San Antonio halts losing streak with 60-52 victory over Connecticut
SAN ANTONIO – With a dominant second half performance, the San Antonio Silver Stars (5-12) halted a four-game losing skid with a 60-52 victory over the Connecticut Sun (4-11) Saturday night in front of 8, 375 fans at the AT&T Center.
The Silver Stars faithful who showed up two nights in a row, first to see their team suffer defeat from the Western Conference leading Minnesota Lynx, were rewarded with a postgame speech from head coach Dan Hughes who thanked them for sticking with the team during their “rough road” of losses with the worst record in the league before the victory.
The Silver Stars dominated the first quarter with Danielle Adams leading the way accumulating seven points and four rebounds while teammate Jayne Appel collected seven of her game-high 18 rebounds.
“The win was very important to us,” said Adams. We just got fed up with losing. We came in with a winning mentality.” Like Hughes, she gave credit to fans who continue to support the team.
“We get our energy from our fans no matter if its 50 or 7,000 in the stands we’re still going to play our hardest.”
The Silver Stars led 20-15 going into the second quarter. Connecticut was undaunted by the deficit and managed to tie the game at 5:58 with a jump shot from Tina Charles.
The teams were back and forth for the rest of the half with five ties. With approximately a minute left, Connecticut had a two-point lead but Adams came up big for her team with a jump shot for the 35 all tie going into the break.
Things began to fall apart for Connecticut in the third quarter. A jumper from Jia Perkins, who scored 15 points, put San Antonio ahead early in the second half. The teams traded baskets again until San Antonio scored six straight points to break a 37 all tie. Before the Silver Stars broke away, Kelsey Griffin had a chance to tie it up yet again with free throws but missed both chances to score at the charity stripe. As the Sun unraveled, the Silver Stars pulled ahead to end the quarter 48-39.
In the fourth quarter, San Antonio continued their dominance. A turnaround jumper from Adams gave them their first double-digit lead, 52-41 at 7:10. The Silvers Stars earned their biggest lead, 56-42 at 5:24, after a jump shot from Shenise Johnson.
Silver Stars point guard Danielle Robinson echoed the sentiments of Adams on the significance of the win. San Antonio has one more game before the All-Star break. They host New York in a matinee on Thursday.
“It was huge,” said Robinson of the victory. “We wanted to go into the break with a little momentum and we think that gave us a good start. Our fans are great and we appreciate them.” She finished with 10 points.
Unlike Friday night when the Silver Stars looked dazed and out of sync, they clearly had direction from Robinson Saturday night.
“I have to be a leader for my team,” said Robinson about her mentality during the game. “I have to be aggressive.”
“Coach wanted us to go in and be aggressive even though we were on a back-to-back,” added Adams.
While Hughes had a lot of praise for Adams he also gave Appel credit for her rebounding.
“Jayne Appel was just outstanding rebounding-wise. Time and time again she got big rebounds for us.”
Hughes also cited the ability to play through fatigue as a factor in the victory. Connecticut was also on a back-to-back trip. They lost to Tulsa Friday night.
“They were tired, we were tired and the ball wasn’t going in the basket extremely well for either team,” said Hughes.
Connecticut head coach Anne Donovan agreed.
“I thought it was not a very good looking basketball game. Both teams look fatigued coming off of a back-to-back. We just could not put the ball in the hole. It’s very disappointing. We’ve got to have more than Tina Charles. We have to have three people in double figures at minimum.”
Charles finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, the only Sun player in double figures. The Sun stay on the road with a game at Atlanta on Wednesday.
- Fourteen-year veteran DeLisha Milton-Jones did not play. She suffered a right knee injury in the game vs. Minnesota during the second half and was on crutches Saturday night.
- The Sun had no players on the injured list but Kara Lawson did not play. She has missed five games this season, four due to a bruised knee and one because of a sore back.