Tough return for UW’s Kelsey Plum, Storm destroy Stars 75-57
UW Husky legend Kelsey Plum returned to quite a bit of fanfare, but the #1 over all draft pick would see her San Antonio Stars drop this game in a blow out 75-57 to the Seattle Storm. The evening was Washington Husky themed but it would be a UCONN Husky Breanna Stewart who would dominate the day, ruining Plum’s return.
A fanatical crowd of 9, 686 strong would chant “Kelsey” throughout the game, but only get to see her log just over 20 minutes in the game. Perhaps it was nerves, but more likely a stingy Storm defense that put Plum off her game. Kelsey would finish the game with 2-11 shooting for only 8 points. Stars head coach Vickie Johnson would add some context to the rookie’s outing.
“People — fans and media — don’t understand that this is the best league in the world with the best athletes in the world. Even (Jewell) Loyd is a different player this year than she was a year ago. Moriah Jefferson is a different player than she was when she came out. It took her half of a season to get the speed of the game. Same thing with Kelsey – it’s going to be a little slower for her because she sprained her ankle and is still working through that. But overall, I think she’s doing fine. She can’t get caught up in other people’s expectations and where she should be. One thing I would say is that everybody that’s in the WNBA has been an All-American – these are the best players in the world. When you’re running athletes against athletes, that’s when your basketball IQ has to kick in and your pride just can’t take over with ‘Well, I did it in college and now I can do it here.’ You have to step back, read the defense and let the game come to you. Create for your teammates then on the second touch you can create for a shot.”
Storm forward Breanna Stewart would have an amazing game going 8-13 for 22 points, with 5 blocks and 15 rebounds. The former #1 draft pick would have one of her best games ever almost single-handedly tearing apart the Stars. Stewart would be awarded the player of the game honors to which she would respond:
“I think it was just the way that I came out, the mindset I had. It just started with defense. Whenever you start with defense the offense seems to come to you. And I know that our team needs me to really step up and be a rebounder, and it helps us get out in transition.”
Key notes (Courtesy of Seattle Storm)
- With the win on Sunday, Seattle improved to 16-3 against San Antonio since the 2008 season
- After being outrebounded by seven (16-9) in the first quarter, Seattle bounced back to own a 12-4 margin in the second stanza on the way to outscoring San Antonio, 20-11
- For the ninth time in 2017, Crystal Langhorne scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds on 5-for-8 shooting
- Sue Bird, the league leader in assists, dished out a game-high nine. She’s recorded nine or more four times this season
- Ramu Tokashiki and Sami Whitcomb came off the bench to tally nine points apiece. Seattle’s 26 bench points was the most since the May 28 game against Indiana (29) and second-highest mark of the season