Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas
Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas
On the night George Straight performed his last concert in the Alamo City, the San Antonio Silver Stars stole show.
The Silver Stars defeated Candace Parker and the Los Angeles Sparks 83 – 78 on Saturday, June 1, in what could be considered a good ole fashion Wild West shootout.
“We were a better basketball team today. A lot of people contributed,” said Silver Stars Head Coach Dan Hughes.
Becky Hammond missed her second straight game of the season with a broken middle finger that she sustained during training camp. It was the Silver Stars backcourt of Shenise Johnson and Danielle Robinson who filled in for the injured star by combining for 37 of the team’s 83 points; Johnson scored 19 points while Robinson chipped in 18 points.
“I thought Shenise Johnson was really good today. It’s fun watching her progress as a player,” said Coach Hughes, who also praised Robinson’s efforts. “I thought Danielle Robinson, down the stretch, is who we played through. She’s growing by leaps-and-bounds.”
Silver Stars guard Jia Perkins scored the Stars’ first nine points as the team exploded to an early 9 – 2 lead. The Sparks were able to counter with guard Lindsey Harding’s 3-pointer during a Sparks’ 7 – 0 run late in the first quarter, which gave Los Angeles a 13-12 lead to end the first quarter.
“They did come out strong and we needed to come out stronger,” said Sparks guard Harding.
Candace Parker kept the Los Angele Sparks in contention throughout the first half. She scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and blocked three shots – all of which came with only 10 minutes of play in the first two quarters.
“Candace Parker is a hand full. I mean 27 (points) and 20 (rebounds). At least in that regard we made her take 22 shots. She’s just a hard guard in situations,” said Coach Hughes.
As the second half began, five different Silver Stars scored, and the Stars went on a 12-0 run that led San Antonio to take a 57-52 lead.
“We were scoring, but so were they,” said Los Angeles Sparks Head Coach Carol Ross. “The tone was set in a negative way on the defensive end, and we were just in a fight and in scramble mode pretty much throughout the game.”
The Sparks were on a four-minute scoreless streak until Harding made a layup that exploded into a 13-0 scoring run for the Sparks that cut the Silver Stars lead to 57-55.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Sparks pulled ahead of the Stars 80-78, but it was Robinson who made all four free throws down-the-stretch to seal the victory for the Silver Stars. Robinson’s makes redeemed her from the two missed free throws prior to the game clinching ones. Instead of benching her, Coach Hughes had enough confidence in his third year guard to perform well in the clutch situation.
“You’ve got to be able to handle pressure, you’ve got to take it and enjoy it, and that’s what I did tonight,” said Robinson.
This victory marks the first win of the season for the Silver Stars as they are currently 1-1 overall.
The Silver Stars will host the WNBA’s 2013 second overall pick Elena Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky. The Sky is currently on a three-game winning streak, and the Silver Stars will look to snap it on June 7 in the AT&T Center. Tip-off is schedule for 7 p.m.