Seattle, WA — The Olympic break is much needed for the San Antonio Stars in their final game before the month-long Olympic break, as San Antonio got caught in Seattle's storm, trailing 14 points (83-69) in Wednesday's afternoon game at KeyArena.
Stars head coach Dan Hughes commented, "For us, we need a little restart. We're a young team with an average age of about 26. We'll take that period to kind of evolve us a little bit in ways you don't normally get."
Could it be a curse that San Antonio is zero for five in wins since leading scorer Kayla McBride had a season-ending injury in early July? The Stars (5-18) have the fewest wins in the WNBA, extending their losing streak to five games, as they sit in last in WNBA scoring.
Nonetheless, the pressure was on for Seattle, as they remain in 10th in the overall league standings, as the top eight teams qualify for the postseason, regardless of conference. The first quarter was crucial for Seattle to set the tone in order to build momentum, in order to advance into a playoff position.
The flame was ignited, as the Storms' Jewel Loyd drained a three-pointer. Loyd outscored the field in the first quarter with 13 points and eight rebounds. With few turnovers and fouls, Seattle had an eight-point advantage heading into the second quarter, 29-21.
After a smooth first quarter, the second turned into a slop fest, as the Storm lost their electricity and momentum. San Antonio outscored the Storm 12 to 7, as both teams scored a combined 19 points. Despite Seattle scoring a season low of seven points in 10 minutes, the Storm was impressively able to sustain a three-point lead, 36-33.
But the real question after the first half... Where are the UConn players? No. 1 draft pick Breanna Stewart had just five points and two rebounds, as No. 2 pick and former college teammate, Moriah Jefferson, lead her team with 14 points.
Both teams snapped back into action offensively in the third quarter. Stewart and Loyd led the team, as Seattle shot 49 percent from the field and outscored the Stars 24 to 18. Stewart came in hot with a three-point shot in the first minute, adding eight points to the board concluding the third, as the Storm ended with their highest lead of the game with nine points, 60-51.
The fourth quarter shaped up to be a duel between former UConn players, as Stars Moriah Jefferson fought until the last seconds, but ultimately could not carry her team to a victory, losing, 83-69.
Jefferson scored in double digits with 25 points and five rebounds. Alex Montgomery and Monique Currie were the only other San Antonio players to score double digits, with a combined 23-points, but Storm's Loyd and Stewart stole the show with a combined 47 points.
For the ninth time this year, Loyd scored in double digits with 25 points, shooting 11-of-17, as Crystal Langhorne had a season-high of 10 rebounds.
Head coach Dan Hughes commented on Jefferson's game: "She's been a real joy to watch evolve. And because of our situation with losing (Kayla) McBride, we have to ask her to score. So not only is she facilitating, she's becoming a basketball player that also takes on some of the scoring load."
"The fact that throughout the whole game there were ups and downs but we were able to stick with it and get the win was very important - especially with it being the last one at home before the break. We want to make sure we finish things right before we go into the break," commented Stewart on the Storm's performance.
Seattle (9-14) wraps up the first half of the regular season on the road, Friday, June 22 against the defending-champions Minnesota Lynx at 7 p.m.