Dream routs Brazil in last preseason game

The Atlanta Dream held the Brazilian national team to 21 second half points en route to a 97-47 runaway victory in the team’s final exhibition game Monday night in Philips Arena.

The Dream opened the second half with a 25-3 run to put the game out of reach.

“I wanted to get everybody in and get a good look at all the players so I could get a good evaluation of everyone,” coach Fred Williams said. “We really came out and set the tone in the second half to build the lead. I was very pleased with everyone on the floor. We still have a lot of things to work on.”

Guard Courtney Clements came off the bench to lead the Dream with 18 points and five rebounds. Catherine Kraayeveld and Armintie Herrington added 11 points each while Aneika Henry and Alex Bentley each chipped in 10.

Clements was the last player signed heading into training camp.

“I’ve known Courtney since her high school days so I know what type of shooter and player she is,” Williams said. “Tonight was a sign of her trying to fight and compete for a job.”

The Dream dominated Brazil inside, grabbing 16 more rebounds and scoring 20 more points in the paint. The Dream shot 54 percent, but struggled from the 3-point line, shooting just 21 percent. Williams attributed the poor shooting to lack of practice time.

The Dream stifled the Brazilians, holding them to just 33 percent shooting, including nine percent from behind the arc.

“Our defense was on point,” Herrington said. “I think we played well as a team and we just had fun. That’s the most important thing, having fun. And we got the W so it was great.”

The next step for Williams and his staff is setting the roster. Williams said he could make the first cut soon.

“That’s something we’re going to discuss as a staff tonight and tomorrow we have a day off,” Williams said. “We’re going to look at our board and look at some stats to figure out where we want to go. It can happen within a few days.”

The Dream used its pressure defense and up-tempo offense to build a 19-point lead during the first half, taking a 41-26 advantage into halftime. The Dream shot 50 percent (16 for 32) from the floor while holding Brazil to 38.5 percent (10 for 26).

The Dream forced 14 turnovers in the first half, converting them into 16 points. The Dream also pressured Brazil inside for 18 points in the paint.

The Dream were without Sancho Lyttle, Angel McCoughtry, Erika DeSouza and Yelena Leuchanka. Lyttle, McCoughtry and DeSouza recently returned from playing overseas. Williams said the trio should join the team on Wednesday. He did not set a timetable for Leuchanka’s return.

The Dream open the regular season May 25 when Skylar Diggins and the Tulsa Shock travel to Philips Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.