The Aces on Friday ended a three-game homestand with an earthquake — and a 51-35 halftime deficit to the vaunted Washington Mystics.
Time now to hit the road.
Time to regroup.
The Aces moved past the postponed continuation of Friday night’s game and embarked Saturday on a three-game, eight-day road trip that coincides with the Vegas Summer League — an 11-day event that several players had hoped to be a part of.
Instead, they’ll play the New York Liberty, Indiana Fever and the Mystics again before returning home to practice.
And then they’ll leave to play the Seattle Storm on July 19.
“I wish the WNBA would do some stuff (around the Summer League),” Las Vegas guard Kayla McBride said. “I wish they would market it better so we could have visibility for both leagues, but it is what it is. We’re going to go on the road. Summer League is going to happen. We’re going to come back and it doesn’t matter. Our fans come out, and that’s all that really matters for us.”
The Aces had played six of their last seven games at home and established a sense of continuity while ascending to the top of the Western Conference standings. They’re 6-2 at Mandalay Bay Events Center and have won a trio of home games by making plays late in the fourth quarter, which is something they struggled to do last season.
“We really started to build more chemistry, not within ourselves as a team, but also with our fan base,” forward A’ja Wilson said. “We got to show our fans that this who we are. … Sometimes we may slip up and get a loss, but you still leave there like ‘Wow, they played hard.’ And that’s our main goal.”
The Aces this season are 2-3 on the road, and haven’t yet played more than two consecutive games away from Mandalay Bay. They left Las Vegas on a low note, though, and won’t play at home again until July 21.
“I’m searching for answers or combinations of players that know how to get out there and get after it, but they’re going to have to learn. Now we’re going to go on the road for four games, and we’ll see how we do there. That’s all I have to say about that,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said. “We have to find a way to lock in more mentally, and so far we haven’t been able to accomplish that.”
Continuation in limbo
The WNBA is discussing possible dates for the Aces to finish their game against the Mystics, but a league employee familiar with the situation told the Review-Journal that there is no timetable for an announcement.
The earthquake occurred late in the second quarter, and officials briefly stopped play before allowing the half to expire. Play was delayed for about 45 minutes while league officials deliberated and decided on postponement.
Who: Aces at New York Liberty
When: Noon Sunday
Where: Westchester County Center, White Plains, N.Y.
TV: WNBA League Pass
About the Aces (8-5): Wilson is averaging a team-high 17.1 points per game this season to go with 7.4 rebounds. Liz Cambage had 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in her last full game and accounts for 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds. Kayla McBride is the top scoring option on the perimeter, averaging 14.8 points per game. The Aces have split two meetings with the Liberty this season.
About the Liberty (7-7): New York is among the most improved teams in the WNBA, and has already equaled its 2018 win total. Tina Charles averages 19.2 points and 8.8 rebounds, but is shooting 38.8 percent from the field. Second-year wing Kia Nurse is averaging 16.7 points and Amanda Zahui B. goes for 11.4 points and 7.8 rebounds.