Poor fourth quarter dooms Stars in loss to Wings, ruining Jefferson and Plum's debut



AT&T Center – San Antonio Stars coach Vickie Johnson was excited to see her team at full strength for the first time this season. For 30 of 40 minutes, everyone saw why Johnson was excited, but going back to old habits in the final 10 minutes would be the undoing for the Silver and Black.

Kayla McBride scored a game-high 18 points, but it was not enough as the Stars fell 94-82 to the Dallas Wings in front of 9,621 fans at the AT&T Center on Thursday afternoon.

Isabelle Harrison added a double-double, posting 16 points and 12 rebounds. Monique Currie chipped in 12 off the bench for San Antonio, who remains winless on the young season.

“We were out of sync as far as our rhythm was concerned,” Johnson said after the game. “I think the first half was good for us offensively and defensively. The second half, we had a lot of breakdown, we didn’t play tough.”

Moriah Jefferson and No. 1 overall pick in the 2017 WNBA Draft made their season debuts after missing the first three games due to injuries. Jefferson finished with nine points on 3-of-7 shooting. Plum struggled, scoring just four points and committed five turnovers.

Despite the struggles from the two stars, McBride says it is all part of the process.

“With Kelsey and Moriah, all the pieces are kind of filling in,” she said. “It is definitely a good feeling to see them out on the court. They were in practice yesterday, but like I said, they are still figuring it out.”

The Wings were led by Karima Christmas-Kelly’s 18 points. Skylar Diggins-Smith and rookie Alesha Gray both had 17 for Dallas (2-1), who outscored the Stars 33-13 in the fourth quarter.

Diggins-Smith started the fourth quarter run for Dallas as she had a personal 6-0 run to cut the San Antonio lead to four. The Wings’ defense would punish the San Antonio offense, holding them to 12 percent  shooting in the final nine minutes of the game.

“I thought it was a combination with us and a small line-up,” Dallas coach Fed Williams said of the fourth quarter comeback. “It made us a little quicker, go down the floor, take things off the glass, and up-tempo the game more. It came to our advantage when we did that.”

Player of the Game: Diggins-smith is Stars Hoops player of the game. Her two consecutive 3-point plays would spark Dallas’ comeback win in the final 10 minutes of play, holding the Strs scoreless for over six minutes.

Up next: The Stars are now 0-4 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night when they travel to Minneapolis to face the Lynx at 6 p.m. to open a two-game road trip.

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Stephen Anderson is a writer and editor for the Project Spurs Network. He joined the PS team back in 2014 as a staff writer with Project Spurs and has taken over as editor for network sites Stars Hoops, Rampage Central, and Red Black 90. Stephen graduated from the University of the Incarnate Word in 2017 with a degree in Communications Arts, specializing in Journalism and Public Relations. He is a credentialed media member for the San Antonio Stars, Rampage, and San Antonio FC.


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