Comets a 69-64 lead
in OT and hit a pair of jumpers in the final 1:30 to keep put the
game out of reach.
Houston took the lead early thanks mostly to Hodges, who made
all three of her 3-pointers in the first quarter.
Augustus was held without a point in the first quarter and
scored just two points in the first half on 1-of-7 shooting. She
was also held scoreless in the fourth quarter.
Ohlde kept the Lynx close in the first half, scoring 13 points.
The Comets, after scoring 21 points in the first quarter to
build a four-point lead, only led by one at the half, 31-30.