Former UConn women’s basketball star Napheesa Collier scored 27 points in her WNBA debut for the Minnesota Lynx. Collier’s 27 points are the second most by a rookie in their debut in WNBA history. Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks holds the record for the most, with 34 points in her debut.
Collier’s performance also set a new record for the most points by a rookie in their debut for the Minnesota Lynx franchise. The previous record was a three-way tie at 21 points between two former fellow Huskies, Maya Moore and Charde Houston, and with Seimone Augustus.
Collier, who earned the start for the opener with Augustus sidelined with a injury, got on the board early for the Lynx. She scored her first point under a minute into the game, splitting a pair of free throws. She made a second trip to the line shortly after, where she connected on one shot again. She closed out the rest of the game at 6-7 from the line.
Collier’s first field goal, a layup underneath the basket, came with 4:01 left in the first quarter. She drew contact for a traditional three point play.
Through the night, Collier was incredibly efficient on the offensive end. She finished the game 8-10 from the floor and shot 75 percent from beyond the arc. Including her free throws, she scored 1.8 points per scoring attempt.
In addition to her 27 points, Collier also added 6 rebounds, 3 blocks and 2 steals to help the Lynx secure the win over the Chicago Sky in their season opener.
In her post game interviews, Collier noted that nerves did not come in to play in her rookie debut. She credited her strong performance to her aggression on both ends of the court saying, “Being as aggressive as I can, offensively and defensively, really got my confidence going and got me feeling good”.