The Dallas Wings (0-2) travel to Indianapolis, Indiana today to take on the Fever (2-1) tomorrow, June 7 at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
The Wings, coming off a close game against the Minnesota Lynx, saw enormous production from its bench the last time they were on the court. The Dallas bench outscored its opponent’s bench 39-6 in the 2019 home opener at College Park Center. It was the most points the bench has scored since facing the Sparks on 7/12 of last year when the Wings second unit also scored 39 points. Kayla Thornton led the Wings in scoring with 12, and was the team’s sixth player in the contest, and was followed closely behind by Azura Stevens with 10. Thornton also logged a team-high 25 minutes against the Lynx. Stevens, who had missed the season opener with a concussion, collected eight rebounds, six of them coming on the offensive side of the floor, and logged a career-high tying three blocks. Rookie Arike Ogunbowale was the team’s second leading scorer, tabulating 11 points in her second WNBA game.
The Fever are led by fifth-year player Erica Wheeler, who is averaging 17.3 points per game and had a 26-point outburst against the Connecticut Sun. Wheeler is also averaging a team-high 6.7 assists per outing. Veteran Candice Dupree and rookie Teaira McCowan guide Indiana on the glass, averaging 5.7 and 5.0 rebounds per contest, respectively.
This will be the 58 all-time meeting between the two organizations and the Fever hold the advantage 31-26 in the series. Indiana won the most recent regular season meeting, but Dallas had snagged two in a row last season.
ROOKIE, ROOKIE, ROOKIE CAN’T YOU SEE
Rookies Arike Ogunbowale and Brooke McCarty Williams had quite the WNBA debut and continue to be solid producers for the Wings. Ogunbowale has been the only starter to eclipse double-digit scoring figures in the Wings two games and she is the second highest scoring rookie in the W. McCarty-Williams is the League’s fourth leading rookie scorer. Her 10 assists through two games are also the second most of any rookie.
IT WAS DENTYNE, COACH
Coach Agler’s reputation for defense has continued in Dallas. The Wings’ defense is holding its opponents to 73.0 points per game, the second-best defense in the league. Dallas is also holding its opponents to 26.5 field goals made per game on an average of 64.0 attempts, both league leading marks. Opponents are also only making 4.5 three-pointers a game, third best in the W. The ball also don’t lie to Dallas. Opponents are shooting 67.4 percent from the charity stripe against the Wings. The Wings defensive pressure is also causing 16.0 turnovers, the second most in the league.
28.1 percent of Dallas’ scoring so far this season has come from beyond the three-point line, the second most percentage of any team so far this season. It’s 6.5 makes from three-point land are fourth best in the league while its 22.5 attempts per game are the third most. Allisha Gray (66.7), Brooke McCarty-Williams (50.0) and Glory Johnson (50.0) all rank in the top-10 for three-point percentage during this young season.
BLOCKS AND BOARDS, WATCH YOUR FRAME SHAKE UP
Spearheaded by swatters Isabelle Harrison and Azura Stevens, the Wings have averaged 6.5 blocks per contest, placing them second best in the league. Harrison, Glory Johnson and Kayla Thornton have paced the team with rebounds so far this season, helping the Wings average 38.0 a game, fifth best in the league. The Wings are averaging a league best 15.0 offensive rebounds a game, helping them average a league best 16.0 second chance points per game.
HERE’S A FUN FACT FOR YA
Kayla Thornton and Brooke McCarty-Williams rank fourth and fifth, respectively, for points per game by players who are in the WNBA but went undrafted.
ON THE MOVE
The Dallas Wings traded center Liz Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces in return for guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Isabelle Harrison. The deal also included the Wings picking up Vegas’ first and second round picks from the 2020 draft. The Wings made another deal the same day, acquiring Imani McGee-Stafford from the Atlanta Dream for the Wings’ 2020 third round pick. Jefferson, 25, averaged 5.4 points a game in 2018 after returning from injury halfway through the season. Harrison, 25, who took a medical leave of absence during the 2018 season, started 33 contests for San Antonio in 2017. McGee-Stafford, 24, appeared in 29 games for the Dream last season, starting two of them.
WELCOME TO TEXAS, COACH
The Dallas Wings hired two-time WNBA Champion Brian Agler to serve as the team’s head coach on December 18, 2018. Agler joins the Wings with more victories than any other coach in U.S. women’s professional basketball history. Agler brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to Dallas, including 12 years as a WNBA head coach. Before coming to Dallas, Agler was the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. Compiling an 85-51 overall record, Agler’s guided the Sparks to four playoff appearances and the 2016 WNBA Championship. Agler’s stint in LA also included back-to-back 28-6 seasons in 2016 and 2017 and a second appearance in the WNBA Finals following the 2017 campaign.
ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF
The Dallas Wings resigned the duo of Kayla Thornton and Glory Johnson this off season. Thornton, who claimed a championship with the KB Stars of the WKBL before reporting to camp, started 32 of last season’s 34 contests. The UTEP product averaged 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds, all career-high marks, while shooting a career-best 44.7 percent from the field and 86.0 from the foul line. Johnson, entering her seventh season in the WNBA, has spent her entire career with the Wings organization. She appeared in 29 outings last season, averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Johnson’s 1,448 total rebounds give her the second most total boards in franchise history.
A ROOKIE NOW
Dallas’ first round draft pick, No. 5 overall, Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame) became a household name when she stunned UConn and Mississippi State en route to the Irish capturing the NCAA Championship in 2018 and was vital to the South Bend squad returning to the championship game the following year. She passed Dallas’ own Skylar Diggins-Smith this season to become the program’s all-time leading scorer. The 2018 and 2019 All-American was All-ACC First-Team in the same years.
TEXAS FOREVER, Y’ALL
The Wings made moves off the court by welcoming Texas Capital Bank as the team’s marquee jersey partner. The community efforts of the two organizations started last month with the revitalization of the Sarah Wilke Youth Center, part of the Wesley Rankin Community Center in West Dallas, and will continue with more community events throughout the season and partnership.
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