Roundball Roundup: Storm tipoff the WNBA season without Sue Bird, Jewell Loyd steps up
@ Los Angeles Sparks L 78-68
The opening game of the 2017 season saw Seattle Storm short 2 starters as Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird sat due to injuries. Bird is nursing a left knee injury that has sidelined the normally durable 14 year veteran. Stewart also has a knee injury and that may have been too much to overcome as the Storm dropped the season opener to the defending WNBA Champion LA Sparks.
“This is a tough first game for us without Sue and Stewie, just because they put so much pressure on you,” said head coach Jenny Boucek. “You need as many ball handlers as possible. Considering that, we found a way to hang around for most of the game, and I was really pleased with the way our team competed and the way they kept their composure.”
vs Indiana Fever W 87-82
The Storm hosted the Fever in a season opener on Sunday and earned their 1st win of the year off the back of Jewell Loyd and Breanna Stewart. Loyd was unstoppable with 27 points and Stewart hit a key 3 pointer with 2 minutes left on the clock.
Almost 8,000 raucous fans gave the home team the energy they needed to close this game out down the stretch.
“We needed the crowd big time today,” said Boucek. “We don’t make excuses, so we talked about how to be professional and how to perform when you don’t feel physically as energized. We talked about using the crowd and feeling connected to them. We know if we do certain things they will respond to that and that gives us a chance to respond back. We have to do our part in that, but this crowd will respond and when they do, it gives us a ton of energy that we needed today.”
SSU Player of the Week
With Sue Bird out, point guard Jewell Loyd had an opportunity to shine. Scoring 25 and 27 points in back to back games, the former Notre Dame Fighting Irish star has shown that she is ready and willing to step up.
It will be interesting to see how head coach Jenny Boucek can keep the momentum going with Loyd in what has so far been a breakout season.
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