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Stars shoot past Liberty

Danielle Adams vs. Liberty (Photo courtesy of Tony Morano / KENS5.)
Danielle Adams vs. Liberty (Photo courtesy of Tony Morano / KENS5.)

AT&T Center— San Antonio Stars head coach Dan Hughes has always known what his team can do on the offensive end of the court, but gave credit to the defense with helping the team win four of their last five games.

Kayla McBride matched her career high with 30 points as the Stars rolled to an 80-66 win over the New York Liberty in front of 5,917 fans at the AT&T Center on Wednesday night.

San Antonio came out aggressive and scored the games first 14 points, leading New York head coach Bill Laimbeer to call an early timeout. The Liberty finally got on the scoreboard with 4:19 left in the first quarter when Tina Charles hit an 18-foot jumper.

”The real story is defensively for us right now,” Hughes said. ”What a difference it makes on this basketball team when we defend.”

Danielle Adams made her fifth straight start and finished with 16 points, while Danielle Robinson added 13 for the Stars, who improved to 4-5 at home.

Sugar Rodgers had a career-high 21 points and Cappie Pondexter added 17 for New York (7-12), who were just 2 for 11 on 3-pointers and shot 38 percent for the game.

”If we become a team that is defensive-minded, there will be enough offensive execution and ball movement to play to,” Hughes said. ”Our mindset has got to stay on the defensive end. I’ve really preached that to them and I think they’ve done a great job of trying to bring that out home or away.”

The Stars’ aggressive defensive play was seen from the opening tip as New York missed their 12 shots.

”I thought they came out with a lot of energy in the first half, in the first quarter, especially” Laimbeer said. ”We did not. We’ve been playing very hard, playing good basketball and tonight we just didn’t have it for whatever reason and they took it to us.”

With San Antonio stepping up defensively, McBride was able to spark the Stars offensively despite several hard fouls that resulted in her hitting the court.

”I think the Eastern Conference is a lot more physical than the West,” McBride said. ”It’s an adjustment, especially as a rookie. I feel small some times. It’s an adjustment. It’s hard, but I think I’m getting used to it.”

After the game, the Liberty announced they traded former Star DeLisha Milton-Jones to Atlanta for Swin Cash.

The Stars are now 11-9 on the season and will return to the court on Friday night when they welcome Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.

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Stephen Michael 26, is a journalist, social media coordinator, host, and entertainment reporter. Michael graduated in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts and earned a Master's Degree in Digital Media in 2020 from the University of the Incarnate Word. He has worked covering the San Antonio Rampage, Stars, and San Antonio Futbol Club. He was the host of the Project Spurs Roundtable on NBC affiliate News 4 San Antonio from 2015-17.


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