MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Cynthia Cooper now has four WNBA titles, two MVP awards and one victory as a head coach.
Reserve guard Bridget Pettis scored 26 points and Jennifer Gillom added 20 as the Phoenix Mercury beat Minnesota 89-80 Saturday night, handing Cooper her first coaching victory and spoiling the Lynx's home opener.
"It felt great," Cooper said. "I don't think the weight is off your shoulders. But to get it on the road, the team showed a lot of character."
The 37-year-old Cooper ended her playing career after the Houston Comets won their fourth WNBA title last season. She was named the head coach of the Mercury on Jan. 8.
"Coaching definitely was a challenge initially," Cooper said. "Ultimately, it was my decision. I don't think it was a huge transition, because I've been around basketball for so long. My heart was in it."
Cooper has faced her share of challenges, including the suspension of Brandy Reed.
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