Lynx beat Mystics in preseason finale as reserves take over

The way the Lynx finished up the preseason might make coach Cheryl Reeve's final roster decisions more difficult.

The Lynx won at Washington 83-77, going 2-0 in preseason play. This time credit the victory to the bench, filled with players trying to win the last roster spots. Lynx reserves started the fourth quarter giving up a lead. But, down 72-61 with 6:22 left, they finished the game on a 22-5 run. The Lynx hit 15 of 17 fourth-quarter free throws.

Rookie Alissa Pili scored eight of her 10 points in the final 10 minutes, including a three-point play with 2:49 left that put the Lynx up for good. Both Camryn Taylor and Quinesha Lockett scored six fourth-quarter points. French guard Olivia Époupa scored four points and had three assists and two rebounds in the final 10 minutes.

Époupa's steal led to two Taylor free throws that put the Lynx up 77-73 with 2:18 left. She had two free throws of her own with 1:52 left.

Napheesa Collier had 15 points with seven rebounds for the Lynx, who came back from 17 down early in the second quarter. Courtney Williams had 13 points, six assists and four rebounds. Bridget Carleton scored eight. Kayla McBride made her first start, didn't score while playing the entire first quarter, and did not play again.

BOXSCORE: Lynx 83, Washington 77

Washington, which finished 0-2 in the preseason, got 20 points from Ariel Atkins, 12 from Myisha Hines-Allen and 11 from Karlie Samuelson.

Minnesota entered Wednesday's game with 18 players on its official roster, including Sika Kone, Dorka Juhász and Cecilia Zandalasini, three players who have yet to practice with the team because of overseas commitments.

The Lynx will likely enter the regular season with a 12-player roster for the opener Tuesday in Seattle. Starters Collier, McBride, Williams, Alanna Smith and Diamond Miller make five. Juhász, Zandalasini, Carleton, Natisha Hiedeman, Pili and Kone appear to be set off the bench. That would leave one roster spot once everyone is back with the team.

Zandalasini should join the team in Friday's practice. But both Juhász and Kone are still playing overseas and the Lynx would be allowed to fill those spots until the players arrive. Monday is the league's official final roster cut-down date.

The Star Tribune did not send the writer of this article to the game. This was written using a broadcast, interviews and other material.