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Aces Drop Connecticut from First With 89-81 Win

August 11, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Las Vegas Aces News Release

LAS VEGAS, NV (August 11, 2019)- Las Vegas knocked Connecticut out of first place Sunday afternoon, outscoring the Sky 26-15 in the third quarter en route to an, 89-81, victory. The win helped the Aces (16-9) keep a-game-and-a-half back of Washington (17-7), who took over sole possession of first place with a 101-78 victory over the Minnesota Lynx.

KEY RUNS

First Quarter

The Aces made their first five shots of the game, two of which were three-pointers, to take a 14-6 lead.

Connecticut countered by scoring 16 of the next 20 points to go up 22-18.

Second Quarter

Neither team led by more than four points during the second.

Third Quarter

The teams were tied at 42 at the end of the first half. Las Vegas scored the first seven points of the third, and outscored Connecticut 26-15 in the period.

Fourth Quarter

Las Vegas led 73-70 with 6:53 to go in the game, and scored 9 straight points over the next 2:20 to secure the win.

KEY STATS

The Aces made 45.8 percent of their shots from the field, while the Sun made 39.5 percent of theirs.

Las Vegas had 17 turnovers to just 10 for Connecticut, but the Aces scored 14 points off those miscues to 13 points for the Sun.

The Aces went 15 for 17 from the free throw line, while Connecticut went 8 for 8.

GAME NOTES

Las Vegas was without the services of two-time All-Star A'ja Wilson for the seventh straight game. The Aces are 5-2 without her.

Liz Cambage scored in double figures for the 21st time this season, and 20 or more points for the fourth time (21 points). She also added 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the year.

Dearica Hamby scored in double figures for the 14th time this season (12 points). She added 9 rebounds and 6 assists.

Kayla McBride scored in double figures for the 20th time this season (18 points).

Kelsey Plum hit her first four shots of the game, and scored 9 of her 16 points in the first 5 minute and 14 seconds of the game. It was the 12th time Plum reached double figures in scoring this year.

Jackie Young scored in double figures for the fifth time this season (13 points).

NEXT GAME

Las Vegas remains at home Tuesday to take on the Atlanta Dream beginning at 7 pm PT.

POSTGAME VIDEOS

Bill Laimbeer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWGAYfGB7FU&feature=youtu.be

Kayla Mcbride and Liz Cambage - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyaDn4b4yrY&feature=youtu.be

Bill Laimbeer Quotes

Opening Statement...

We'll take the win. Any win is a good win when you are playing without your star player in A'ja. We hung tough, made some mistakes. Luckily we had a good lead and we just talked about in the locker room how to rectify some of those mistakes but overall a lot of good efforts from a lot of people. I gave people a lot of minutes which is something I don't want to do but I have to do in order to get some wins. I think we got into foul trouble with Liz which hurt us a bit but overall I think Hamby did a good job on Jonquelle Jones the whole game. And Plum got us off to a good start in the first quarter which is always a positive. I do want to address one thing about the incident last night that happened in the Phoenix game. There's no question that there is no room for violence in our sport. It is unfortunate and it shouldn't happen but unfortunately the frustration level on some of the players is growing dramatically right now. The way the game is being called right now, Brittney Griner just kind of snapped out but we understand that their frustration is huge. You cant have more incidents like that. The players are keeping themselves in check but the way the game is being called right now is difficult especially for the star players. The star bigs, the star post players.They are being hammered and being fouled every time and there's no whistle and it's frustrating them dramatically.

On the play of the Aces back court...

Well we want everyone to score and everyone to score in an efficient, effective manner. I thought Jackie did a really good job tonight controlling the show for us tonight she made some good shots when she needed to. Confidence is growing which is a huge positive for us. I think she can go on and be a star in this league but she has to learn. Plum after her recent struggles came out and made her first three or four shots and that was a big lift for us because we normally struggle in the first quarter. McBride is still tired but she played through it and made some shots.

On adjusting to Connecticut's defense against Liz...

Well we have to adjust to certain situations. Liz is used to being double and triple teamed her whole life. We talked in the locker room just a bit ago that it is hit or miss with certain teams so just be patient and we have to learn how to move and cut with Liz out there also when she is double teamed. We are still young with our whole group and with Liz so we will learn those things.

On the organizational support to Liz...

Well I didn't read the article on purpose because I didn't want to answer all your damn questions. Liz can speak for herself, she talked about it a couple days ago but thought that would be a good outlet for her to express herself. We have been very supportive of her as an organization and I am sure she will tell you that, we understand. We are going to take care of our players, whatever is necessary. That is who we are and that is what I am and I think we acted in a very honorable and upfront manner as an organization and we respect Liz's commitment to come out and play as hard as she can for herself and her teammates.

Kayla McBride

Q. How does that open things up for the rest of you when your starting guards collectively score 29 points?

"It changes everything. It helps the score and one of the main offensive threats, when you have other players making plays it opens up everything. It also helps build their confidence, when it comes down to these play off games and these tie-breaker games, we need everybody. It's not just A'ja, Liz, or me, we have to do it together. When you see them playing this hard and this well in big games like this, that's getting their confidence for future big games as well.

Q. Dearica Hamby, how has she been filling A'ja's shoes?

"I called it when she showed up to training camp, that she was going to have a breakout year. She's sixth woman of the year already, honestly she's filling A'ja's shoes very well for us. She embraces the challenge. She loves being able to go against the best in the league like Natasha Howard, Stuie, and JJ so when she has that challenge she likes to pump her chest out and make a name for herself. We appreciate that, she's obviously one of our energy players and makes all the hustle plays but when she sees some of the top players against her she brings it all and she did that tonight."

Q. How much confidence is building in the team when you play this we;l knowing A'ja will come back soon?

"Little by little. We get better 1% everyday. Obviously it's not always easy, which is why this is the best league in the world. Chicago came in and we felt like we gave one up, but it's about possessions and continuing to learn and build no matter because the league doesn't stop. We know that maybe we shouldn't have lost that one to Chicago, but we proved something to ourselves by beating Connecticut here on our floor, the number one team in the league. When you have momentum in games like this it carries. Jackie playing well, Plum playing, that's going to carry over to big games. We know that. It's just 1% everyday, internally we know who we are and we're going to continue to do that."

Coach Miller

Q. Can you talk about the bench today?

"Really happy with the bench today, we came up short. They shot 50% from the 3-point line, just under 50% from the field. They executed, they really did a good job for us, and gave us a spark that we needed. I like what we did in the post game, we got shooting posts like Morgan and Teresa, we were able to spread it a little bit better with that unit. They shared the ball, and they weren't perfect, but it was a really good night for the bench."

Q. How was the game as a whole tonight?

"It was really physical, that fight last night won't the first and last fight of this year it's just so so physical. At times we handle that, and we're able to play off of that. Sometimes, they were the more physical screening team and they did such a good job screening compared to us. They just got too many baskets off of one action. We pride ourselves on trying to get teams on a second or third action, so they're physicality is why they won and we came up a little short."

Courtney Williams

Q. Talk to me a little about the bench

"They came in and gave us great energy. Coach was in there applauding them for what they brought during the game. Proud of those girls, they come in and give us that extra boost that we are going to need if we are going to be a championship team."

Q. What was the difference in today's game?

"I feel like, the start of the third quarter. They came out at the start of the third quarter playing hard and had the energy that we couldn't find. We just have to be better."

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