clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seattle Storm get important road victory over the San Antonio Stars, 78-68.

Seattle had four players in double-figures, as they pick up a road victory against the Stars.

Sue Bird guards #2 overall pick Moriah Jefferson
Sue Bird guards #2 overall pick Moriah Jefferson
Chris Covatta via Getty Images

The Seattle Storm entered San Antonio, Texas on Friday looking to salvage their three game road trip.  The team was blown out in Atlanta.  And lost a heart breaker to New York.  But they still had an opportunity to pick up an important road win if they could beat the San Antonio Stars on Friday.  Seattle did just that, as they used an impressive balanced attack to defeat the Stars 78-68.  This gave Seattle it's third road victory of the season, which is already one more than they had last year.

Seattle jumped out to an early 8-2 lead and were up as much as nine points 18-9 in the first quarter, before the Stars would go on an 8-2 run themselves to close out the first quarter.  Seattle led 20-17 after one period of play.  Seattle was led by Crystal Langhorne with six points at that time.

Both teams had a very impressive 2nd quarter.  Both scored more in the 2nd than any other quarter.  Seattle was able to out-score San Antonio 27-21.  San Antonio actually took a two point lead 28-26 about halfway through the second quarter.  Seattle would take a quick five point lead that was then erased by Moriah Jefferson who knocked down a long range 3-pointer and scored another basket.  With just two minutes to play in the quarter, San Antonio would take their final lead of the game 38-37 on another Moriah Jefferson 3-pointer.  But Seattle would respond in a big way by ending the second quarter on a 10-0 run.  Which was highlighted by a beautifully executed two for one with 42 seconds to play.  Coach Jenny Boucek drew up a beautiful play, that allowed Kaleen Mosqueda-Lewis to cut from the top of the three point arc, then reverse back to the top of the three point arc and get a screen that freed Mosqueda-Lewis open for a wide open three point shot that she buried.  To put Seattle up 45-38.  Then Seattle was able to defend and rebound, get the ball to Stewart who drew a foul with less than one second in the quarter.  Breanna made both free throws to put Seattle up 47-38 at half-time.  It was great execution by the Storm to end the 2nd quarter.

Unfortunately, Seattle went ice cold in the third period.  It seems like that has been a trend this season.  But I suppose it's better to go cold in the third instead of the fourth quarter like they did against Atlanta; which turned a close tight game into a blowout loss.  Seattle only managed to score 11 points in the third quarter of play.  Fortunately, Seattle's defense was able to hold San Antonio to just 16 points in the third.  Seattle's defense held up well because after Breanna Stewart made a pull up jump shot on the first possession of the quarter, the Storm went scoreless for the next four and a half minutes of the quarter.  In fact, San Antonio didn't score their first basket until about four minutes into the third; so both teams struggled on offense.  Those types of lapses on offense may very well be a big reason why these two teams are currently at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.  Seattle finished the quarter up 58-54.

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis hit a late three point in the third quarter and another three pointer early in the 4th quarter to put Seattle up seven, 61-54 with 8:50 left to play in the game.  KML has been getting more minutes off the bench over the past few games.  And she has been contributing.  This is exactly what Seattle needs from her.  They need her to come off the bench and provide an offensive spark.  So that they don't have to rely on Jewell and Breanna putting up 15-20 points every single game, night in and night out.  But in order for Kaleena to be able to provide 8-12 points off the bench every night.  She's going to need playing time.  On Friday, she got nearly 17 minutes and added nine points.  On Wednesday against New York, she got 15 minutes and was able to provide ten points off the bench.

Now Kaleena still struggles on defense.  Especially fighting through screens.  However, I could only count one or two times where it actually cost the team points.  Otherwise, she did a good job of recovering and getting back to the player she was defending.  KML needs to get the minutes in order to have the confidence and experience to develop into the player the Storm will need her to be.  And it appears she's finally starting to get that opportunity.

Seattle out-scored San Antonio 20-14, led by Alysha Clark's seven points.  But all players played well in this game.  Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd also had strong 4th quarters.  Stewie finished the game leading Seattle with 21 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.  Jewell Loyd chipped in 15 points, three rebounds, and three assists.  Seattle had two more players in double figures.  Crystal Langhorne had a strong game with 12 points, eight rebounds, and five assists.  And Alysha Clark had 11 points, three rebounds, and five assists.

San Antonio also had four players in double figures, led by #2 overall pick Moriah Jefferson.  Breanna Stewart's former teammate led the Stars with 16 points, six assists and four rebounds.  Hayley Peters and Kayla Alexander both provided a spark off the bench with 15 and 10 points respectively.  Monique Currie had 10 points and Dearica Hamby had nine points and seven rebounds.

Key Notes from the Game:
*Seattle out-rebounded the Stars 31-29 and won by 10 points!
*Seattle passed the ball very well in this game, with 25 assists compared to San Antonio's 18.
*After missing several key FT that cost them the game in New York, Seattle made 12-13 in this game.
*Sue Bird has struggled offensively as of late, scoring just 3 points in this game; as has not scored in double-figures in the past 4 games.
*The Stars were without their leading scorer, Kayla McBride as she is dealing with an injury.

What's Next?
Seattle finally returns home after a three game road trip (1-2).  They will host the Indiana Fever (8-11) on Sunday in Seattle at 4:00pm.  Seattle and Indiana have split two games so far, both in Indiana.  This will be an important tie-breaker as the WNBA playoffs are now based on the best eight teams overall and not based on conference play.  This is also Tamika Catchings final game she will play in Seattle as she has announced she will retire at the end of this season.