Stars close out 2016 season with loss to Mercury

Highlights:

AT&T Center – Dan Hughes left his mark on the city of San Antonio and as the Stars season came to a close, it was never as obvious as it was in 2016.

Monique Currie had 19 points, but the Stars fell 81-65 to the Phoenix Mercury in front of 6,397 fans at the AT&T Center on Sunday afternoon.

Moriah Jefferson added 16 points and six assists, while Haley Peters chipped in 11 for San Antonio, who will miss the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

“You’ve got to be impressed with the way Phoenix played,” Hughes said after the game. “They just were a better basketball team today in a lot of ways. Boy if they’re an eighth seed or a seventh seed that says a lot about our league in a lot of ways.”

The Mercury were led by Diana Taurasi’s 18 points. Brittney Griner added 15 points and Candace Dupree chipped in 12 for Phoenix (15-18), who will be in the WNBA Playoffs next week.

Jayne Appel-Marinelli also is retiring after playing seven seasons in the WNBA, all with San Antonio. She finished with five points and nine rebounds on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to actually living with my husband and seeing him,” she said. “Just taking care of some life things first and then enjoying some time and enjoying owning my own schedule for a little bit.”

Hughes leaves the bench, retiring after 16 seasons in the league. He spent 12 of those years with San Antonio, leading the team to their lone appearance in the WNBA Finals in 2008 and a 24-10 mark.

He is a two-time WNBA Coach of the Year and ranks second in most wins and first in games coached.

“I’ve been so fortunate to have been around people that I knew when they moved in life that what was going to happen was even going to be greater than what we had shared,” he said in a postgame retirement ceremony.

Check back with Stars Hoops during the offseason for news on the WNBA Draft, player transactions and head coaching search.

Stephen Anderson

Assistant editor for Stars Hoops. Stephen brings his unique writing style from Minute By Minute Sports, a sports blog he founded. He also has written for news websites and for UK reality TV shows. Be sure to follow him on Twitter (@andersonstevem) for all the latest news on San Antonio sports

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