Hammon, Young Lead Silver Stars Over Lynx 93-84
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Becky Hammon scored 23 points and Sophia Young added 22 to lead the San Antonio Silver Stars to a 93-84 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday
San Antonio (7-5) never trailed, extended its home winning streak to five and won its fifth in six games overall. The Silver Stars have not trailed in their past three victories.
Reserve Monica Wright led Minnesota (13-2) with 18 points, Lindsay Whalen added 15 and Rebekkah Brunson 13.
“When we play them, it’s kind of a playoff atmosphere,” Silver Stars reserve Jia Perkins said. “We knew today it was going to be a game full of runs. We wanted to hit them in the mouth and we knew they were going to hit us right back. We just needed to stay the course.”
The Silver Stars made their first three 3-point attempts in sprinting to a 15-4 lead.
Jayne Appel made a free throw following an off-balance jumper to give San Antonio a 20-10 lead midway through the first.
The Silver Stars made 6 of 7 shots from 3-point range and took a 35-22 lead after the first quarter.
All eight Silver Stars who played in the first quarter scored.
“Right now we’re all on the same wavelength,” San Antonio forward Shameka Christon said. “We come out with a lot of energy, and obviously that’s to our advantage.”
Christon made her first three attempts for the fourth straight home game to spark another fast start by San Antonio.
Reserve Monica Wright rallied the Lynx, hitting a fadeaway jumper to pull them to 42-36 midway through the second. She hit three jumpers over the Silver Stars’ shorter defenders as the Lynx used their size advantage to outscore San Antonio 21-12 in the second.
Minnesota outrebounded the Stars 12-6 in the quarter, blocked two shots and attempted eight free throws compared to one for San Antonio.
The Silver Stars’ balanced scoring faded in the second quarter. Only three players scored in the quarter as San Antonio went 5 of 17 from the field.
Seimone Augustus hit a pair of free throws with 12.6 seconds to pull Minnesota to 47-43 — the closest the Lynx had been since trailing 7-4 in the first two minutes of the game.
“We controlled the first quarter and they certainly controlled the second,” Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. “The second half gave us the ability to slightly play two good quarters in a row, which gave us a chance to win.”
San Antonio rebuilt a double-digit lead by hitting its first three 3-point attempts in the third. Shameka Christon’s second 3-pointer of the opening minutes gave San Antonio a 56-45 lead.
Hammon’s 3-pointer gave San Antonio a 77-66 advantage and led Moore to pound the scorer’s table as she waited to sub in.
Moore had an immediate impact upon entering. She ran down a long rebound and hit a driving layup to pull Minnesota within 77-68 and then stole a pass while providing weak-side help and fed a streaking Whalen for a layup to cut the deficit to 78-75.
San Antonio responded by going on a 13-2 run capped by Young’s layup on Hammon’s eighth and final assist of the game.
“I just think we have some girls that understand what it takes to win close basketball games,” Hammon said. “Shameka has been in the league for a while, as well as Sophia and myself. We know down the stretch that we want to be good closers.”
(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)