AT&T Center – The frustration on the face of San Antonio Stars head coach Dan Hughes was obvious. Just when it seemed his team was starting to play well, they came out flat against the last place team in the Eastern Conference.
Kayla McBride scored a game-high 27 points, but it was not enough for the silver and black as the Stars suffered a 89-79 loss to the Connecticut Sun in front of 8,816 fans inside the AT&T Center on Friday night.
Danielle Adams had 15 points and Danielle Robinson added 10 for San Antonio, who fell to 6-8 at home.
San Antonio allowed Connecticut to score 40 of their 89 points in the paint, compared to the Stars’ 26. The Stars also struggled defensively as the Sun shot 53 percent from the field for the game.
“You can look at the shooting percentage and get a feel for this basketball team,” Hughes said. “We can do other things well, but when a team is going to shoot at 50 percent we are not going to find success.”
Rookie Chiney Ogwumike had 24 points and 12 rebounds, while Alex Bentley and Alyssa Thomas each finished with 18 for Connecticut (11-17), who moved a game behind New York for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
”Our backs are against the wall,” Connecticut head coach Anne Donovan said. ”We’re trying to get into the postseason. I was pleased at how we came out in the first quarter. It just showed the sense of urgency that we sometimes lack this season.”
The Stars struggled offensively all game long, shooting just 32 percent in the first quarter. Connecticut took a 13-point lead into the locker room at halftime and would lead by as many as 20 in the second half before another late rally by the Stars.
Back-to-back three-pointers from Becky Hammon and Danielle Adams cut the Sun lead to 78-69 with 2:46 to play. A minute later McBride completed a three-point play to cut the deficit to 79-74, but that’s as close as San Antonio would get.
“It’s all about our mindset at this point,” Robinson said. “We need to be playing consistent basketball to hopefully clinch a spot in the playoffs and carry that play into the postseason.”
San Antonio remains a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks (12-15) for third place in the Western Conference and their ‘magic number’ to clinch a playoff berth still remains at three games.
The Stars are now 13-15 on the season and will return to the court on Sunday night when they travel to Seattle to face Sue Bird and the Storm at 8 p.m. inside KeyArena.