Atlanta – The excitement was in the air as the Atlanta Dream took on the Dallas Wings in the new luxurious confines of the freshly renovated State Farm arena. After last years run in the playoffs, expectations are high for the Atlanta Dream this season despite starting the season without star player Angel McCoughtry. A timetable hasn’t been set on McCoughtry’s return from a knee injury she suffered last season but she was court side as the Dream welcomed the Dallas Wings into State Farm for the 1st game of the season.
Going into the home opener all the focus of the offense was placed on Tiffany Hayes and Renee Montgomery but the story of the home opener would be the 17 points dropped by Jessica Breland in the 75-72 win over Dallas.
“In training camp I’ve really been focusing on taking my shots, attacking the rim, and my teammates have been very encouraging with me taking my shots that they know I can knock down. It helps a lot. “ – Power Forward Jessica Breland
Despite shooting and defensive struggles in the 2nd and 3rd qtr in the Dream outscored the Wings 29-17 in the 4th to secure the win. Tiffany Hayes struggled tonight going 2 for 8 from the field and finishing with only 5 points.
Don’t expect that every night, it’s only one game Tiff will be fine.
The Dream finished with 3 players in double figures and resident sharp shooter Renee Montgomery finished 15 points and going 3 for 4 from behind the 3 point line. The Wings who were also without their star player Skylar Diggins were led by Alisha Gray who scored 14 points.
“We just don’t give up .. I don’t think anyone on this team felt that when we got down that we were out. We know that when we need stops we can get them.” – Coach Nicki Collen
Despite giving up 17 offensive rebounds, and going 18 for 29 from the foul line, the Dream showed that they can pull out a gutsy win even when the stats aren’t in their favor and their stars are struggling.
Next up for the Dream will be the Seattle Storm on Friday May 31st at State Farm Arena. For tickets check out www.dream.wnba.com