SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Stars continued their hot play with an 84-68 win over the Atlanta Dream in front of 6,953 fans at the AT&T Center on Saturday night.
The victory was the fourth in their last five games for the young San Antonio squad. Thursday saw the Stars suffer a 20-point loss in Chicago, making those uncharacteristic mistakes that plagued them early on in the season.
Saturday saw the Stars come out and do what they have done during their three game winning streak. They played unselfish as they finished with 27 assists on 63 field goals and shot 52 percent for the game.
“I think what you see in these last games is a team that has grown and has to continue to grow,” Stars coach Vickie Johnson said. “In Seattle, we bounced back and then we had a lead in that Atlanta game, we were up but we wound up losing. But we really took care of the basketball in Atlanta, we had maybe 14-15 turnovers in the second half for both games. Overall tonight, I think Kelsey Plum, Moriah Jefferson and Sydney Colson did a great job of taking care of the basketball.”
San Antonio got the job done thanks to a full team effort. Isabelle Harrison scored a career-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds Moriah Jefferson and Kayla McBride added 14 apiece and Kelsey Plum chipped in 10.
Jefferson returned to action after missing Thursday’s game with knee soreness. The second year guard did not miss a beat as she scored six straight points right at the basket and had two consecutive steals, making flashy moves along the way.
The game was another chance for the Stars to play playoff spoiler. With San Antonio’s win over Atlanta, the Connecticut Sun clinched their first playoff berth since 2012. Johnson said before the season that she wanted other teams to respect San Antonio again. With the season nearly over, some are starting to see that respect.
“We have people that can play against those players, and there are great teams in this league,” Harrison said. “We are just keeping that in mind and staying true to our game. Whatever our record is, we can’t really think about that right now, it is too late, but we are finishing hard for what we need to do.”
The Dream were led by Brittney Skye’s 28 points. Elizabeth Williams added 16 for Atlanta (10-18), who lost their seventh straight game.
Atlanta was outscored 23-19 in the opening quarter and a 9-2 San Antonio run saw the Dream never truly recover as they would end up trailing by as many as 20 points.
“We can’t start the game with turnovers like that,” Williams said. “It’s very uncharacteristic and it’s tough to beat anyone when you’re turning the ball over. I think we got out worked.”
- Game notes: Kayla McBride’s 14 points were the 22nd time in 25 games she has reached double figures. With Saturday’s win, the Stars reached seven wins for the second straight season. San Antonio has not won more than seven games all season since 2015 when they finished 8-26.
Up next: The Stars are now 7-22 on the season and will return to the court when they travel to Seattle to face the Storm at 9:30 p.m. at KeyArena.