Stars lose fifth in a row, match worst start in franchise history.
The San Antonio Stars need to overcome one problem if they want to start winning games this season: they need to start playing as a team.
Seimone Augustus scored 18 points to help secure a 74 - 59 victory for the Minnesota Lynx (5 -1) against the San Antonio Stars (0 – 5) on Friday night in the Freeman Coliseum.
Minnesota scored eight straight points to end the first half and to begin the second. Closing out the third quarter, Lindsay Whalen made a buzzer beater that extended the Lynx’s lead to 15 points. The Stars never came within single digits of the lead for the remainder of the game.
“We are a work in progress,” Stars Head Coach Dan Hughes said. “We have to accept where we are and try to right the ship. We’ve got some new elements, and we have to have a resilience to understand we are going to have to keep battling until it becomes a confident part of what we are doing; right now is not a confident part.”
Augustus, who finished the game shooting 9-of-12 from the field, received plenty of help from teammates Maya Moore (14 points), Rebekkah Brunson (12 points) and Asjha Jones (12 points). Brunson and Jones also contributed defensively, combining for eight blocks.
The Lynx shot 31 of 56 for 55.4% from the field and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line for an astonishing 90.9%.
Despite shooting a high percentage from the field, the Lynx’s defensive effort is what prevented the Stars from narrowing the double-digit deficit.
“I thought our defense was really good,” Lynx Head Coach Cheryl Reeve said. “That’s what I was most pleased with.”
“I thought San Antonio played well, particularly on the defensive side, even though we shot a high percentage,” Reeve said. “They made everything hard for us. I thought we were fairly efficient on offense, but we turned it over way too much.”
With the loss, the Stars have matched their worst start since the 2005 season.
“We talked about it, that they have to understand that it’s about a process, not results right now,” Hughes said after the game. “It’s not easy right now. I think the challenges are real. We’ve talked a lot about handling adversity.”
Minnesota has defeated the Stars 10 out of their last 11 meetings. The last time the Stars defeated Minnesota was last season in Becky Hammon’s final home game before she accepted a full-time assistant coaching position with the San Antonio Spurs.
San Antonio plays the Chicago Sky (2-3) on Saturday in the Freeman Coliseum. The Sky’s are looking to snap their own losing streak, after falling to the Atlanta Dream in a close 74-73 loss.