San Antonio, TX — It was highly predicted – and expected -- that the Stars, who are the worst team in the WNBA, would stand no chance against the number one-ranked Lynx when they went head-to-head on Sunday afternoon. But, in an exciting and unpredictable game, despite losing, the Stars held their own tonight, mostly in part to their rookie superstar Moriah Jefferson.
It is often easy to talk about the winning team, and how much they thrived throughout their win, especially when the winning team has Maya Moore, who garnered her second double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds, along with Seimone Augustus, who put up 20 points.
However, the biggest shock of the night to many, was how the Stars kept it together and stayed extremely close to the Lynx -- the entire game, eventually even tying the score after an 11-0 run late in the fourth quarter.
Small, but full of fury, Jefferson showed everyone why she deserves to be wearing the word “Star” across her chest – because she is one.
Putting up 26 points and eight assists, she dominated everywhere on the court – offense and defense – and despite her team not coming out with the win, she owned the game from start to finish more than any other player on both teams.
Taking advantage of the Lynx’s early first quarter defensive breakdowns, Jefferson shimmied her way into the paint for easy buckets. Although the Lynx clearly (on paper) should have been ahead by now, Jefferson’s aggressive ferocity kept the score close at 17-15 with a little over a minute left.
Jefferson had seven of those 17 points in the first quarter.
Although a stunning long buzzer-beater by Moore capped the first quarter and seemed to be a game-changer, Jefferson disagreed and opted to not let that change a thing for her teammates.
Down by seven points, she carried the Stars on her back, working diligently by assisting on offense (she had five assists in the first half) and by scoring -- 15 points to round out the first half -- enough to keep her team close with the Lynx entering quarter three at 41-39.
Once the third quarter rolled around, Jefferson’s star continued to twinkle, as she followed up her first half performance with multiple buckets that counter-attacked the Lynx, even as they began to break away and expand their lead to six.
With Monique Currie by her side scoring 18 points, Jefferson crossed the 20-point scoring mark in the third quarter of the game, the fourth time she has done so this season.
The Stars continued to fight, staying close with the Lynx and a deep three-pointer by Jefferson brought the score closer and closer, 67-62, and launched the Stars into an 11-0 run.
But the 5-foot-6 rookie wasn’t done yet, Jefferson then unleashed again, scoring to give her team their first lead of the game at 73-71, and although it was not enough to pull out a win against the Lynx who won 81-76 mostly due to late-game free throws, Jefferson’s performance should not go unnoticed.
She was the standout star of the game – literally. Jefferson was the player that made a last-place team look very dangerous going forward.