PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Cheryl Reeve was a standout women’s basketball player at La Salle University during the ’80s.  In fact, she still holds the school record for most starts in a career (110).

For years since her days on the court, she has proven to be just as successful as a coach, and now as the head coach for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, she has them in the league finals.

The Lynx went 27-7 during the regular season, and they beat both Phoenix and San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs to get to the finals.  Their opponent out of the East is still to be determined, as Indiana and Atlanta will play the deciding game of their conference final series tonight in Indianapolis.

Reeve says this team has met the high expectations she had for it coming into the campaign.

“In the 2010 season (Reeve’s first as Minnesota head coach) we thought we had a chance to be competitive, to be a playoff team,” she recalls.   “It didn’t work out — we had injuries.  As a result of that, we actually ended up landing the number one pick in the 2011 draft, which ended up being (UConn star) Maya Moore.   So the combination of a healthy group (coming) back, just being together for a second (season), and adding someone like Maya Moore, we were pretty darn good this summer.”

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Reeve has had an impressive career as a coach — a career which started with a couple of years as an assistant at her alma mater.   And she says her time as a player at La Salle is something she will never forget.

“Just the fact that we were able to take a team in La Salle that was kind of mediocre and — when (head coach) Speedy (Morris) came in, his first year was my first year — to take that La Salle team, in those four years, to national prominence, to be in the NCAA Tournament, to be ranked number 18 in the country, those were just some great times.”

Reeve was named the WNBA “Coach of the Year” in 2011.

The WNBA finals begin Sunday night in Minnesota.

Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060

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