The San Antonio Stars cruised past the Atlanta Dream with a 102-85 victory on Wednesday at the AT&T Center.
Stars guard Kayla McBride enjoyed one of her best games of the season with a 25-point performance that saw her score an eye-popping 21 points in the first half. Overall, she shot an efficient 7-of-10 from the field and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Jayne Appel scored a career-high 15 points and added eight rebounds and three assists to help San Antonio to a dominant win.
McBride set the tone early for her team, as she scored 13 first-quarter points and virtually outplayed the Dream by herself. Atlanta, as a whole, barely managed to outscore McBride in the first quarter, 18-13, and trailed the Silver Stars 25-18 after one.
The Stars took a 47-42 lead going into halftime, as McBride continued to pile on the points against a Dream defense that simply could not contain her. McBride added eight points in the second quarter, giving her 21 first-half points.
San Antonio came out in the second half with much more energy than Atlanta, and it showed with a 15-2 run to begin the third quarter. The Stars never lifted their foot off the gas pedal in the second half, and the Dream struggled once the deficit got into double digits.
"I thought that we really came out and had a good third quarter. And it was one of those days that we really shot the ball well," Stars Head Coach Dan Hughes said. "Good team victory. I thought there were several pieces that really helped us throughout our lineup."
Atlanta guard Angel McCoughtry, who entered Wednesday averaging 19.5 points and 4.9 rebounds per game, was limited to 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field. The All-Star did not have much of an impact on the game, finishing with just one rebound and one assist.
"Today was just a tough game. The Stars had some great shots and defensively we just have to do better," McCoughtry said following the lopsided loss. "Pick and rolls and overall just being more aggressive. We can't have a game like this, it's unacceptable. We have to come with more energy and focused. We have more games, so we're going to bounce back."
The Stars' defense stifled Atlanta throughout the game. Overall, the Dream was held to just 43.9 percent shooting from the field and 23.1 percent from beyond three-point range. San Antonio really limited Atlanta's success outside of the paint - the Dream scored 50 points in and just 35 outside the paint.
"I think it has been a big emphasis for us, especially on this team with Angel (McCoughtry). Their guards like to penetrate so much. I think we did a really good job; our posts did a really good job," McBride said of the stingy defense her team played.
"We are just communicating better. Like I said, it just comes with us jelling and finding our chemistry and things like that and showing our defense today."