Shenise Johnson shoots a layup over Tina Charles
Photo courtesy of Jessica Hill, AP
UNCASVILLE – July 14, 2013
The San Antonio Silver Stars were looking to redeem themselves after a home loss to the Mystics. The Connecticut Sun were also looking to do the same after losing their last two games. In a game in which both teams were at the bottom of their conferences, the Connecticut Sun came out on top with an 86 – 84 victory. Tina Charles, the reigning MVP finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Allison Hightower finished with a career high 23 points. The game featured both teams making key plays, one right after another and neither team was able to pull away until the end of the game. It however, didn’t begin that way. San Antonio was able to start off the game with an 6-0 run, followed by a 12-0 Connecticut run. The Sun were able to outscore the Stars 26-11, but the Silver Stars fought back with baskets from Jia Perkins and were only down 2 at half 34-32. In the third quarter, after the Sun scored, the Silver Stars came back and were able to regain the lead from scoring from Shameka Christon who had 5 points in the third. Yet, the Sun came back and was tied at 57 all heading into the 4th Q. In the fourth quarter, the Silver Stars relied on a balanced attack and after leading briefly in the fourth quarter, the Sun were able to hold the Stars off thanks to timely baskets from Allison Hightower and Tina Charles. The Stars had an opportunity to tie the game with 9 seconds left but Jia Perkins missed a long two at the buzzer. The Silver Stars drop to 4-10 on the season and CONN improves to 4-9. The Silver Stars will now head into Washington to face the Mystics on Tuesday.
GAME NOTES + OBSERVATIONS
- That was FUN. That is what basketball games should be like more often. Two teams battling one another, shot for shot, not knowing who will come out on top. The Silver Stars might not have many games like these this season, so enjoy them while you still can.
- The Silver Stars were never really able to get over the hump. Every time they tried to, the Sun would come back. Or they would have a turnover. etc.
- Allison Hightower is an impressive guard. I was going to write in my pre game preview about defending her as well, but since she had struggled a bit, I thought it was better to leave it alone. Clearly, that was a mistake on my part. She had a career high 23 points and scored when the Sun needed it the most.
- Tina Charles had 20 points and 10 rebounds in a night where except the first quarter and the last minutes of the 4th, she was relatively quiet. For the most part, Jayne Appel did a good job, as well as some good double + triple teams.
- The Silver Stars out rebounded the Sun 36-35. In a season in which they are dead last in the league, it’s a good sign to see it.
- SIX players were in double figures. A balanced scoring attack gives the Silver Stars a shot to win as it did in this game and they will need more of it if they want to win more games this season.
- The CONN Sun crowd was really into the game. It’s a better atmosphere when that happens and gives the game being played some life.
The San Antonio Silver Stars are on the road as they face the worst team in the Eastern Conference in the Connecticut Sun. The Silver Stars will try to rebound after their loss against the Washington Mystics. The Connecticut Sun will try to snap their two game losing streak. This is the 1st of 2 game series between the two teams. They will face off again next Saturday in San Antonio. Let’s not kid ourselves. This is two really bad teams playing against one another. Which ever team has a good rhythm going and has players step up, will win this game.
Projected Starting Lineups for the Silver Stars
PG – Danielle Robinson
SG – Jia Perkins
SF – Shenise Johnson
PF – Delisha Milton Jones
C – Jayne Appel
Projected Starting Lineups for the Connecticut Sun
G – Allison Hightower
G – Iziane Castro Marques
F – Kalana Greene
F – Kelsey Griffin
C – Tina Charles
THREE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Defend the MVP. Tina Charles just had a great game last game against the Chicago Sky in which she was playing against another top 5 center in Sylvia Fowles. She had 29 points and 6 rebounds. On the season, she averages 19.5 points and 10 rebounds. Jayne Appel has defended her well in the past, even while both were in college. Jayne will need to do an even better job to keep Tina from scoring.
2. Get to the FT line. The Silver Stars struggled to get to the FT line and it hurt them dearly in a 9 point loss to the Mystics. If they can get the Sun in foul trouble, and be aggressive, they can win this game easily.
3. Balanced attack. The Stars need to have a balanced attack scoring wise if they want to steal a road game. They need consistent scoring from someone else other than Danielle Adams off the bench.
The Silver Stars game will be broadcast on Live Access and will tip off at 5 pm EST.
Cathrine Kraayeveld in her first game with the San Antonio Silver Stars.
Photo c/o of sasilverstars.com
That was interesting… to say the least. The Silver Stars lost their 4th home game of the season to the Mystics in front of their biggest crowd this season at the AT&T Center.11,268 were on hand to watch the Silver Stars battle the Mystics but the Stars just did not have enough to pull out the win. The Silver Stars were led by Jia Perkins season high 22 points. The Mystics had balanced scoring and were led by Crystal Langhorne who scored 14 points and 7 rebounds.
San Antonio – July 12, 2013
The San Antonio Silver Stars had just won on the road and were looking to make it a win streak. The Mystics didn’t make all the right plays and were coming off a tough loss at Chicago. The Silver Stars also signed a new player in Cathrine Kraayeveld as part of the hardship rule. The Stars started off slowly and the Mystics were able to grab a 4 point lead at the end of the 1st quarter. The Mystics were able to seperate themselves from the Silver Stars due to the play of Crystal Langhorne who had 12 points by half time. The Silver Stars also got in foul trouble resulting in free throws for the Mystics. The Mystics lead by 13 at the half. In the third quarter, the Silver Stars got back on track by forcing turnovers and shooting the ball better. Jia Perkins was able to get her shot going and the Silver Stars were only down 2 going into the fourth quarter. In the final quarter, the Silver Stars struggled mightily and could not score enough to pull out the win. The Mystics had their bench eventually give them the win. The final score was WASH 83 SA 73. The Mystics were able to win against SA for the first time since 2010. The Silver Stars now drop to 4-9 on the season and the Mystics improve to 7-7. The Silver Stars now head into CONN on Sunday to take on Tina Charles and the Connecticut Sun.
- Nice to see a big full crowd at the AT&T Center. Hopefully, this gets better as the season goes along when more marquee match ups will be played.
- I picked the Silver Stars to win this game, believe it or not. Clearly, I underestimated the Mystics and their solid bench play.
- Jayne Appel struggled due to foul trouble. She wasn’t aggressive and wasn’t looking to shoot at all. She only took 1 attempt. As I have stated, Jayne Appel is the Silver Stars important player. When she plays well, the Stars benefit.
- The Silver Stars were out rebounded really badly. The Mystics grabbed 44 rebounds, SASS 25
- The Silver Stars at time, took bad shots or ill advised shots. They also missed some easy layups and layups in traffic as well.
- I’m impressed with WASH’s Tierra Ruffin Pratt. She played really well and was aggressive all night. She finished with 10 points.
- SASS had trouble getting to the line tonight as they only went there 13 times. WASH went to the line THIRTY THREE times. There were some bad fouls on SASS’s part, and yes some of the fouls called on SASS were not fouls at all, but the Mystics attacked the basket and SA paid for it dearly.
- This to me, was a disappointing loss. After grabbing a great win against Phoenix, to lose against the Mystics at home was kind of underwhelming. I know WAS plays better and are better than SA this season, but I really thought that they were going to be better than they previously were.
- SA’s next game is at CONN. Both teams are bad this season, so not much else to say.
The San Antonio Silver Stars are back in action tonight as they face the Washington Mystics at home. The Silver Stars are 2-3 at home and are looking to build off from their win against Phoenix. The Mystics are coming off a loss at on the road to the Chicago Sky and will be anxious to steal a road win. This is the 1st of 2 meetings between the two teams and they will meet again on July 16 at Washington. The Silver Stars last loss to the Mystics was in 2010.
The official game day preview. Click here to read more.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Contain Ivory Latta – Ivory Latta is one of Washington’s and the WNBA’s best overall guards, and when she plays well, the Mystics are able to feed off it and win the game. Danielle Robinson will need to play aggressively, and defend her well in order for the Stars to win the game.
2. Get an inside outside game going – This worked previously in the Phoenix game. The Silver Stars were able to get inside, and if they couldn’t get a good shot which was rare, they then took shots from outside. I think this game plan best suits the Silver Stars as they have two capable centers of being able to provide it.
3. Continue to get balanced scoring – Last game, they were able to get a balanced scoring attack from all of the starters and Danielle Adams. They will need to do that in this game in order to be more effective, thus making winning the game a lot easier.
WHO WILL WIN?
The Silver Stars will win this game because despite their record, they have played much better at home this season than on the road. The Mystics are 2-5 on the road and are inconsistent at best. This game will be a close game, with the Silver Stars winning by 3.
The San Antonio Silver Stars are back on track. For just the fourth time this season, they won. SIX San Antonio players were in double figures and the Silver Stars stole a win from the Phoenix Mercury. Danielle Adams was the team’s high scorer of the afternoon game with 19 points. Jayne Appel had a career night with 13 points (a new career high) and 8 rebounds.
The Silver Stars were ready and poised to play this game. The Phoenix Mercury, on the other hand were not. They were already missing Brittney Griner who did not play because of a knee sprain and Lynetta Kizer who was a game time decision. The Stars were able to avoid having Griner in the game and therefore they were able to score in the paint at will. One of the keys in my game preview for this matchup was to defend Brittney as best as they could. Without her presence, the Silver Stars benefited and the Mercury didn’t.
The Silver Stars matched the Phoenix Mercury point by point in the first quarter. Neither team was defending, and the Silver Stars were playing how the Mercury play — run, shoot, and get out on the open floor. They were able to find each other with good passes and took good shots. The Silver Stars were able to stay close with the Mercury until the Silver Stars were able to open up their lead at 83-75 to win the game by a final score of 88-80. Diana Taurasi also fouled out of the game with THREE fouls in the fourth quarter. Diana was able to score at ease in the first half and slowed down in the second half. The Silver Stars also got contributions from Delisha Milton Jones who finished with 16 points.
This was a good win for the Silver Stars. There is no doubt. I’m beginning to think Jayne Appel is the Silver Stars most important player on the floor. She’s the Silver Stars best interior defender, she’s a good passer and a good rebounder. When she plays, the Silver Stars play better defense, overall the offence is crisper, and the Stars often have a good shot of winning the basketball game.
The Silver Stars next game is at home against the much improved Washington Mystics on Friday, June 12.
Blogger’s Note – Back at it! I’ve been away for the last two weeks due to religious conferences in both Canada and the USA, and so therefore I couldn’t really keep up with the Silver Stars that much. In that span, the Silver Stars lost in two blowout games, one to Atlanta on the road, and one to the Los Angeles Sparks. They also lost Becky Hammon for the entire season due to an ACL tear. I will update all of my blog posts soon, in which I will cover the games against Atlanta and LA, and also will have a blog post shortly on what losing Becky Hammon means for the Silver Stars.
GAME DAY PREVIEW
The San Antonio Silver Stars head into Phoenix with much uncertainty of how to play their remaining games without their two best players. They will find out as they take on the Mercury on camp day. The Silver Stars have lost their last 3 games, and will need everyone to provide a scoring boost if they wish to contain one of the explosive offensive teams in the league. Lead by Diana Taurasi, the team also features the steady veteran Candice Dupree, the improved Dewanna Bonner, the rookie Brittney Griner who had a great game against the Silver Stars and scored a career high 26 points. The Mercury also got back one of their best players in Penny Taylor who did not play last game.
KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Defend Brittney Griner – With Jayne Appel back in the starting lineup, this won’t be as much of an issue for the Silver Stars. Yet, they will need Jayne to stay out of foul trouble and to make sure Brittney Griner stays as far as she possibly can from the rim.
2. Score. The last two games the Silver Stars have played, they’ve only scored 66 points. It’s hard to win games when you only score by that much. Especially in a league in which it is possible to score around the 90-100 point mark in 40 minutes.
3. Keep the game close – The Silver Stars need to keep the game close. They haven’t been able to do that in their previous two games. If they can do it, they give themselves a great shot of stealing a road game.
WHO WILL WIN?
Since this is a day time matinee game, I don’t have a clue as to will win this game. Some teams come out fresh in the early games, some come out looking sluggish. It will all depend on which team shows up to play.