Coming out of the Olympic Break the Phoenix Mercury were looking to make the second half of the season hum with a different tune. There was hope that Olympian Diana Taurasi would be available to play, but she was not able to make the trip due to her travel schedule.
There was a lot of motivation for this game in particular as the Mercury dropped two games to the Seattle Storm before the break and are five games behind them in the playoff race.
The Mercury came out with a lot of heart despite being severly short-handed keeping the game close for most of the first half and third quarter. Rookie Samanatha Prahalis (15 points 3 assists) did her best early scoring in a variety of ways to keep the game in striking distance.
Her made shot at the buzzer before half ended up being waved off taking a major momentum push away from the Mercury. Instead they went into the half down five 34-19 struggling to score.
In the third quarter the team went through a familiar stretch where they could not score and the Storm finally caught their rythme behind Tina Thompson (8 points) and Camille Little (17 points) stretching the lead to 11 points entering the final quarter.
The team just ran out of gas as the Storm (10-10 pulled away for the 72-58 win over the Mercury (4-16). As of now the losing streak is at seven games for the Mercury.
"We just couldn't score in the second half," said head coach Corey Gaines. "DB (DeWanna Bonner) was 3-for-18 and we just couldn't score. Missed open shots. We've been trying to find our rhythm all year, and injuries don't help."
Bonner was not able to get going missing tough shots due to the tough defense the Storm played on her. She finished with not only a season low 7 points (her first game in single digits all season), but also shot a season low 16.6% shooting from the field. Her shooting was not as alarming as the fact that she only had one free-throw attempt all, another season low.
Prahalis did her best to keep the team in the game, but it wasn't in the cards as the team is now six games back with only 13 games to play. Her New York confidence was evident after the game.
"It was alright. We were all ready to play, but we were a little off shooting. We'll be okay."
Up next for the team is a home game against San Antonio as they host the Silver Stars on Sunday at 3p.m. local time.