Breanna Stewart scored 29 points including the game-winning bucket with 42.6 seconds remaining to lead the Seattle Storm to an 81-79 win on Tuesday against the slumping host Minnesota Lynx.
Seattle (9-5) trailed much of the contest and was down by as many as 11 points in the first half. But behind WNBA-leading scorer Stewart, the Storm chipped away at the deficit to set up Epiphanny Prince for a critical shooting performance in the fourth quarter.
Prince hit a pair of 3-pointers on consecutive possessions midway through the final period as part of a 5-for-8 mark from beyond the arc for the Seattle reserve. Prince scored all 15 of her points from long range.
The back-to-back triples broke a 70-70 tie, pushing the Seattle lead to four points.
Stewart scored the Storm’s final five points after Prince’s 3-pointers, including a free throw converted on a technical foul. Seattle extended its lead to five points, but could not build any more separation.
Minnesota (3-12) gave itself a chance to snap its three-game losing skid with stifling defense down the stretch, holding Seattle to just five points for the final 5:07 of action.
But points proved difficult to come by for the Lynx, who endured their own scoring drought of almost three minutes late in the fourth quarter.
Aerial Powers ended the scoreless spell on a pair of free throws with 1:32 remaining, setting the stage for Kayla McBride’s game-tying 3-pointer with 52 seconds left to go.
McBride finished with a team-high 20 points, Jessica Shepard posted 12 and Powers scored 10 for a Lynx team coming into Tuesday’s Commissioner’s Cup matchup sitting in last place in the WNBA.
Moriah Jefferson had a look at a potential game-tying basket with 30.3 second left, but could not convert. The missed layup confirmed a fourth consecutive loss, as Stewart denied the Lynx another possession with her eighth and final rebound to give the Storm their fourth straight win.
–Field Level Media