LAS VEGAS, NV (August 19, 2018)—The Las Vegas Aces’ hopes for a playoff berth in their inaugural season came to an end Friday evening, but they still can play the role of spoiler today in their season finale against the Atlanta Dream. While Las Vegas is celebrating Fan Appreciation Day, the Dream are battling for the number two seed in the WNBA playoffs. An Atlanta victory or a Washington Mystics loss at Minnesota gives the Dream the two seed, and a pair of byes in the league’s postseason tournament.
The Aces’ 14. victories this season nearly doubled their win total of 8 from a year ago. Las Vegas also had the youngest team in the WNBA this season, led by Rookie of the Year and MVP candidate A’ja Wilson. The 2018 NCAA Player of the year leads all rookies in scoring (20.7), rebounding (8.0), blocked shots (1.69), field goal percentage (.461), and minutes played (30.8), and ranks third in assists (2.3). Wilson was the only rookie named to the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game, and won the league’s Rookie of the Month awards in June and July.
Fifth-year guard Kayla McBride enjoyed her best season as a professional establishing career highs in scoring (18.5), assists (3.5), field goal percentage (.453) and three-point field goal percentage (.405), while being named to her second All-Star Game.
Second-year guard Kelsey Plum overcame the sophomore jinx, and ranks third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.452). She has also scored 20 or more points in four of her last six games.
Fourth year forward Dearica Hamby ranked among the league leaders in field goal percentage all season long, and is shooting a career-best 52.4 percent heading into the season’s final game.
Third year guard Moriah Jefferson came back from a knee injury, and has made 10 of her last 20 shots from the field over two games, showing flashes of the brilliance that made her a four-time NCAA Champion at UConn.
Rookie center JiSu Park was the youngest player in the league this season at 19 years of age, and she showed glimpses of what the future may hold for her with a pair of double-digit rebound efforts.
Las Vegas also got significant contributions from their veterans this year as 11th-year pro Tamera Young established career highs in scoring (10.0), rebounding (5.2) and assists (2.8).
Seventh-year center Carolyn Swords set a career-high with 12 rebounds in a game, and posted her first two career double-doubles, while making 55.2 percent of her shots from the field.
With one of the top picks in the 2019 WNBA draft headed their way, and potential additions via free agency on the horizon, the Aces continued rise through the ranks to championship contenders is well underway.