Moriah Jefferson said her first season in the WNBA is all about finding her confidence. The former UConn standout has struggled to get going early on, but found her footing in Indianapolis. Her performance led her time to victory and may have showed how special she may become.
Jefferson scored a career-high 31 points, including the game-winner as the San Antonio Stars defeated the Indiana Fever 87-85 in overtime for their first road win of the season.
Kayla McBride added 17 points and was the only other player in double figures for San Antonio, who rebounded after a blowout loss to Washington on Wednesday.
Jefferson played all but two minutes for San Antonio as she shot 13-of-18 from the floor. She added four rebounds, three assists and five steals.
“I think we won the game because of defense,” Jefferson said. “Our bigs did a really good job of rebounding the ball and after that the offense came. There were getting a lot of put backs on us. (We) Amped up the defense and we were already playing well on offense. I’m just so proud of my team.”
San Antonio trailed 75-65 with just over two minutes remaining in the game. The Stars would close the game on an 11-1 run to force overtime.
“We certainly didn’t need where they separated from us early, and they got ahead but it was not more than a possession,” Stars coach Dan Hughes said. “And then we got the lead a little bit and that makes it a different situation. I just thought we were efficient. I thought (Monique) Currie’s three was big. I thought again Moriah Jefferson…we were able to play through her in some ways and she facilitated well.”
The Fever were led by Erlang Larkins’ 16 points. Former Star Shenise Johnson added 14 points and Tamika Catchings chipped in 12 for Indiana (7-10), who have not won in overtime this season.
“I am pretty disappointed, obviously,” Fever coach Stephanie White said. “We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage. We didn’t close out the game a number of times when we had the chance. We didn’t deserve to win. San Antonio made all the hustle plays, the outworked us and they kept fighting. We relaxed. We didn’t have any sense of urgency and we didn’t put it away like we should have.”
Up next: The Stars are now 4-12 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night when they travel to face the Minnesota Lynx inside the Target Center at 7 p.m.