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Atlanta holds on for 79-75 win over San Antonio

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Erika de Souza finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds as the Atlanta Dream came from behind late to defeat the San Antonio Stars 79-75.

Josh D. Weiss-US PRESSWIRE

Angel McCoughtry scored eight of her 21 points in the fourth quarter as the Atlanta Dream came from behind late to defeat the San Antonio Stars 79-75 Friday night at Philips Arena.

McCoughtry scored four points in the final 43 seconds but it was two big defensive plays that preserved the game for the Dream. With the score tied 73-73, McCoughtry scored on a tough lay in at the basket to put Atlanta up 75-73 with 42.9 remaining. Tiffany Hayes then slid into position just in time to take a charge from San Antonio's Danielle Robinson who had torched Atlanta for much of the evening.

Atlanta failed to convert on their next possession and the Stars once again had a chance to tie. This time it was Matee Ajavon who came up with the big defensive play as she knocked the ball away from Kayla McBride which was then picked up by Shoni Schimmel who was fouled. Schimmel made both free throws to put the Dream up 77-73 with just 6.4 remaining. Danielle Adams scored a quick two for the Stars on their next possession but Atlanta was able to get the inbounds pass in to McCoughtry who was fouled and closed things out from the line.

Erika de Souza led the way for the Dream with 23 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. McCoughtry added 21 on an efficient 8-14 shooting to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Perhaps the most unexpected contribution of the night came from Schimmel who played 30 minutes and finished with seven points and 11 assists and was on the court at crunchtime.

The Stars played without Becky Hammon who stayed behind in San Antonio due to an ankle injury. Robinson made up for her absence as Atlanta struggled to contain the speedy point guard. She finished with 23 points on 8-9 shooting. Adams continues to torment the Dream with 18 points while Sophia Young-Malcolm added eight points and 12 rebounds.