The Atlanta Dream finally got their first win of the season, as they defeated the San Antonio Stars 72-69.
Oh, it is nothing like getting a high-five from a coach after a win. But this high-five was an exuberant one, as Atlanta Dream coach Michael Cooper had the look of “finally” on his face.
Atlanta finally won their first game — and it wasn’t the flashiest of victories. But as we all know, at the end of the day, it’s about the final score. And the Dream were able to close out San Antonio, 72-69.
The intensity was different tonight, and I’m not talking about the home crowd. The fans are always exceptional and show the Dream a lot of love.
No, this time it was about the moxie of the starting five – Matee Ajavon, Tiffany Hayes, Angel McCoughtry, Sancho Lyttle, Erika de Souza
Tiffany Hayes came out strong defensively and offensively. She started the game like someone owed her money and she wanted it back bad.
Following Hayes’ lead, all of her teammates played hard and if there was a rebound to be made – well the Dream wanted it like never before on both ends of the court.
During media day, I remembered Cooper saying, “Rebounds win games,” well his team took it to heart tonight. Throughout all four quarters, Atlanta had the edge in defensive and offensive rebounds.
But the Stars were not there for show. All of the starters played well — especially Kayla McBride who had 29 points, and Dearica Hamby was at times, a force to be reckoned with. Even Brittany Hrynko, who was cut by Atlanta during pre-season, was able to get in the game for a few minutes.
During the fourth quarter, the Dream’s 10-point lead faded, and the crowd seemed to have the same thought “not this again.” Was Atlanta going to give away this game?
One might have thought that when a clear path foul was called against McCoughtry. The crowd and Coach Cooper looked frustrated and disgusted all at the same time.
When I asked McCoughtry about the call after the game she said, “Horrible call, and you can quote me that it was horrible. I’m going after the ball because the ball is in the air, you can call a foul, but not clear path foul.”
Thankfully, Angel had something to say because Cooper said he wasn’t talking about that foul and walked away. But, before he ended the post-game conversation he did say this about tonight’s win:
“Just a start of things. Good job rebounding from a defensive stand point we can always get better.”
I like to think Sancho Lyttle said it best, when asked how she felt about the first win of the season. She smiled and sat back on her chair and simply said, “A win is a win.”
Yes it is Sancho…yes it is.