Mercury Falls to Silver Stars

By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com

Streaking as the hottest team in the WNBA, the San Antonio Silver Stars came into Sunday’s contest against the Mercury winning a franchise-record 10 straight games dating back to June 24 (they’ve won 11 of their last 13 games overall after starting the season 2-6).

Today, the Silver Stars continued their red hot streak beating the Mercury 89-47 for their 11th win in a row.

There are some losses you just have to block out of your mind and move on from immediately – the loss to San Antonio today could be classified as the perfect example of this.

“There’s not really much to say,” said a reflective DeWanna Bonner after the game. “We just have to knock down shots. It was just a bad shooting night for all of us.”

In the first half, the Mercury tallied a season low 22 points before the break shooting just 21.9 percent from the floor including a nine-point second quarter. Keeping the Mercury in the game was Alexis Hornbuckle who scored six points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out three assists (she finished with 11 points, five rebounds and four assists).

Phoenix came out in the third quarter having better luck shooting the ball, but so did San Antonio – Phoenix scored 20 points to the Silver Stars’ 24. The Mercury wasn’t able to get any closer from that point on.

“This one’s over,” said Corey Gaines. “We have to move on and focus on the next one coming up. They played hard but we are having a tough time scoring the ball. I have over 60 points sitting on the bench.”

Gaines makes a convincing point here. Not only did the Mercury have a rough night shooting the ball, to make things worse, it certainly doesn’t help that injuries have now accumulated to over 60 missed games this season so far for the Mercury – Charde Houston (knee), Candice Dupree (knee), Alexis-Gray Lawson (ankle), Diana Taurasi (dental procedure), and Penny Taylor (knee) all missed today’s game.

For comparisons sake, Phoenix totaled 51 games missed due to injury in the past four seasons combined. Still, the injuries have given players like Alexis Hornbuckle the opportunity to shine.

“I feel like with the injuries and everything, anybody can step up and have a great game,” Alexis Hornbuckle said. “I never want to be a liability whether it’s on offense or defense. I feel like in the first half of the season I was a liability on offense, so over the break I took it upon myself to get better. I always want to come and bring a spark if needed. If I can do it, I’m always going to bring that energy.”

NOTES

- Diana Taurasi missed today’s game due to a dental procedure. The team expects her back this week.

- Alexis Hornbuckle recorded her third straight double-digit scoring effort (11) after doing so just twice in the season’s first 18 games.

-Hornbuckle also recorded seven rebounds, three assists and three steals. In her last four games, she has averaged 6.0 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.2 steals to go along with her 10.0 points.

- The Mercury next faces the New York Liberty at home this Thursday, August 23, at 7:00 P.M. Phoenix time.