Aces clinch #1 seed in playoffs with 86-84 win over Seattle

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson

By Shawn McCullogh

It came down to the final day of the regular season, but the Aces finally caught the Seattle Storm.

In a game in which the winner gets the number one seed in the WNBA playoffs, the Aces rallied past Seattle, 86-84, at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Las Vegas trailed 79-74 with just 5:11 remaining in the game and went on a 10-0 run to secure the win.

A’ja Wilson and Dearica Hamby each dropped 23 points, while Danielle Robinson added 13.

Each team finished the regular season with an 18-4 record, but the Aces won the tiebreaker having won both games against Seattle.

This marks the first time since 2008 that the franchise has finished the season with the best overall record (then the San Antonio Silver Stars).

The Aces will enter the WNBA playoffs with a double bye and will play the lowest seed remaining from the first two rounds of the playoffs.  Las Vegas will play a best three out of five series starting on Sunday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com


Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 43.5% from the field.
  • Dearica Hamby went 4 for 6 from 3-point range.
  • A’ja Wilson finished the season ranked second in scoring (20.5), while leading the league in blocked shots (2.00), and finishing sixth in rebounding (8.5).


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Las Vegas era begins with huge win for Raiders 34-30

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) celebrates after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

Photo credit: AP Photo/Brian Blanco

By Shawn McCullough

Everyone expected the Raiders offense to be more explosive this season, but it was the defense that saved the game for Las Vegas.

The defense stopped the Panthers on 4th and 1 late in the game to preserve a 34-30 win over the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC.

With the Panthers driving and down 34-30 with under two minutes left in the game, Carolina faced a 4th and 1 at the Las Vegas 46 yard line and rushed Alex Armah up the middle, only to be stuffed for no gain by the Raiders defense.

“They got the stop when we needed it,” said head coach Jon Gruden on his defense.  “Fourth quarter defense is going to be a big part of winning in this league.”

The Raiders were led by second year running back Josh Jacobs who rushed 25 times for 93 yards and three touchdowns.

“It’s big to get a win in the first year in Las Vegas and not only that, for Oakland too to let them know that we are still here and we still want to win games,” said Jacobs.

The Raiders left Oakland this season to play in Las Vegas.

“That was a championship effort by a lot of guys,” said Gruden.  “I am just really happy to get a win for the Las Vegas Raiders, first win of the history of the Raider franchise in Vegas and hopefully our fans saw something that they liked.”

Quarterback Derek Carr was instrumental in moving the ball for the Raiders all game, throwing for 239 yards and one touchdown to wide receiver Nelson Agholor.

“Derek Carr was great today, that’s what we asked of him,” said Gruden about Carr.  “In a game like this, we didn’t know much about our opponent, but he made a lot of plays.”

“I’m so happy for our fans and I am proud of our guys to pull through,” said Carr.

The Raiders fell down 30-27 with 8:29 remaining in the game, but remained composed and drove 75 yards in nine plays for the game winning six yard touchdown run by Josh Jacobs.

With the win, the Raiders improved to 1-0 on the season and will make their debut at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas next Monday night against the New Orleans Saints.

Game Notes:

  • The Raiders were out-gained in total yards, 388-372.
  • Las Vegas committed only three penalties for 40 yards.
  • Tight end Darren Waller led the Raiders with six catches.
  • Rookie WR Henry Ruggs caught three balls for 55 yards, while rushing two times for 11 yards.

 

Aces win third straight with 92-86 victory over Indiana

Photo credit: AP Photo/Chris O’Meara

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces remain hot on the heels of first place Seattle with a 92-86 win over the Indiana Fever at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Forward A’ja Wilson scored 22 points and dominated the boards pulling down 16 rebounds.

Guard Jackie Young and forward Dearica Hamby came off the bench and combined for 30 points.

The Aces led by as much as 20 points, but the Fever wouldn’t go away, rallying in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to just four points.

With the win, the Aces are just one game out of first place behind the Seattle Storm with just three games left in the season:

Thursday vs Minnesota Lynx
Saturday vs Los Angeles Sparks
Sunday vs Seattle Storm

Las Vegas improved to 15-4 on the season.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com


Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 45.7% from the field.
  • Las Vegas out-rebounded Indiana, 42-28.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 19th straight game to start the season.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces sweep season series against Atlanta in 89-79 win

Photo credit: AP Photo/Mike Carlson

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces are pushing hard to gain the number one seed for the playoffs with an 89-79 win over the Atlanta Dream at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

A’ja Wilson led Las Vegas with 21 points and eight rebounds, while Angel McCoughtry, Kayla McBride and Jackie Young each had 18.

As both teams went back and forth in the first three quarters, the Aces needed a 14-2 run in the fourth quarter to get the win. 

The Aces remain in second place in the WNBA standings, one game behind the first place Seattle Storm.

Las Vegas has four games remaining in the regular season, with the last game being against the Storm.

With the win, the Aces improved to 14-4 on the season heading into their next game on Tuesday against the 5-14 Indiana Fever.  The Aces beat the Fever back on August 11th, 98-79.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces, for the second straight game, shot over 50% from the field at 52.4%.
  • Las Vegas held Atlanta to just 1 for 12 from 3-point range.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 18th straight game to start the season.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces beat Sun, 93-78, as playoffs approach

Aces forward A’ja Wilson fights for a loose ball – AP Photo/Mike Carlson

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces continue to battle for the number one seed in the playoffs with a 93-78 win over the Connecticut Sun at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

A’ja Wilson, Jackie Young and Dearica Hamby each had 20 or more points in the game to lead the Aces.

Las Vegas took control of the game in the first quarter and continued to extend their lead as the game went on.

With just five games remaining in the regular season, the Aces already clinched a playoff berth, but Las Vegas is looking to catch the first place Seattle Storm, who are one game ahead of the Aces.

The two teams will most likely play a very meaningful game to finish the regular season on September 13th.

With the win, the Aces improved to 13-4 on the season heading into their next game on Saturday against the 5-13 Atlanta Dream.  The Aces beat the Dream in the second game of the season back on July 29th, 100-70.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shots were falling all game, shooting 52.1% from the field.
  • Las Vegas was out-rebounded 41—23, as Sun Beatrice Mompremier pulled down 16 rebounds.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 17th straight game to start the season.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces fall to Mercury, 92-85

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Photo credit: Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review Journal

By Shawn McCullough

The Phoenix Mercury have quickly become a nemesis for the Aces.

Las Vegas lost to the Mercury for the second time this season in a 92-85 loss at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Guard Jackie Young led the Aces with 20 points going 8 for 15 from the field, while forward A’ja Wilson dropped 17 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

The Aces just couldn’t stop veteran guard Diana Taurasi, who scored a game high 32 points, hitting seven 3-point shots.

Phoenix took control of the game in the 3rd quarter after going on an 11-2 run to take the lead for good.

Dearica Hamby came off the bench and registered a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The loss dropped the Aces to 12-4 on the season and one game behind the league leading Seattle Storm.

The Aces will next play on Thursday against the 8-9 Connecticut Sun, who the Aces beat 99-78 back on August 20th.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 42.7% from the field.
  • Las Vegas went just 3 for 10 from 3-point range, while Phoenix launched 32 shots from beyond the arc, making 14.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 16th straight game to start the season.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces win 4th straight, beat Liberty, 80-63

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Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

By Shawn McCullough

The Las Vegas Aces keep on rolling with their fourth straight win in an 80-63 victory over the New York Liberty at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Forward A’ja Wilson scored 20 points along with seven rebounds, while Dearica Hamby came off the bench and added 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The game was tied at 56 after the third quarter, but the Aces clamped down defensively, holding the Liberty to just seven points in the fourth quarter.

The Aces struggled shooting just 38%, but Las Vegas held New York to just 33.3% from the field.

The win improved the Aces to 12-3 on the season and clinched a playoff berth for Las Vegas.

The Aces will next play on Tuesday against the 8-7 Phoenix Mercury, who beat the Aces 102-95 back on July 31st.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces attempted 20 3-point shots, with Sugar Rodgers draining four.
  • Las Vegas forced 17 New York turnovers.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 15th straight game to start the season.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces-Storm postponed along with two other WNBA games

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The WNBA has postponed all three scheduled games today including Chicago vs Indiana, Dallas vs New York and Las Vegas vs Seattle.

Along with postponing Wednesday’s game, the WNBA is fully behind addressing the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, WI this past weekend, along with all violence against Black women and men.

The Aces released a statement today in support of the movement.

“Today, our league takes a moment to reflect, recommitting itself to engage, to educate, to amplify and to speak for those who can no longer speak.”

The WNBA will reschedule all postponed games at a later time.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Aces clip Wings, 96-92

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Photo credit: Phelan M. Ebenhack/AP Photo

By Shawn McCullough

The Las Vegas Aces kept pace with the first place Seattle Storm with a 96-92 win over the Dallas Wings at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Forward A’ja Wilson went 7 for 18 from the field scoring 26 points and pulling down nine rebounds, while Dearica Hamby came off the bench and posted a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

The Aces found their stride in the second quarter scoring the first six points of the quarter and never trailed after that.

The Wings attempted 40 3-point shots, making 15 while the Aces went just 2 for 6 from beyond the arc.

With the win, Las Vegas improved to 11-3 on the season and remain ½ game behind the first place Seattle Storm.

The Aces will next play on Thursday against the Storm for the second time in the last three games.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 48.4% from the field and held Dallas to just 41.3%.
  • Las Vegas protected the ball well, turning the ball over just eight times.
  • A’ja Wilson scored in double figures for the 14th straight game to start the season.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride

Aces beat first place Storm, 82-74

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Photo credit: Mike Carlson/AP Photo

By Shawn McCullough

Head coach Bill Laimbeer said that playing the Seattle Storm would be a good measuring stick for his team.  Well, Laimbeer learned a lot of good things about his team.

Las Vegas beat the first place Storm, 82-74 at the IMG Bubble in Bradenton, FL.

Forward A’ja Wilson has a double-double dropping 23 points and pulling down 14 rebounds, while Angel McCoughtry also had a double-double in the game.

The Aces defense thrived holding the Storm to just 37.3% from the field and 26.9% from 3-point range.

Guard Danielle Robinson came off the bench and scored 16 points.

The lead went back and forth in the first quarter, but the Aces went on an 11-2 run to start the second quarter and never relinquished the lead after that.

With the win, Las Vegas improved to 10-3 on the season and moved to within ½ game of the first place Storm.

The Aces will next play the 5-8 Dallas Wings on Tuesday before playing the 11-3 Storm again on Thursday.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces out-rebounded the Storm, 44-34.
  • A’ja Wilson, Angel McCoughtry and Danielle Robinson combined for 52 of the Aces 82 points.
  • Wilson and McCoughtry combined for 28 rebounds.

Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 35 Angel McCoughtry
C – 4 Carolyn Swords
G – 15 Lindsay Allen
G – 21 Kayla McBride