For a team that won only 15 games across two seasons, a preseason victory is a start of something. And this is exactly what it is.
Kelsey Plum made her preseason debut for the San Antonio Stars on Saturday, tallying 19 points and five assists in an 87-81 win over the Dallas Wings.
Both teams had notable players missing from Saturday’s preseason opener – including Skylar Diggins and Moriah Jefferson – but several of the draft’s lottery picks were on the court. Plum was joined by Stars teammate and No. 5 pick Nia Coffey, while the Wings trotted out Evelyn Akhator (No. 3 pick), Allisha Gray (No. 4) and Kaela Davis (No. 10).
Plum got started right away by nailing her first shot from downtown, finishing 5-of-13 from the floor en route to the 19-point effort. The former University of Washington guard went 7-for-7 from the foul line, snagged two steals and finished with zero turnovers to go along with the five dimes.
“I was super excited to just get out there and finally put the uniform on,” Plum said after the game. “I actually took a minute when I saw my name on the back of the jersey. It’s just a moment you have been waiting on for a long time. So, getting through training camp, playing our first game, getting our feet wet was nice, and of course the icing on the cake with [the win].”
Although she struggled a bit with her shot, Plum had the highest plus-minus rating in Saturday’s contest. The Stars outscored Dallas by 19 points during the lefty’s 30 minutes on the court.
“I am going to go back and watch the film,” Plum said. “I felt OK in terms of my shot. I usually make a couple more than I did tonight, but overall I was so grateful to have my teammates. They are so encouraging. We shared the ball really well, and like I said, the best part is the win.”
Coffey also had an outstanding debut for the Stars, scoring 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting and grabbing five rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench. Third-year forward Dearica Hamby added 11 points and seven boards for San Antonio.
For the Wings, Gray led the way with 15 points in 24 minutes off the bench. She shot just 3-of-14 from the field but sunk all eight of her free throws. Her former South Carolina teammate, Davis, finished with 13 points, while Akhator had four points.