Arlington, TX -- They say everything is bigger in Texas - that includes basketball. Coming off a hard-fought loss against reigning league MVP Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky, the San Antonio Stars looked to snap their two-game losing streak against a red-hot Dallas Wings team who came in flying high on a three-game win streak.
In their first match-up of the season, the Stars faced the daunting task of taking on the Wings in the franchise's inaugural home game in Dallas since moving here from Tulsa. The Wings took game one of the series, and they would take game two in overtime 97-90.
The first five minutes of the opening quarter were all about Kayla McBride. Her seven first-quarter points led for the Stars, as did her four rebounds. She finished with 17 points. For the Wings, Plenette Pierson did her best to keep Dallas close scoring their first four points of the game. However, shots were not dropping as freely for the Wings as they did on Tuesday against the Phoenix Mercury.
Momentum shifted when Karima Christmas scored four quick points; Plenette Pierson drained a three, and Glory Johnson picked up an and-one layup before the end of the quarter giving Dallas the lead for the first time since scoring the opening points of the game.
Dallas would take the first quarter 22-16 behind Pierson's nine points and Johnson's four rebounds off the bench.
It rained threes in the opening minutes of the second quarter. Astou Ndour opened the quarter for San Antonio by immediately draining one from beyond the arc. After some back-and-forth action, Jordan Hooper and Odyssey Sims came through for the Wings with three-pointers of their own, which forced the Stars to take a timeout and extended Dallas' lead to 32-21.
After an uncharacteristic first quarter that sent Skylar Diggins to the bench, she found her stride in the second. Between Diggins' team-leading seven second-quarter points, Pierson's 13 first-half points, and various fundamental breakdowns on behalf of the Stars, the Wings took a 50-34 lead into the locker room at half - their biggest halftime lead of the season.
The Stars controlled the majority of the third quarter. Dallas shot only 33.3% from the floor, which helped cut San Antonio's deficit to as little as five in the quarter.
On relinquishing their large first-half lead, Diggins thought, "we got comfortable... Similar to our Phoenix game. They chipped away and chipped away... Just little mistakes that we can't allow to happen against a team like that who is tough."
Christmas' seven third-quarter points helped the Wings keep a lead, but it was a new ballgame going into the fourth.
Dearica Hamby's eight third-quarter points led for the Stars. She finished tied for a team-high with 17 points. The Stars took the quarter 27-16, but Dallas held onto a 66-61 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
San Antonio scored the first eight points of the quarter to take the lead for the first time since the first quarter (69-66), but a three from newly engaged Diggins tied things back up at 69. Eight of the Wings next 10 points came from the free-throw line.
With two minutes to go, it was a two-point game.
After exchanging buckets back and forth, a Jayne Appel-Marinelli jump shot tied the game at 83 with 14.5 seconds left. Pierson's shot attempts fell short for the Wings, and this game headed to overtime.
On missing the game-winner in regulation, Pierson said, "I definitely was very upset that I did not make that last shot, but you know, things happen. We went into overtime, and we're a great team in overtime."
The Wings jumped out to a quick 89-83 lead to start the first overtime, which forced San Antonio to take a timeout. The Stars kept things close through the entire overtime period, but Dallas always had an answer.
Although they gave up an 18-point lead to reach overtime, they never relinquished their overtime lead and would take the game 97-90 behind Pierson's six overtime points, and game-high 21 total points. Diggins and Sims both finished with 19 for Dallas. The Wings improved to 6-0 when leading after three-quarters.
Head Coach Fred Williams was not pleased with blowing an 18-point lead, but was satisfied with the outcome.
"At the end, we made some big plays defensively and made some key shots all the way around from all of our players," said Williams. "We have to build on this game and learn from this game how to finish out in regulation."
Dallas looks to cap off their three-game homestand and extend their four-game win streak on Saturday against the Indiana Fever. The Stars look to snap their three-game skid at home on Saturday against the Atlanta Dream.