SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio Stars fell 89-70 to the Minnesota Lynx in front of 6,638 fans at the AT&T Center on Friday night in the team’s 2017 home finale.
San Antonio started the game well, shooting 54 percent in the opening quarter. The Stars carried an eight point lead into the second quarter, but from there is where the league-best Lynx took over. Minnesota used a 31-14 quarter to build their lead to 15 and would never trail again.
“We started off well but this game is not 10 minutes,” Stars coach Vickie Johnson said. “When you play against a team like Minnesota you have to be disciplined, you have to be consistent and you have to play with that passion and love for 40 minutes. We had 11 offensive boards which was great. We just didn’t do a great job of finishing in the lane.”
The Stars used an 8-1 run to begin the fourth quarter, cutting Minnesota’s lead from 23 to 11. The Lynx called timeout and scored six straight points to build their lead back to 17 and never looked to be in danger after that.
Kayla McBride and Kayla Alexander both led the Stars with 15 points apiece. Kelsey Plum added 11 for San Antonio, who will close out their season with back-to-back road games.
“We had a tall task ahead of us, we came up short, but I just wanted to say we have the best fans in the league,” McBride said. “I have been here for four years and it didn’t matter what the record was, it didn’t matter how the season was going, they have always been so consistent. That shows true fans.”
The Lynx were led by Maya Moore’s 24 points. Sylvia Fowles added a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Natasha Howard chipped in 11 for Minnesota (24-6), who are battling the Los Angeles Sparks for the top spot in the WNBA.
Minnesota outscored San Antonio 51-25 in the second and third quarter combined to take full control of the game.
“We have worked really, really hard and tonight’s game was really important, it was the biggest game of the season for us, the next game that we win creates a better position for ourselves,” Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve said. “Our next up is Los Angeles and that is who we are fighting with in that spot, so it should be a good one.”
- Game notes: San Antonio finishes the 2017 season with a 6-11 record at home. Kayla Alexander scored 15 points, making it the first time all season she led the team in points.
Up next: The Stars are now 7-25 on the season and will return to the court next Friday when they travel to New York for the final time in the 2017 season for part one of a back-to-back stretch.