Game Preview: Wings at Fever
Dallas Wings (11-22) at Indiana Fever (16-17)
Date: Sunday, September 18
Time: 3:00 PM (CT)
Site: Bankers Life Fieldhouse
Wings: Skylar Diggins, Odyssey Sims, Karima Christmas, Theresa Plaisance, Courtney Paris
Fever: Marissa Coleman, Tamika Catchings, Eriana Larkins, Erica Wheeler, Briann January
The Wings wrap up the 2016 season with a matchup in Indiana versus the playoff-bound Fever. Dallas opened the season in Indiana with a 90-79 win over the Fever highlighted by Plenette Pierson’s 17 points and Theresa Plaisance’s 12 off the bench. The Fever made their only visit to Arlington on June 25 and beat the Wings 92-87. Karima Christmas notched a double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
Dallas dropped the first half of its season-finale road trip to the Connecticut Sun on Friday night. In her second career start, Theresa Plaisance shot 9-15 from the field for 22 points and grabbed six boards.
The Indiana Fever dropped their second-to-last regular season game on Friday night, falling to the Minnesota Lynx at home by a score of 82-75. Sunday afternoon will mark the final regular season game for Fever star and Duncanville, TX native Tamika Catchings, who will retire at the end of the season. Catchings is averaging 12.7 points per game and has started every game for Indiana this year.
The Wings’ offense continues to rely on the three-pointer. Dallas leads the league in both three-pointers made and attempted, and 25 percent of the team’s 83.6 points per game come from deep. The Wings have four players (Erin Phillips, Jordan Hooper, Plenette Pierson and Powers) shooting 35 percent or better from three, and four players (Sims, Christmas, Powers, and Pierson) have hit 30 or more from deep this season.
Wings guard Skylar Diggins has made a quiet but impactful return from last season’s ACL injury. Over the last 10 games, she has averaged a team-high 16.3 points per game including a season-high 29 at Atlanta on July 22. This comes in contrast to her 12.7 per game average in her first 10 games of the season and 13.4 average over the 25 total game since her return.
Dallas midseason pickup Tiffany Bias is averaging career-highs in points, rebounds, and shooting percentage in eight games this season. Bias, along with Theresa Plaisance, Jordan Hooper, and rookie center Ruth Hamblin make up a strong bench presence that has provided sparks at times this season on both sides of the court.
What the Wings are saying about the season finale road trip…
Head Coach Fred Williams- “The biggest thing we took away from this season was the excitement from the fans. The team has played a lot of resilient basketball. This year, we gained the foundation of being here in Dallas. Next year we want to plant more seeds, get to the playoffs, and contend for a championship. We know what it takes. Being here in Dallas I know we are going to have great support to help us get there.
Assistant coach Bridget Pettis- “We just want to finish strong. This is a young team and it doesn’t come overnight. There are no games in vain. We’re still growing and everything matters. Our practices matter, our shoot arounds matter, everything matters.”
Wings center Ruth Hamblin- “I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my rookie year. This season just goes to show that no matter what your record is, you always want to compete. We’ve battled so hard and obviously haven’t gotten the results we wanted, but we really put our hearts out there and I think next year we will capitalize on it.”
Wings guard Tiffany Bias- “We’ve really grown on this team. This team is really fun to play with and they play hard all the time. I’m happy to be a part of it.”