Oakwood Live From Press Row - Storm vs. San Antonio
Storm Wins It
Posted at 8:00 p.m.
A late layup by Shyra Ely means this does not go into the books as the fifth 30-point win in Storm franchise history, but it's still a resounding 79-51 Seattle victory that moves the Storm to 2-1 on the season. The Storm completely dominated the second half of this game and wasn't challenged after the first 10 minutes of the game. Despite leaving the game early with the game in hand, the Storm's "Big Three" combined for 51 points, as many as San Antonio had as a team. The Storm also got production from the youngsters off the bench, as all 11 players scored. Ashley Battle joined fellow rookies Tanisha Wright and Francesca Zara by getting her first WNBA field goal in the second half. No San Antonio player scored double-figures.
Posted at 7:48 p.m.
With this game well in hand - the Storm leads 73-45 with 3:58 to play as we take our final full timeout of the game - the Storm has been able to bring in a lineup of rookies Francesca Zara, Tanisha Wright and Ashley Battle along with Mandisa Stevenson and the lone vet, Simone Edwards. This is a great chance for the youngsters to get some experience. Wright and Zara both already have their first WNBA field goals, Zara's layup and the foul before the timeout drawing a loud round of applause from the crowd.
Dr. Storm and Ms. Seattle
Posted at 7:42 p.m.
Other than the faces and the jerseys, the Storm team of the first 60 minutes of this season bears no resemblance to the team that has played the last 52+ minutes. Through halftime of the Comets game, the Storm had been outscored 108-76 on the season. Since then, Seattle has outscored its opponents 120-70. It's a testament to Anne Donovan that she's still a little upset at the Storm's execution of late up by 26 points.
AD on Betty
Posted at 7:32 p.m.
Some interesting insight before the game from Storm Coach Anne Donovan, asked whether Betty Lennox looks like she's improved this season.
"She's truly, from what I see, in a comfort zone here," said Donovan. "She's very comfortable. She knows what's expected from Sue, she knows where LJ is supposed to be. She's worked really hard on her mental approach this year staying much more even-keeled and not getting caught up in the highs and lows of the game and a call in the game. I think that's really helped her settle down."
It's been all about the "Big Three" tonight for the Storm. All three are in double-figures, and they've combined for 40 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. San Antonio has just 32 points as a team, and this is becoming a blowout - Storm 54, Silver Stars 32.
Posted at 7:23 p.m.
When the San Antonio Silver Stars decided to rebuild this season, they knew there would be some tough times along the way - especially after fourth pick Kendra Wecker was lost for the season with a torn ACL. Dan Hughes was prepared.
"I'm building, to be honest with you," said Hughes before the game.
"We still have some veterans we can rely on. But really, we're in a teaching phase."
You could see that before the game, when assistant coach Brian Agler was working for a long time with center Chantelle Anderson on her footwork on the post. The Silver Stars progress this season may be measured more in player development than wins and losses.
Posted at 7:10 p.m.
The Storm with an Offensive Rating of 97.3 points per 100 possessions in the first half; San Antonio's Offensive Rating was 67.6. 67.6 is … um … really low, not that that's any surprise. Intriguingly, offense had not really been San Antonio's problem coming into this game; the defense was Dan Hughes' concern.
Seattle does need to improve its defensive rebounding. San Antonio got nine offensive boards and the Storm only grabbed 57.1% of available defensive rebounds. League average is about 67%.
Upon Further Review
Posted at 7:00 p.m.
Lauren Jackson's layup to end the first half was initially ruled good, but after using Instant Replay, the referees correctly determined it should not count. While it did appear to beat the buzzer, the clock stopped with three-tenths of a second left in the half. Had it continued, Jackson's shot would have been after the buzzer, as the referees ruled. Still, the Storm leads 36-25 after a strong first half of basketball on the defensive end. San Antonio shot 10-for-33 (30.3%) in the first half and turned the ball over 10 times. While the Storm was hardly stellar on offense (37.9%), 13-for-15 shooting from the free-throw line produced the lead.
Instant replay played a much larger role in the Minnesota-Sacramento game earlier today in the WNBA. Nicole Ohlde's layup initially gave the Lynx a win over the Monarchs, but Sacramento emerged with a win when that call was reversed.
Silver Stars Score
Posted at 6:54 p.m.
The drought ends at a little over eight minutes, as San Antonio has gotten two Shannon Johnson free throws and a Bernadette Ngoyisa score in the lane to cut this lead to 13, 32-19.
Silver Stars Coach Dan Hughes coached Storm guard Betty Lennox (who has 10 points thus far) in Cleveland, and talked before tonight's game about advising Anne Donovan prior to the Dispersal Draft of former Rockers players.
"When Anne called me when they were going through the Dispersal Draft, I thought it would be a good fit," said Hughes, who explained he felt Lennox would benefit from playing with an All-Star point guard and post player. Who wouldn't? Lennox certainly has.
San Antonio Stumbling
Posted at 6:46 p.m.
The Silver Stars have missed their last 12 shots and are now working on a scoreless streak of 6:43. The Storm is on a 13-0 run to take this from a tie game to a 28-15 lead as Dan Hughes calls a timeout with 5:14 left in the first half. Credit Francesca Zara. While the Storm struggled with Sue Bird on the bench during the first two games, they continued the run with Zara tonight despite Lauren Jackson also being on the bench.
Storm Pulling Ahead
Posted at 6:38 p.m.
The San Antonio Silver Stars did not score between timeouts, while the Storm has gone on a 7-0 run to take the biggest lead of this game, 22-15, as we go to timeout at the 7:45 mark of the first half. Sue Bird has been the key, drawing a bailout foul with the shot clock running down to get two free throws and then hitting a 3-pointer off of a Tanisha Wright feed. Bird has also been outstanding defensively, drawing an offensive foul on Shannon Johnson on the fast break. She forced another turnover earlier and also stopped a San Antonio fast break all by herself by deflecting a pass.
Back and Forth
Posted at 6:29 p.m.
Interesting flow to this game thus far, as we've been up and down and back and forth. At the under-12 minutes media timeout (at the 10:57 mark), we're tied at 15 apiece. It's the seventh tie to go along with five lead changes. 35 possessions thus far in this game, which is a pretty fast pace. That may bode well for San Antonio; the Silver Stars are "pretty good in transition," according to Coach Dan Hughes (a music aficionado who's sporting a nice Jimi Hendrix tie). San Antonio is probably also a little deeper than the Storm.
Posted at 6:20 p.m.
Former Storm guard Sandy Brondello, who started at shooting guard in Seattle during the 2003 season before retiring from the WNBA, is now an assistant coach for the Silver Stars.
"I was carrying her resume myself, making sure she could get in," said Storm Coach Anne Donovan. "Sandy is dynamite. She is one of those people that connects with everybody - me as a coach or with her teammates. She's a great leader. Smart. Could have a lot of fun but knew when it was time to get serious. Very knowledgable of the game. Experienced internationally and domestically. She was a great pickup. If we would have had an opening on our staff, I would have snatched her up."
Brondello caught up with several former Storm teammates as well as the coaching staff and the radio team of David Locke and Elise Woodward before the game and looks like she's having fun.
Posted at 6:05 p.m.
A couple of changes from the starting lineup we reported earlier today in Insider Preview. Chantelle Anderson, a native of Vancouver, Wash., starts at center instead of 6-8 Liberty rookie Katie Feenstra. At forward, LaToya Thomas moves over to small forward to make room in the lineup for vet Wendy Palmer-Daniel. That's not a big surprise, as Palmer-Daniel has played heavy minutes off the bench and is a better match defensively for Lauren Jackson than the undersized Thomas.
Posted at 5:50 p.m.
The San Antonio Silver Stars are in KeyArena tonight to wrap up a three-game season-opening homestand for your Seattle Storm, who are looking to go to 2-1 on the young season. San Antonio, meanwhile, is still looking for its first win after an 0-3 start. The Storm broke out in the second half of Friday's win over the Houston Comets and now look to maintain that momentum and build on it tonight. It should be a good one, so stay with us all night long and make sure to hit refresh so you're getting the latest.