San Antonio looks for first win against Sky

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Chicago Sky will be looking to double their win total for the season when they square off against the winless San Antonio Stars at the AT&T Center in San Antonio on Saturday.

It will be the second Saturday in a row that the Stars have hosted a team that carried one victory into the Alamo City. On June 3, the Connecticut Sun hit San Antonio with only one win and left with their second by beating the Stars. It seems that if a team needs a win, it can find one in San Antonio.

The Sky (1-7) head into south Texas on the heels of Tuesday's 79-70 road loss to the Los Angeles Sparks, the reigning WNBA champions.

Courtney Vandersloot contributed 13 points and six rebounds in the loss while Allie Quigley and Stefanie Dolson added 12 and 10 points, respectively. That was the fifth straight loss for Chicago, which committed 19 turnovers in the defeat, with 13 of those coming on steals by the Sparks.

The Sky's only win of the season was on May 21 at Atlanta. Chicago is trying to find its way after former WNBA MVP Elena Delle Donne left during the offseason to join the Washington Mystics.

"We look at the positives and look at the things we've improved on and continue to press forward," Chicago coach Amber Stocks said. "We are just trying to do the little things every day to get better. We are going to do what we do and do it with heightened intensity."

San Antonio (0-8) is off to the worst start in franchise history and has lost 11 consecutive home games dating back to last July, establishing a WNBA mark for home futility.

The Stars' latest loss was an 85-76 setback to the Seattle Storm at home on Tuesday. Guard Kayla McBride led San Antonio in scoring for the fifth time this year with 21 points while adding six rebounds. Guard Moriah Jefferson provided 10 points and five assists in the loss. McBride leads the Stars in scoring at 17.3 points per game and Jefferson paces the team in assists at 4.2 per contest.

"We're pressing a little bit, especially at home, trying to get that first win," McBride said after the loss to Seattle. "There are things we need to fix and we are still learning how to play with each other. We just need to build a little more confidence and put things together."

The Stars had the worst record in the league in 2016, winning just seven of its 34 games, but things were not supposed to be so difficult this season.

San Antonio hired Vickie Johnson as its coach and owned the top overall draft pick, which it used to take Kelsey Plum, the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I history during her four-year career at the University of Washington.

Plum was added to a solid core that includes McBride and Jefferson and veteran forward Monique Currie. The team has struggled to get healthy (both Plum and Jefferson have missed time with injuries) and to gel in the early going.

"We have a young team and it takes a lot of focus from the start to be able to execute offensively and defensively," Johnson said. "We're not frustrated -- there are a lot of positive things that we are doing -- we just have to learn to close. We just need to pick up our intensity and make the opponent uncomfortable trying to execute their offense."

San Antonio and Chicago will meet three times this season. Following Saturday's matchup, the Stars will host Chicago again on June 30 and travel to Chicago on Aug. 10.