Aces fall to Sky, 92-84

Photo by Jeff Bottari/NBAE via Getty Images The Aces and Sky were expected to be two of the top teams in the WNBA this year.


By Shawn McCullough

The Aces struggled, shooting just 41.1% from the field, in a 92-84 loss to the Sky at Wintrust Arena in Chicago.

The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the Aces.

Las Vegas got a game high 23 points from guard Kelsey Plum, as she went 7 for 16 from the field and 7 for 7 from the foul line.

Forward A’ja Wilson scored 18 points and pulled down 12 rebounds, while Riquna Williams added 14.

The Sky were led by guard Allie Quigley, who dropped 22 points.

With the loss, the Aces fell to 20-8 on the season and sit 1.5 games behind the Connecticut Sun for first place.

The Aces will next play at home on Wednesday against the 18-9 Minnesota Lynx with just four games remaining in the regular season.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Sky shot 50.7% from the field.
  • Las Vegas outrebounded the Sky, 38-37.
  • A’ja Wilson and Kiah Stokes combined for 22 rebounds.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 41 Kiah Stokes
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Angel McCoughtry—Out, right ACL
Dearica Hamby – Out, left ankle sprain
Liz Cambage – Out, health and safety protocol

Aces win third straight, beat Sky, 90-83

Las Vegas Aces forward A’ja Wilson (22) fights for control of the ball with Chicago Sky guard Allie Quigley (14) as Las Vegas Aces center Kiah Stokes (41) looks on behind them during the second half of a WNBA game at Michelob Ultra Arena on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, in Las Vegas. (Ellen Schmidt/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces returned home after a three-game road trip and beat the Chicago Sky, 90-83, at the Michelob Ultra Arena.

A’ja Wilson, Riquana Williams and Kelsey Plum each scored 21 points to lead the Aces.

Las Vegas was without their star center, Liz Cambage, as she tested positive for COVID-19, but is full vaccinated.

The Sky got a game high 30 points from forward Candace Parker, while she also pulled down 14 rebounds in the loss.

With the win, the Aces improved to 20-7 on the season and sit one game behind the Connecticut Sun for first place.

The Aces will next play the Sky again this time in Chicago on Sunday with just five games remaining in the regular season.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 45.2% from the field.
  • Las Vegas outrebounded the Sky, 39-32.
  • A’ja Wilson and Kiah Stokes combined for 23 rebounds.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 41 Kiah Stokes
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Angel McCoughtry—Out, right ACL
Dearica Hamby – Out, left ankle sprain
Liz Cambage – Out, health and safety protocol

Aces blow out Fever, 87-71

Photo Credit: WNBA.com


By Shawn McCullough

The Aces ended their three-game road trip with a convincing 87-71 win over the Fever in Indiana.

“Today’s game was a trap game where it‘s the last game of the road trip and they are playing better as of late,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “I thought the starters took care of business.”

Las Vegas finished the three-game road trip 2-1.

“If you told me that we would be 2-1 on this road trip, I would be like ‘I want to be 3-0, but I would take 2-1’,” said Laimbeer.

The Aces had six players in double figures in scoring with Riquna Williams leading the way with 15 points.

“We had to redeem ourselves even after winning in Atlanta,” said Williams. “We didn’t look like ourselves.”

Kelsey Plum scored 14 points and dished out six assists, while Chelsea Gray and Jackie Young also added 13 each.

“We just had to lock in, cut out our turnovers and make defensive stops,” said Young on the win.

With the win, the Aces improved to 19-7 on the season heading home to face the Chicago Sky on Thursday at the Michelob Ultra Arena.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot 48.4% from the field.
  • Las Vegas turned the ball over 16 times, while Indiana committed 15 turnovers.
  • Liz Cambage pulled down nine rebounds while adding 12 points.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 8 Liz Cambage
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Angel McCoughtry—Out, right ACL
Dearica Hamby – Out, left ankle sprain

Aces with big second half, beat Dream, 78-71

Lass Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) shoots over Atlanta Dream center Elizabeth Williams (1) during their WNBA game on Thursday. CREDIT: Sam Morris/Las Vegas News Bureau

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces bounced back from a tough loss in Connecticut on Tuesday with a come from behind win over the Dream in Atlanta, 78-71.

The Aces trailed by eight at halftime, but rallied to outscore the Dream 38-23 in the second half.

“We turned the defense on [in the second half] and that won us the game,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “We need to come out at the start and play harder.”

After just four points on Tuesday night, A’ja Wilson dropped 21 points, pulled down 12 rebounds and dished out seven assists.

“Her overall game tonight was very solid,” said Laimbeer. “She knew that it was one of those strange occurrences [Tuesday night] and she needed to help the team tonight.”

“I don’t ever what to play like that again,” Wilson said about Tuesday night’s game. “I knew this game was very important for me and I am glad to have a game like this to showcase myself.”

Dearica Hamby came off the bench to score 20 points, while Liz Cambage added 17.

“Our feet were kind of in the mud in the first half, but a win is a win,” said Hamby.

With the win, the Aces improved to 18-7 on the season heading into their third straight game on the road with a game on Saturday in Indiana against the Fever.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces held the Dream to just 36.1% from the field.
  • Las Vegas outrebounded Atlanta 43-34.
  • Injured guard Angel McCoughtry entered the game in the final seconds of the game to play in front of the fans that she played in front of for so many years.  McCoughtry will not play again this season while rehabbing from a right ACL injury.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 8 Liz Cambage
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

None

Aces fall to Sun, 76-62

Photo credit: Shawn McCullough (Sports Radio Service)

By Shawn McCullough

The Aces three game winning streak came to an end as the Sun beat Las Vegas, 76-62, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut.

“They [Connecticut] played a hard basketball game and we didn’t,” said head coach Bill Laimbeer. “The players need to execute a lot better and we need to become a more mentally tough team.”

With the win the Sun won the season series against the Aces, 3-0.

“That’s three games in a row that they got us playing their game instead us playing our game,” said Laimbeer.

Last season’s WNBA MVP, A’ja Wilson, struggled, shooting just 1 for 15 from the field and finished the game with four points.

She [Wilson] gets in her own head at times,” said Laimbeer of Wilson. “She didn’t have a very good start and she kind of puts her head down. She needs to play through that.”

The Aces were led by point guard Chelsea Gray with 15 points, while both Liz Cambage and Dearica Hamby added 13.

“We struggled with the same thing that we struggled with in the first two games of the series, taking care of the basketball,” said Hamby.

With the loss, the Aces dropped to 17-7 on the season heading into their next game on Thursday in Atlanta against the 6-17 Dream.

Las Vegas Aces – http://aces.wnba.com

Game Notes:

  • The Aces shot just 39.7% from the field, while Connecticut shot 44.8%.
  • Las Vegas was outrebounded 39-30.
  • The Aces have eight more games left in the regular season, five on the road and three at home.


Game Starters:

F – 22 A’ja Wilson
F – 3 Riquna Williams
C – 8 Liz Cambage
G – 0 Jackie Young
G – 12 Chelsea Gray

Aces Injury Report:

Angel McCoughtry—Out, right ACL

Aces Handle Mystics 93-83; Plum leads Vegas with 24

Las Vegas Aces head coach Bill Laimbeer gives the thumbs up sign coaching against the Washington Mystics at Michelob Ultra Arena in Las Vegas on Tue Aug 17, 2021 (photo from the Las Vegas Review Journal)

Aces Handle the Mystics 93-83

By Barbara Mason

Tuesday night the Las Vegas Aces took on the Washington Mystics a second time after winning an amazing game against them on Sunday The Aces had to fight and claw their way back into that game and so tonight’s game was expected to be another marathon.

The Aces won Sunday’s game by a single point 84-83. Las Vegas had a slow start in that game that put them completely behind the eight ball and set up a near loss for the team.

Tonight the Aces came out of the gate and had the lead after one quarter 23-21. Although the Mystics played Las Vegas tough in the quarter they could not get on top of them.

Washinton really turned things around in the second quarter. At the half the Mystics had taken the lead 49-41. The Mystics were taking charge in this game, at least in the first half. They would have to keep the pressure on in the second half of this game which had all the makings of another nail biter.

In the third quarter the Aces got back on top and going into the fourth quarter they had taken a slim lead 69-67. This game could not have been any more competitive between two seemingly equal opponents.

It was the fourth quarter that sealed the deal for the Las Vegas Aces. They outscored the Mystics 24-16 and cruised to a 93-83 win.

We saw a determined Las Vegas in this game. They refused to entertain another one point game. Four of the Aces starters shot in double digits. A’ja Wilson had 19 points, Liz Cambage shot 15 along with 13 from Chelsea Grey and 10 from Riquna Williams. The team got an amazing 24 points from Kelsey Plum off the bench.

The Aces now have a 17-6 record and sit at the top of the league with the Storm still to play tomorrow. Next up for the team will be the Connecticut Sun. Tipoff is schedule for Tuesday August 24 at 4:00 PM

Las Vegas pulls off a dramatic come from behind win against Washington 84-83

Las Vegas Aces A’JA Wilson led the Aces with 20 points and a double double against the Washington Mystics on Sun Aug 15, 2021 at the Mandalay Events Center in Las Vegas (image from @LVAces)

Las Vegas Pulls Off A Dramatic Come From Behind Win

By Barbara Mason

June 5th in review: The last time the Las Vegas Aces and the Washington Mystics met was on June 5th and the Aces narrowly won that game by the score of 96-93.

Right now the Aces have a record of 16-6 and the Mystics have a 8-11 record. After their last meeting the Las Vegas Aces were slightly favored to win this game.

Being favored doesn’t always translate into a win as Las Vegas was soon to find out.

Sun Aug 15th game recap: Sunday’s game was a shocker at least in the first quarter. The Mystics outscored the Aces 27-15 and while it did get better in the second quarter Las Vegas was playing at a steep deficit.

At the half the Aces trailed by the score of 50-35 in a first half drubbing. A’ja Wilson had only scored 7 points in the first half and there were no double digits to be had by Las Vegas. On the other hand the Mystics Tina Charles and Myisha Hines-Allen both had scored double digits. Charles had 16 points and Hines-Allen with 10.

The Aces had a lot of trouble getting going in the first quarter and even though they played fairly even in the second quarter they were clearly behind the eight ball in this game, struggling mightily. We have seen them in the past come from behind and win and they would need all onboard to come away with a win in this game.

As the third quarter wore on it became evident that the Aces were in deep trouble as the Mystics continued to pour it on showing now signs of relinquishing the lead. The Aces did outscore the Mystics in the quarter but only by a single point and they would a whole lot more in the fourth quarter to get by Washington.

As we have seen before, Las Vegas began to pour in on in the fourth quarter. There was just under five minutes left in the game and the feisty Aces had pulled to within six points 76-70.

With 4.6 seconds left on the clock Las Vegas took the lead 84-83. A failed shot by the Mystics Ariel Atkins gave the Aces the improbable win.

Las Vegas got a very slow start in this game but they were gangbusters at the end. A’ja Wilson finished with 20 points, Liz Cabbage had 17 and Jackie Young had 14. While it was an amazing comeback, the team does not want to fall behind in a game the way they did in this one anytime soon.

Next up for the Aces will be this Tuesday when they will again take on the Mystics. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Wilson, Gray represent Team USA in All-Star Game loss, 93-85

Photo credit: Shawn McCullough/Sports Radio Service

By Shawn McCullough

LAS VEGAS–The USA Basketball Women’s National Team fell in their first exhibition game against the WNBA All-Stars, 93-85, at Michelob Ultra Arena at Mandalay Bay.

Team USA was led by Phoenix center Brittney Griner who scored 17 points, while Seattle forward Breanna Stewart added 15.

Aces forward A’ja Wilson scored eight points and pulled down five rebounds.

“Yes, it was an All-Star Game, but we are going to be competitive and compete,” said Wilson. “It’s legit.”

Aces guard Chelsea Gray played almost 18 minutes and scored eight points.

“It was a level up and it felt good,” said Gray about the All-Star Game.

Team USA will play two more exhibition games before heading to Tokyo for the Olympics, Australia on Friday and Nigeria on Sunday.

“The biggest thing is defense and that comes from chemistry,” said Wilson on preparing for the Olympics. “We have a small amount of time to get to know each other, but we’ll get there.”

“We just try to get better and communication will be key,” said Gray.


Aces have that championship look in 95-79 win over Dallas preceding the Olympic break

By Morris Phillips

ARLINGTON, TX–What’s not to like? The Las Vegas Aces were the trendy title pick before the WNBA season started, and entering the Olympic break, they still are.

“We’re a super talented team,” Dearica Hamby said. “Really one through 12. Talented, talented roster.”

The Aces were flawless even without Liz Cambage, who has already joined the Australian national team in Vegas of all hot places. Without her, A’ja Wilson dominated in the paint, scoring 22 points as her shiftier teammates spread the floor and moved the ball in a fast moving attack.

Hamby added 22 points, Jackie Young had 17, and Kelsey Plum 16 as the Aces broke open a close game after halftime and led by double digits for the majority of the second half. The key may have been eschewing 3-point attempts and attacking the Wings in the paint with their quickness and passing ability despite Dallas’ advantage in size. The Aces attempted just eight shots from distance, making three while going 31 for 59 from two, and 24 of 30 from the free throw stripe.

The Wings, a surprise with their presence in the postseason chase, fell to 9-12, and they appeared to lose focus offensively after the break, missing 17 3-pointers in all, and allowing too many transition opportunities to their opponent. Three Wings–Satou Sabally, Tyasha Harris and Marina Mabrey–failed to make a shot, combining to go 0 for 17 and 0 for 5 from three. Dallas’ leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale was pestered throughout by Riquna Williams and finished 4 of 19 shooting for 10 points.

Moriah Jefferson and Allisha Gray each had 14 points to pace the Wings.

The Aces will see five of their players depart for the Tokyo Olympics, and with a 15-6 record trailing only Seattle at 16-5, health will be the primary concern for the team over the month long break. Cambage, Wilson, Plum, Chelsea Gray and Ji Sun Park have earned the distinction of being 2021 Olympians.

“We got through the first half healthy, and that’s a huge bonus for our basketball team that we have a full roster,” Coach Bill Laimbeer said.