The San Antonio Stars know building a young team is process. So, when playing an elite team like the Minnesota Lynx – its a learning experience for the team and Head Coach Vickie Johnson.
Kayla McBride scored a game-high 18 points, but it was not enough as the Stars fell 80-66 to the Lynx in front of 9,034 fans inside the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night.
Kayla Alexander came off the bench to tie her career-high with 14 points, while Isabelle Harrison added 11 for San Antonio. The Stars kept the game close, but were outscored 26-8 in the third quarter as Minnesota never trailed again.
“I think we fought hard in the fourth quarter,” Stars forward Monique Currie said. “We didn’t give up. We continued to fight.”
Rookies Kelsey Plum and Nia Coffey played a combined 13 minutes in the loss. Plum finished with one point, one assist, one block, and two turnovers in six minutes. Johnson says the the rookie duo are going through a process and in time it will pay off.
“This is the best league in the world,” Johnson said. “This is not college. So it’s a process. Everyone goes through the process. No one has come from the college level and dominated the WNBA. Except one person and that was Maya Moore. Other than that, the Candace Parker’s, the Nneka’s it took them a year or two years to develop and they’re going to have to go through the process as well.”
The Lynx were led by Sylvia Fowles’ 14 points and 12 rebounds. Maya Moore and Rebekka Brunson finished with 13 points apiece for Minnesota (6-0), who remains the only undefeated team left in the league.
Minnesota began the third quarter up by five, but used a 12-0 run to pull away in the third quarter. The Lynx used their defense to force 19 San Antonio turnovers and hold them to just eight points in the period.
“I thought we were able to get a little more aggressive on defense,” said Minnesota guard Lindsey Whalen. “We were able to make the plays when we needed to. The bench came in and really jump-started us. Thankfully, for them coming in and playing like that, it was one reason why we got the win.”
Player of the Game: Sylvia Fowles is Stars Hoops Player of the Game. She proved to be a monster in the paint, causing problems for Erika De Souza and Isabelle Harrison. Her double-double was key in the Lynx win.
Up next: The Stars are now 0-5 on the season and will return to the court on Wednesday morning when they travel to Atlanta to face the Dream at 10:30 a.m. to close out their quick two-game trip.