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Eyes have seen the glory

Mohegan - Mike Thibault walked into the Connecticut Sun locker room after Tuesday's 108-79 rout over the Minnesota Lynx.

Thibault had nothing to say.

"Most coaches want to find something to complain about," Thibault said. "I had nothing to complain about."

A full house of 9,323 showed up at Mohegan Sun Arena for the state return of Lynx rookie Maya Moore.

What the sellout crowd saw was what they've been missing this summer as Connecticut handed the best team in the league its worst loss of the season.

"It was great because it was a total team effort," Asjha Jones said. "It just makes everybody feel really solid tonight."

The Sun (16-8) saved their best performance in what was the biggest atmosphere they've played this year.

"I think they had something to prove," Thibault said. "All the hype about the game, they wanted to live up to it."

Minnesota (18-6) thrashed Connecticut 90-67 in the first meeting on July 9.

The Lynx hadn't trailed by more than 14 points this year.

Connecticut led by as many as 32 points (105-73) with over a minute left in the game.

"They're the team with the best record in the league and they blew us out the last time we played them," Kara Lawson said. "Any time you're playing against either the top team in your conference or the top team in your league, it's a measuring-stick game. Are we better than we were a month ago, six weeks ago?"

It was the Sun's 10th win in 13 games.

"We feel like we're getting better and improving and are one of the better teams in this league," Lawson said. "But you don't know until you play. I think we were just kind of pumped up to play; anxious to see how we'd fare this time. We feel like we're a different team than the last time we saw them."

The Sun were two points away from tying the franchise record for most points in a game. They scored 110 at the Los Angeles Sparks on July 7, 2007.

Tina Charles had 16 points and 18 rebounds for Connecticut, Renee Montgomery had 17 points and seven assists and Jones had 15 points and six rebounds.

Lawson had four 3-pointers for 16 points and Kelsey Griffin scored 14.

Former Sun Lindsay Whalen led the Lynx with 20 points.

Seimone Augustus, one of the league's elite players, shot 5 of 14 for 11 points for Minnesota.

Moore made just one of seven shots for two points.

"I though Connecticut played great," Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. "We played well at our place. We've got the best overall record in the league.

"Connecticut was really hungry (tonight) and they were great."

The Sun stormed out to a 29-14 first quarter lead and never lost control. They led 57-42 at halftime, two points shy of the franchise record for first-half points (59, set on Aug. 30, 2010 at Minnesota).

"We feel like we are building into a good team," Lawson said. "We feel like we are a team that is going to make the playoffs and a team that has as good a shot as any team in the Eastern Conference to advance far.

"To have a great performance tonight in front of as many eyeballs that were here tonight can do nothing but build momentum. From the big-picture standpoint, it's a great win for us all the way around."

n.griffen@theday.com

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