Mystics-Stars preview

BY foxsports • July 5, 2016

The Washington Mystics had an easy time beating the San Antonio Stars last week in Washington.

Perhaps things will be different when the teams meet Wednesday night in San Antonio -- but probably not, if the Stars are without their leading scorer.

Guard Kayla McBride, who leads the Stars at 17.1 points per game, was helped off the court in the third quarter of Saturday's game at Minnesota after suffering what was diagnosed as a sprained right foot, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. Her status was listed as day to day.

In last week's meeting, the Stars scored the first two points of the game, but the Mystics then went on an 18-0 run. Washington held San Antonio to a season low for points in a quarter (seven) and eventually pushed the lead to 30 in the second half before taking an 84-67 victory.

The energy level was especially pleasing to Washington coach Mike Thibault.

"That's been our biggest focus -- that we play harder than who we're playing against and that we play with high energy and try to get people on their heels," Thibault said after the win. "If you do that, you give yourself a chance every night."

Washington (9-9) started a five-game trip with an 86-84 loss at the Chicago Sky on Friday night. San Antonio (4-13) is coming off a 91-68 loss to Minnesota.

Generating offense has been San Antonio's foremost problem. The Stars average a league-low 74.2 points per game and are last in field goal shooting percentage (40.6).

None of their starters in last week's loss at Washington scored in double figures. Those five combined to make 8 of 28 shots from the field.

Rookie guard Moriah Jefferson is second on the team in scoring behind McBride, averaging 10.8 points to go with 4.1 assists per game.

For Washington, guard Tayler Hill averages a team-high 15.7 points, with forward Emma Meesseman posting averages of 14.9 points and 5.6 rebounds.

Despite the loss at Chicago, Washington has bounced back nicely from a 2-6 start.

"That was not looking very good at the start," Thibault said. "We maintained that once we got healthy and everyone got a chance to get a little rhythm together, we would get better."

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