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Heeding her coach's late pep talk, Lynx point guard Lindsay Whalen was at her best in overtime Tuesday.

Whalen made several huge plays -- and six free throws in the last 56 seconds -- as the Lynx edged Connecticut 111-103 in overtime.

The game began as a blowout before turning into a cliffhanger. Minnesota (9-16) was ahead by 30 points at 51-21 midway through the second quarter and still led by 22 at halftime.

After squandering that cushion, Lynx first-year head coach Cheryl Reeve was worried. "I did not like the look on their faces going into overtime," Reeve said. "I let them know that this is the situation we're in and we can't change it.

"Don't hang your heads," Reeve said she told them. "Make plays to win the game, however you have to do it."

Whalen did while coping with a family tragedy. Her brother-in-law was found dead in a Minnesota lake on Sunday. There was a moment of silence for him before the game.

The seven-year WNBA veteran scored 27 points, 10 in overtime, and had 12 assists. Her previous high for points this season was 17, her assist total tied her season best.

Whalen, a three-time All-America at the University of Minnesota, played for Connecticut for six seasons before being traded home on Jan. 12. The Lynx gave up guard Renee Montgomery and the No. 1 pick in the 2010 WNBA draft to the Sun for Whalen and the No. 2 pick. Connecticut took Tina Charles with the top pick; the Lynx drafted Monica Wright.

All four of those players had huge games before an announced crowd of 5,954.

Whalen made sure her team won, though. After getting a tie-up on defense with the score tied at 103, the 5-9 Whalen won a jump ball against 6-3 Asjha Jones with 1:08 left.

"I have a better vertical than her," Whalen said in jest. "I can say that because I played with her for six years."

Whalen then made four consecutive free throws and in between trips to the foul line got a defensive rebound as the Lynx took a 107-103 lead with 22.6 seconds left.

"We've lost a couple of these [close] games; now the last two we have been on the winning side of it," Whalen said, referring to this game and Sunday's 72-71 victory over Seattle. "It shows we are learning from some of our earlier mistakes."

Wright and Seimone Augustus had 21 points apiece for the Lynx.

Montgomery had a season-high 33 points for the Sun (13-13), including a three-pointer that tied the score at 95 at the end of regulation. Charles, a 6-4 center, had 19 points and 21 rebounds.

A former Sun, however, outshined them both.