Silver Stars lose season opener to defending WNBA champions Indiana Fever

Dsc 0339

Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas/The Paisano

The San Antonio Silver Stars began the 2013 WNBA season without its two best players – guard Becky Hammond (broken middle finger) and forward Sophia Young (torn ACL). As a result, the Indiana Fever, reigning 2012 WNBA champions, beat the Silver Stars convincingly 79-64 on May 24 at the AT&T Center.

“Well, it’s the first game, but I think you learn something in every game…I hope we learned something. To me, there are things that show we’re a bit of a work in progress. Win or lose, there was a lot we were going to learn,” said Silver Stars Head Coach Dan Hughes.

With the Silver Stars not being able to rely on Hammond defending the perimeter nor Young being able to defend the low post, Indiana forward Tamika Catchings, guard Katie Douglas, and guard Shavonte Zellous capitalized on the offensive end. Catchings and Zellous both led the Fever in scoring with 19 points apiece while Douglas scored 18 points of her own.

“We gave up too many lay-ups,” said Hughes. “I think points in the paint were the big story of the game. A lot of it was also dribble penetration…we just didn’t do a good job of containing the basketball.”

The Silver Stars scored the first 10 points of the game but couldn’t make any shots shortly after that. San Antonio was held to a low 31.2 percent from the field and 26.3 percent from the 3-point arch. One reason for the poor shooting is that the Silver Stars were without Hammond and Young – the team’s two leading scorers.

During a preseason practice, Hammond suffered a broken middle finger. She’s expected to be sidelined for a month. As for Young, Sophia tore her ACL while playing professional basketball overseas; she’s expected to miss the entire 2013 WNBA season.

And though the Silver Stars struggled offensively, Silver Stars’ guard Denise Johnson is more concerned with the team’s defensive identity.

“I think we’re still finding our identity. I don’t think we know who we are yet,” said Johnson. “Traditionally, we are a defensive team, and we didn’t showcase that tonight. But, I can promise you in the games to come we’re going to be a better defensive team.”

Johnson and the Silver Stars will get that opportunity when Candice Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks visit the AT&T Center on Saturday, June 1. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m.