One of the dates WNBA fans marked with a bold, blue Sharpie marker was that of May 27 – when the Las Vegas Aces would open their new home at the Mandalay Bay Events Center as they took on the Seattle Storm.
As expected, given that it is Vegas and they have a knack for making every sporting matchup feel like a girls’/guys’ night out on the Strip (see the Vegas Golden Knights), the Aces’ home opener had no shortage of pomp and circumstance.
Hoopswise, when it was time for both teams to step foot on the basketball hardwood, it would be the visiting Storm topping the Aces by a final of 105-98.
Las Vegas certainly came to play against a Storm team that has raced out to a fast start in the season’s opening weeks. The Aces outscored Seattle in both frames in the second half, but were still seven points shy of what would have been a historic victory to open their new era in Sin City.
Speaking of which, opposing teams must take heed of the Storm because allowing them to drain big shots from downtown might as well be a basketball sin. Seattle shot a robust 46 percent from behind the arc against Las Vegas, including those of Kaleena Mosqueda Lewis, who made all three of her treys coming off the bench. She finished with 13 points.
Breanna Stewart completed her evening with 23 points and Natasha Howard tallied up 21. Jewell Loyd had 20 points along with dishing out nine assists. Sue Bird compiled 10 points along with four assists.
As for the Aces, the pride of the Gamecocks, A’ja Wilson, led all scorers with 27 points along with hauling down eight rebounds. Nia Coffey added 23 to the Aces’ efforts and Kayla McBride finished with 21.