ATLANTA – The Las Vegas Aces used hot shooting to easily dispose of the homestanding Atlanta Dream, 92-69, in action from State Farm Arena Thursday night.
Las Vegas started off strong, gaining ten points before the Dream could even dent the scoreboard. The Aces pushed the advantage to 25-13 at the end of the first quarter and went into halftime up 49-25. In the second half, the Dream would make several runs, but the Aces did enough to hold them at bay.
For Las Vegas, the win stopped a two-game losing streak and evened up their overall mark after four contests. The Dream have now lost three straight.
The Aces came into the match shooting 44% from the field, and they continued their hot performance, making just over half of their field goal attempts. They had six players in double-figures, with Liz Cambage and Dearica Hamby tied with 15. Hamby made a triumphant return to Atlanta as she won a state high school basketball crown as a member of the Norcross Blue Devils.
Kayla McBride had 13 for Las Vegas, and Tamera Young, A’ja Wilson, and Kelsey Plum all gained ten or more. Plum hit a three-pointer to start the scoring, while Wilson scored nine of her 11 in the first half. That performance pleased several fans who arrived from Columbia, South Carolina to cheer her on. Wilson carried the South Carolina Gamecocks to the NCAA women’s basketball crown two seasons ago. A few media affiliates also made the trip to check on her progress.
“It’s always great winning in front of Gamecock fans,” Wilson said. “Winning is great, period. But when you have your hometown here, and it’s always a lot of fun hearing people constantly screaming your name when you’re warming up.”
Brittany Sykes came off the bench to lead Atlanta in scoring with 15. There was a tense moment with Sykes in the second quarter. She landed awkwardly and game up hobbling. She tried to stay in the contest and even recorded a steal, but it was clear she couldn’t move effectively. Head Coach Nikki Collen removed her during a time out. Fortunately, after work with trainer Jessica Cohen, Sykes reentered close to halftime and did not have a problem the rest of the way.
Nia Coffey had her first Atlanta start this season and responded with eleven points, and Jessica Breeland added ten.
Atlanta’s shooting woes played a factor. The Dream wound up hitting up 33% from the field and made only five of 23 long-range attempts. Atlanta continues to be the worst team in the WNBA from three-point distance, making them at a clip of 25% this season.
Afterward, Coach Collen stressed the need to avoid frustration. “Frustration is, in some ways, an inward, selfish emotion that we must not give out,” she said. “When we’re not playing well, we have to lift someone else up.”
“I still think we have all the right pieces to win games in this league and that we have to guard people and trust that we’re going to step up and make shots.”
“We have a great group,” said Dream guard Alex Bentley, who came off the bench and scored five points. “We’re going to stay positive, look in the mirror, and figure out what each of us individually can do more for our team, to give to our team, to play for each other, and start getting on a roll with wins.”
The Dream will try to reverse their losing streak by hosting Connecticut on Sunday from State Farm, while Las Vegas finishes their road trip by tangling with the New York Liberty.

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