Silver Stars-Liberty preview: San Antonio to raise Western Conference Championship banner before home opener
San Antonio Silver Stars (0-1) vs. New York Liberty (0-2)
Saturday, June 13, 7 p.m. CST, AT&T Center
TV: KMYS Radio: KTKR 760 AM, MSG
The San Antonio Silver Stars kick off their home opener celebrating their first Western Conference Championship. Last season the team finished with a league and franchise best 24-10 record.
After the banner is raised celebrating 2008, the Silver Stars take on the New York Liberty. Both teams are looking to gain their first win.
The Liberty is winless at San Antonio since 2006. The Silver Stars have won 14 consecutive regular-season games against Eastern Conference teams.
The Liberty traded guard Becky Hammon to the Silver Stars in 2007 for the number two pick in the WNBA draft. Last year the Silver Stars swept the series (2-0) with Hammon putting up big numbers each meeting, scoring 27 points in a July 2008 matchup and 30 in a post-Olympic game.
Another Silver Stars standout and former Liberty player Vickie Johnson announced her retirement this week. The 2009 season is her last. She is one of only three players in the WNBA that has played every season since the leagueâ€™s inception. Tina Thompson and Tamecka Dixon are the other two players who have played in every season since the leagueâ€™s inception in 1997.
Johnson spent her first nine years in the WNBA playing for New York. She appears on the franchiseâ€™s all-time leader board in eight categories including the most games played by a Liberty player, 282 total. She is also the WNBA all-time leader in games (379) and minutes played (11,719).
Both teams are currently in the bottom half of the WNBA Power Rankings released this week. San Antonio is at nine while New York is ranked eleven. San Antonio is expected to jump in the rankings once Belgian center Ann Wauters joins the team midway through the season.
Injuries have weakened New York with Loree Moore recovering from a hamstring injury. Forward Shameka Christon suffered an ankle injury during the teamâ€™s home opener. She did not play Wednesday when the Liberty faced the Phoenix Mercury.
The San Antonio-New YorkÂ series wraps up June 19 at Madison Square Garden.
Silver Star-Liberty Connections
- Edwige Lawson-Wade played her first two career games with the Liberty in 2005 before being moved to Houston early in the season.
- Liberty center Janel McCarville plays alongside Becky Hammon, Edwige Lawson-Wade, and Ann Wauters for CSKA Moscow in the Russian Super League and EuroLeague.
- Shanna Crossley played with Loree Moore at Tennessee from 2002-05, as well as with Sidney Spencer from 2003-05.
New York: Leilani Mitchell, Essence Carson, Cathrine Kraayeveld, Shameka Christon, Janel McCarville
San Antonio: Vickie Johnson, Becky Hammon, Erin Perperoglou, Sophia Young, Ruth Riley
New York Notes
Jessica Davenport was the No. 2 pick of the Liberty from the Hammon trade. The 6-5 center was cut from the roster last weekâ€¦.The average age of the Liberty is 24.6. Cathrine Kraayeveld is the oldest at 27 and Kia Vaughn is the youngest at 22. It is the second youngest roster in the league behind Minnesotaâ€¦.Janel McCarville hit the first three-pointer of her career June 7, 2009 during the Libertyâ€™s home opener against the Connecticut Sun. The Sun won 66-57. The Liberty dropped 3-10 in season openersâ€¦.Essence Carson led the team with 18 points and Loree Moore added 13 off the bench in the Libertyâ€™s last game, a loss in Phoenix.
San Antonio Notes
In San Antonioâ€™s first game of the season, a loss to the Phoenix Mercury, Sophia Young made her first career three-pointer in the second quarter. She finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Ruth Riley added 12 points and collected 13 rebounds. Becky Hammon finished with 20 pointsâ€¦.Two of the Silver Stars got married during the off-season. Katie (Feenstra) Mattera, who played for the Silver Stars in 2005-06 before being traded prior to the 2007 season, married Todd Mattera. She signed as a free-agent on May 11, 2009. Erin (Buescher) Perperoglou married Grecian basketball player Stratos Perperoglou. Stratos was a member of the European champion Panathinaikos in Greeceâ€¦.Shanna Crossley is back after missing all of the 2008 season with a torn ACL.
Nationally Televised Games
Tuesday, June 23, 6:30 p.m., vs. Phoenix, ESPN2
Saturday, August 29, 2:00 p.m., vs. Detroit, ESPN2
San Antonio Roster
|30||Helen Darling||G||5-6||Penn State||8|
|25||Becky Hammon||G||5-6||Colorado State||10|
|55||Vickie Johnson||G-F||5-9||Louisiana Tech||12|
|7||Erin Perperoglou||F||6-3||The Master’s College||7|
|00||Ruth Riley||C||6-5||Notre Dame||8|