SEATTLE (AP) -- Miami coach Ron Rothstein earned a reputation as
a defensive specialist as an NBA coach. He still has the knack.
The Sol's defense stymied Lauren Jackson and the Seattle Storm
in a 70-57 victory Thursday night.
"When you guard a great player, you can't guard them straight
up," Rothstein said. "We got great help defense on Jackson, and
Elena Baranova had her best defensive game of the season."
Last year the Sol set a WNBA record, holding opponents to 62.5
points a game.
Baranova, who sat out last season with a knee injury, had nine
points, five rebounds and four blocked shots. She hit a key
3-pointer as the Sol pulled away in the final 10 minutes.
Sandy Brondello scored 23 points, and the Sol limited Jackson to
one basket in the second half.
Ruth Riley's basket with 10:14 left snapped a 45-45 tie and
ignited a decisive 25-12 run by the Sol. Sheri Sam added 15 points
Miami (3-0) extended its season-opening winning streak by
slowing Seattle's up-tempo offense and keeping Seattle well below
its 73.3 scoring average.
Jackson, the top choice in the draft this year, scored 16 points,
all but four in the first half. Katy Steding scored 12 for the
Steding said Miami's offensive alignment caused the Storm real
"Their sets were odd. They scramble around a lot and that
created situations where we switched a lot and that created
mismatches for us defensively."
Brondello, a member of the Australian Olympic team, was 7-for-12
from the field and hit eight of 10 free throws.
Seattle starters scored just 24 points, but the Storm stayed in
contention with 19-for-21 shooting at the foul line, a franchise
record 91 percent.
"Miami is definitely a good team," Seattle coach Lin Dunn
said. "It was a battle of wills to score in the second half and we
broke down. The game got real physical, but we need to be strong
enough to play through it."