If the San Antonio Stars are going to turn their season around, their longest homestand of the year seems like the best opportunity.
The home momentum is already building, and a four-game stay at Freeman Coliseum begins Tuesday against the Indiana Fever, whose three-game road trip began in embarrassing fashion.
The Stars (4-12) lost 93-82 in Chicago on Sunday, falling to 0-9 on the road and 8 1/2 games back of Minnesota in the Western Conference. Danielle Adams scored 20 points off the bench, while Sophia Young-Malcolm added 18 for the second straight game and is averaging 15.6 in her last eight. That’s nearly twice her 2014 scoring average (8.2).
It followed Friday’s 65-58 win over Tulsa, which gave the Stars their first four-game home winning streak since capturing nine straight June 1-Aug. 23, 2012.
"I wish I knew," coach Dan Hughes said of trying to figure out the home versus road discrepancy. "If I knew, we wouldn’t be (0-9) on the road. I’m still searching. I think a little bit of it’s got to do with just our ability to kind of control the game in a certain way. We won three out of four quarters."
The Fever (8-7) fell 68-50 in Washington on Friday after shooting 31.6 percent and making 11 2-point field goals, and their six-point third quarter marked their worst output of the season. It ended a five-game winning streak and was their worst scoring night since a 50-48 loss to the Mystics on July 8, 2008.
"They did a good job reading mismatches and they took advantage on offense," coach Stephanie White told the team’s official website. "And defensively, they turned up their intensity and bothered us up and down the floor."
Tamika Catching was held to two points after reaching double figures in her previous six games. The All-Star forward went 0 for 7 from the field and is 7 for 27 in the last three games.
While Marissa Coleman’s modest 11 led the way, the responsibility also fell on the Fever’s bench. The reserves combined for 16 points on 6-of-23 shooting. They’ve outscored the opposing bench in all eight wins, and their bench average of 29.4 points leads the league.
The preceding winning streak included an 83-76 home victory over the Stars on July 10 behind 25 points from Coleman. Young-Malcolm had a season-high 27.
Indiana has won nine of the last 12 meetings with four straight victories in San Antonio while holding the Stars to 68.2 points per game.
Indiana remains without Natalie Achonwa as the June Rookie of the Month competes with Canada in the Pan Am Games.