By Sydney Gibbs
After coming off an astounding offensive performance in its season debut against the Dallas Wings, the Atlanta Dream couldn’t maintain that momentum after falling, 100-70 to the Las Vegas Aces on Wednesday night. The Aces shot 53.5% from the field and out-rebounded the Dream, 47-25, led by A’ja Wilson who posted a double-double –– scoring 21 points with 11 boards.
Las Vegas came out on the floor with high-speed and strong offensive play that kept Atlanta trailing behind them the entire game. The Dream kept the game close in the first quarter, all thanks to Chennedy Carter, who had 10 of the team’s 21 points going into the second frame. Atlanta was outscored 24-14 in the second quarter and was unable to find an answer for Las Vegas’ rhythm the rest of the way.
“We didn’t play well. It’s as simple as that,” said head coach Nicki Collen after the game. “I think we were dealt a blow before the game ever started and I’d like to say it didn’t affect us but it probably did. Vegas came out and they did the things we knew they were going to do.”
The Aces led by as many as 32 points in the third quarter. The established pace and consistency they maintained throughout the game allowed them to have a strong inside and outside game –– shooting 6-9 from behind the line and scoring over 40 points in the paint.
Dearica Hamby came off the bench for the Aces and shot 8-14 overall and 2-2 from the line for 20 points. The Dream’s former franchise player, Angel McCoughtry shined against a team she spent her entire 11-year career playing for –– scoring 12 points and seven rebounds.
Center Elizabeth Williams led the Dream in scoring with 16 points and grabbed four rebounds. With Blake Dietrick adding 13 points, Shekinna Stricklen with 10, and Carter finished the game with 11.
Despite the loss, there’s no time to waste because Atlanta plays New York on Friday night at 7 p.m. Collen emphasized the importance of moving on to the next game and regaining confidence.
“You just let it go,” said Collen. “You can’t get too high after a win and you can’t get too low after a loss. We’re just trying to take the blows as they come and get back up and stay positive. That was the message in the locker room. The next game is a new game.”