AT&T Center – Two days off came at the right time for the San Antonio Stars. After losing their legs on Saturday against Indiana, the team returned to the court Tuesday, decked out in pink uniforms and playing on a pink court to support Breast Health Awareness and never missed a beat.
Kayla McBride scored 16 points as the Stars cruised to a 92-74 win over the Chicago Sky in front of 8,986 fans inside the AT&T Center.
Danielle Adams finished with 14 points, Sophia Young-Malcolm added 12 points, and Shenise Johnson chipped in 11 for San Antonio, who snapped their two-game losing streak and improved to 6-7 at home. Jia Perkins returned after missing 12 games with a hamstring injury and scored 12 points off the bench.
“I thought our activity level, especially defensively helped us get momentum,” Stars head coach Dan Hughes said. “I thought the ball movement was exceptional because we can spread the floor, especially with Perkins back. When the ball moves it’s amazing what we can do.”
San Antonio finished the game with 27 assists while shooting 51 percent from the field.
Epiphanny Prince finished with 23 points, Jamierra Faulkner added 19 and Sylvia Fowles scored 14 for Chicago (10-16), who lost their second straight game and moved 1 1/2 games behind New York for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference.
”We’ve been talking about stepping up for a long time, probably eight games ago,” Chicago head coach Pokey Chatman said. ”It’s easy to read who’s not here and the focus needs to be on who’s here. We’ve not had people here all year, that’s just part of it. It’s part of any sport, so I just make sure we kept top of mind that if we do the dirt work – defend, rebound, get the 50/50 ball – you give yourself an opportunity and that’s what we didn’t do.”
Chicago was without both Elena Delle Donne and Courtney Vandersloot, but Prince filled in nicely as she posted 16 first quarter points, but only had seven the rest of the game.
The theme of ‘Pink Week’ made the win that much sweeter for the Stars, who will spend the rest of the week raising awareness for Breast Cancer.
“It’s playing for something bigger than yourself,” McBride said. “Playing on a pink court and having cancer survivors in the stands just shows that what we do is bigger than basketball.”
During a TV timeout, Hughes took time to wish Atlanta head coach Michael Cooper well as he battles tongue cancer and also said the week holds a special place in his heart.
“I’ve known Michael a long time, coached against him and I know he will do great,” Hughes said. It just makes you appreciate the cause we are playing for when we put those pink jerseys on.”
The win, combined with Phoenix’s win over Los Angeles pushed San Antonio one game ahead of the Sparks for third place in Western Conference. The Stars ‘magic number’ to clinch a playoff berth was also reduced to just five games.
The Stars are now 13-14 on the season and will return to the court on Friday night when they welcome Katie Douglas and the Connecticut Sun to the AT&T Center at 7 p.m.