Freeman Coliseum – The San Antonio Stars have not had a complete team all season. Injuries and suspensions have kept head coach Dan Hughes from forming his team they way he wants and it was the inconsistent play that led to their latest defeat.
Jia Perkins had 24 points, but a poor second half hurt the Stars as they fell 80-78 to the Los Angeles Sparks in front of 5,416 fans at Freeman Coliseum on Sunday afternoon.
Kayla McBride added 17 points and Danielle Robinson chipped in 12 for San Antonio, who remain ahead of Los Angeles for the final playoff berth by a 1/2 game.
“I think it was a tale of two halves,” Stars head coach Dan Hughes said. “I thought the first half we did a lot of things we wanted to do, and I think in the second half we did but not consistently. When you add in (Candace) Parker to that group, it’s a very talented group. One that you need two halves to beat.”
Los Angeles outscored San Antonio 42-29 in the second half, including 21-11 in the third quarter to cut the Stars lead to one point going into the final quarter.
The Sparks were led by Jantel Lavender’s 20 points. Candace Parker finished with 17 points, 11 rebounds and Alana Beard added 15 points for Los Angeles (5-14), who broke their losing streak in San Antonio.
“Well we gave up 49 points in the first half so we knew we weren’t going to win if we played like that in the second,” Parker said. “The key to winning the game was in the third quarter when we gave up 10. That was huge, that’s what Coach Agler is trying to instill, is that mentality, that fight, and we had it tonight. We’re tired, this has been a long road trip and it’s not going to get easier from here, but we just fought.”
Los Angeles went on a 9-0 run to take a 78-71 lead with 3:12 remaining. A controversial call near the end of the game saw the officials award the ball to the Sparks without a review. Parker would hit the game-winner seconds later.
“It was reviewable,” Hughes said. “That’s why I wanted them to review it, if they have time to huddle and talk about it. Why not take a look?”
The Stars are now 6-14 on the season and will return to the court on Tuesday at 6 p.m. when they travel to Connecticut to take on the Sun at 6 p.m.