With March Madness underway and the WNBA season now less than two months away from getting underway, the new year is nearing for the Minnesota Lynx and the other 11 teams in the league.
In preparation for the season, four Lynx players have been spending their offseasons overseas, with the quartet of Kayla McBride, Jessica Shepard, Bridget Carleton and Tiffany Mitchell taking the court in Turkey, Italy, Spain and Australia.
Last week in the 13th edition of our Lynx Offseason Update, we updated you on how McBride, Shepard, Carleton and Mitchell have performed overseas, with playoff action getting underway in various leagues around the globe. This week, the quartet of Lynx returned to the court with some postseason play wrapping up and others continuing into at least this upcoming week.
Let’s take a look at how the Lynx have performed overseas in the 14th edition of our Offseason Update.
Fenerbahçe — EuroLeague — Istanbul, Turkey
Over the last week, McBride hit the court for a pair of EuroLeague games with Fenerbahçe, facing Sopron on March 14 and March 17 in the EuroLeague playoffs.
On March 14 in the first game, McBride tallied 12 points on four threes, adding four rebounds, one assist and one steal in just 25 minutes during an 82-62 victory. In the second game, McBride finished with her lowest scoring total of the season, finishing with six points on a pair of threes, adding two rebounds, two steals and one assist in 28 minutes during another 82-62 win.
With the pair of wins, McBride and Fenerbahçe swept Sopron in the quarterfinals to advance to the EuroLeague Final Four which begins April 14 followed by the EuroLeague Final on April 16. The remaining quarterfinal games will conclude March 22 to fill out the Final Four.
This offseason, McBride is averaging 19.9 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.3 assists and one steal over 30 minutes in 16 Turkey-KBSL appearances. She has also averaged 15 points, 3.3 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 steals in 33.6 minutes during 16 EuroLeague games this offseason.
While awaiting the resumption of the EuroLeague playoffs, McBride and Fenerbahçe take the court in a trio of Turkey-KBSL games, the first coming March 20 against Besiktas, followed by a contest against Cankaya on March 22 and Hatay on March 25.
Umana Reyer Venezia — Italy Serie A1/EuroCup — Venice, Italy
Umana Reyer Venzia took part in two games over the past week, facing Galatasaray in the EuroCup semifinals on March 16 and San Martino in an Italy-Serie A1 game on March 19. Shepard appeared in one of those two games, only participating in the EuroCup semifinal contest.
In the postseason battle against Galatasaray, Shepard posted 20 points, seven rebounds, two assists and one steal over 35 minutes during a 74-49 blowout loss. On March 19 against San Martino, the Lynx forward tallied did not play for her Italian squad as they went on to an 80-55 victory.
Over the next week, Shepard and Umana Reyer Venezia will once again play Galatasaray in the second game of the EuroCup semifinal round on March 23. They will also take on San Giovanni in an Italy-Serie A1 battle on March 26.
This offseason, Shepard has averaged 17.1 points, 9.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 29.3 minutes in 11 EuroCup games. She has averaged 20.9 points, 10 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 28.6 minutes over 21 Italy-Serie A1 games.
Perfumerías Avenida — EuroLeague — Salamanca, Spain
Carleton appeared in two games with Perfumerías Avenida this week, taking the floor in a pair of EuroLeague quarterfinal contests against USK Prague on March 14 and March 17.
In the first game on March 14, Carleton tallied eight points, seven rebounds, two steals and one block over 31 minutes during a 77-56 loss. On March 17 in the second game, Carleton finished with a near double-double of nine points, nine rebounds and one assist during 38 minutes in a 73-71 victory. The two teams will now return to action in a winner-take-all Game 3 on March 22 to decide who advances to the Final Four.
So far this offseason, Carleton has averaged 10.9 points, five rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 steals in 30.4 minutes during 11 EuroLeague contests, while averaging 10.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.6 steals in 25.9 minutes in 14 Spain-LF Endesa games.
Over the next week, Carleton and Perfumerías Avenida will compete in the third game of the EuroLeague quarterfinals against USK Praha on March 22, followed by a Spain-LF Endesa game against Estudiantes on March 25.
Melbourne — WNBL — Melbourne, Australia
Over the past week, Mitchell and Melbourne continued the semifinal round of the Women’s National Basketball League playoffs against the Southside Flyers in the semifinal round of the postseason.
After splitting the first two games of the best-of-three series last week, Melbourne and Southside battled on March 15 in a winner-take-all contest that resulted in Southside coming away with a 73-72 win and ending Melbourne’s season. Mitchell took the court for 40 minutes, tallying 23 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists in the loss.
Over the regulars season and playoffs, Mitchell appeared in a total of 21 games for Melbourne, averaging a WNBL-leading 21 points, 4.8 rebounds, 4.3 assists and two steals over 36.6 minutes per game. She concluded the year shooting 44.6 percent from the field and 44.6 percent from three for the Boomers.
Thanks for reading another edition of our Lynx Offseason Update. See you back here next week for another update on the Lynx players.