The San Antonio Stars snapped a four-game losing streak, as they defeated the Seattle Storm 88-81 Saturday in San Antonio. The victory came behind the 32 points of Jia Perkins and the lights out perimeter shooting of Kayla McBride, who finished with 20 points including 6-9 from downtown.
The Stars and Storm would trade leads until the 7:12 mark of the first quarter when San Antonio exploded with a 14-0 run in under three minutes. The outburst, led by McBride, gave the Stars a sizable lead that the Storm were unable to answer in the period. Seattle would total just 12 points in the first while the Stars poured in 27.
The second period saw momentum begin to swing Seattle's way as San Antonio began to struggle with taking care of the basketball. Seattle also increased their intensity on the glass allowing the Storm to get out and score more effectively.
“We started getting stops, and we started making shots." Explained Storm forward Crystal Langhorne. "Early on they were killing us offensively and we missed a lot of good shots. I think once we started getting the defensive rhythm, we played better.”
The Stars would be outpaced 22-16 in the period but still maintained a nine-point lead at the half.
It was at the start of the third that Seattle looked to take control of the game. The Storm pounced on the Stars outscoring the home team 14-5 over the first 5:22 of the quarter to tie the game.
The Stars responded, however, outscoring Seattle 15-10 over the remaining 4:38. San Antonio, despite responding to the Seattle's run took just a five-point advantage into the final quarter.
“Honestly, I didn’t even remember that they tied it." Said Perkins after the win. "I know they got close, but we stayed poised and we hit some big shots when we needed to."
The fourth would be a back and forth battle as the Storm nearly instantly cut the lead to three, but it would prove to be the closest they would come. As San Antonio managed to answer every basket the Storm put on the board.
The Stars, however, were never able to put Seattle away. Jewell Loyd converted a layup with 48.9 seconds to play to cut the lead to just five. On the ensuing possession, Danielle Robinson tripped and lost the ball, Sue Bird chased it down and looked to have a wide-open layup, but the final hope of a comeback victory was snuffed out as a kick ball was called on the play giving the Stars back possession with just 30 seconds to go.
Along with the 32 of Perkins and the 20 of McBride, the Stars also received a standout performance from Sophia Young-Malcolm, who finished with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Seattle was paced by the season high 29 of Crystal Langhorne. Joining Langhorne in double figures was Jewell Loyd, who added 16 points, and Jenna O'Hea who scored 14 points while replacing the absent Alysha Clark in the starting five. Sue Bird finished with just four points but contributed a game-high 13 assists in the losing effort.