The San Antonio Stars know they are still a work in progress as they continue to gel together. The Minnesota Lynx are the complete opposite with experience, which paid off down the stretch in helping to extend San Antonio’s franchise worst start.
The Stars led by as many as seven points, but a poor fourth quarter would give Minnesota the 87-78 win at the Xcel Energy Center on Sunday night.
The Stars were led by Moriah Jefferson’s 19 points, with 10 coming in the third quarter. Kayla McBride celebrated her 25th birthday with 17 points and Isabelle Harrison chipped in 13 for San Antonio, who has not won in Minnesota since 2010.
San Antonio led 74-67 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. However, two consecutive three pointers from Maya Moore would spark a 12-3 run to put the Lynx ahead for good.
You know, I have a very young team but we fought,” Stars Head Coach Vickie Johnson said. “You know, Maya Moore made a big-time shot. If it wasn’t Maya Moore it was Sylvia Fowles made a couple of layups. If it wasn’t her it was Seimone knocking down a big time shot.”
The fourth quarter would be San Antonio’s undoing once again as they were outscored 32-16 as the Lynx would go on a 12-0 run to retake the lead. The Stars scored 31 points in the third, but the tough Minnesota defense would prove too tough for the lowly San Antonio club.
“We’re playing the best team in the league and we were winning pretty much 34 minutes of the game,” McBride said. “It’s those last six minutes where we really had to come together and that’s something we’re still figuring out.”
The Lynx were led by both Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles’ 22 points apiece. Lindsay Whalen added 13 for Minnesota (11-1), who own the WNBA’s best record.
Minnesota struggled for the majority of the game, but used a combination of strong defense and key offense to force San Antonio to go scoreless for nearly four minutes.
“It wasn’t about strategy, it was about effort and digging down deep and finding the focus at the same time for an extended period of time to put the team away,” Moore said.
Up next: The Stars are now 0-14 on the season and will return to the court on Friday when they welcome the Chicago Sky to the AT&T Center to begin a three-game homestand.