SEATTLE — When Crystal Langhorne’s two free throws gave Seattle a 78-76 lead with 1:18 to play in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s WNBA game against the Dallas Wings, the Storm appeared to have seized momentum and looked to be on their way to their first three-game winning streak of the season.
The Wings spoiled the party, however, mounting a 7-0 run to close out the game, earning an 83-78 win.
Aerial Powers answered Langhorne’s free throws with a 3-pointer with 54 seconds to play. Powers, who came into the game averaging 9.1 points per game, scored a team-high 19 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from 3-point range. In two games against the Storm this season, Powers is averaging 16 points per game.
“She hit some really tough shots,” Storm head coach Jenny Boucek said. “You’d have to ask her why she plays well against us, but she played really well and hit huge shots down the stretch.”
The Storm had two chances to tie or take the lead in the final seconds, but second-year guard Jewell Loyd lost the ball out of bounds on a drive to the basket that could have given the Storm a one-point lead. Rookie Breanna Stewart also had a chance to tie with a late 3-pointer, but stepped out of bounds before releasing the shot. Both plays were reviewed by the officials and both went in favor of Dallas.
The Storm held the lead for much of the second half thanks to Loyd. She made her first five field-goal attempts of the second half and scored 13 points in the third quarter, but her shots faltered late and she failed to score in the fourth quarter, allowing Dallas to get back in the game.
“I thought we had some good looks and opportunities,” Boucek said. “They made more plays than we did. I give them a lot of credit, they played really well. They hit some really tough shots, but we had our chances too. We just didn’t finish quite as many.”
The Storm hadn’t scored less than 19 points in any of the first three quarters, but managed just 13 in the fourth.
Seattle led in most statistical categories at halftime, including rebounding. That changed in the second half as the Wings out-rebounded the Storm by 12, many of which came on the offensive glass. By game’s end, Dallas outscored Seattle 16-4 on second-chance points.
“They might have worn us down a little bit,” Boucek said. “That’s what they do. They do it to everybody. (They’re) first in the league in offensive rebounds and second-chance points. We battled hard on it, we just didn’t get enough of them.”
After scoring 67 points in her previous two games, rookie forward Breanna Stewart was held to 17 points and shot just 6-for-15 from the floor. She shot a combined 21-for-31 in Friday’s win over Connecticut and Tuesday’s win over Atlanta. She also shot 8-for-12 from beyond the 3-point line in those games, but cooled to just 1-for-5 against the Wings.
“This is one we wanted to get,” Stewart said. “It stinks a little bit, but we have a road trip coming up that we have to focus on.”
The Storm open a three-game road swing Tuesday at Atlanta. They also have stops scheduled in New York and San Antonio.