The third pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft stood toe to toe with the fourth pick of the 2014 Draft and as Kayla McBride made her move around the 3-point line, Skylar Diggins could do nothing but watch as the rookie led the Stars to victory.
Former teammates for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish now battle it out on the court -- albeit in different roles. McBride let all scorers with 30 points while Diggins posted 17 of her own. Both shot efficiently from the field (10-14 for McBride, 8-12 for Diggins) but it was McBride's four 3-pointers and six free throws that gave her the scoring advantage. Four rebounds and three assists rounded out what was easily the rookie's best game of her career thus far.
More importantly than McBride's big night was the Stars getting another victory before the Minnesota Lynx home-and-home series that begins on Saturday. I wrote in my preview that San Antonio needs to beat the bottom feeders in order to snag the fourth playoff spot in the western conference -- count Tulsa among them. If they can steal wins againt the Los Angeles and Phoenix's of the league: Awesome. Good. Routinely beating Seattle and Tulsa are more vital (because they're more feasible) paths to success.
San Antonio did not lead after any quarter except for the fourth, but they kept the game close throughout. Tulsa shot extremely well in the first half (and as a result the entire game), but their turnovers and free throw deficit came back to haunt them. Tulsa turned the ball over 20 times and made just five of their 10 free throws while San Antonio made 14 of their 15 attempts.
Odyssey Sims did not play well the first time these teams met up, making just one shot from the field. She started out a whole lot hotter than she finished, but 6-14 from the field with three 3-pointers earned her a team-high 18 points.
Up 77-73 with 2:51 to play the Stars looked poised to close out the game; Glory Johnson had other ideas. She scored four straight points (two from the free throw line) to knott the game at 77 with 1:54 to go. Danielle Adams and Diggins traded buckets before McBride's clutch 3-pointer sent the San Antonio fans home happy.
San Antonio starts their home-and-home against the Lynx on Saturday night. They meet in Minnesota at 8 p.m. ET to take on the defending champs.