Dallas Wings (11-21) at Connecticut Sun (12-20)
Date: Friday, September 16
Time: 6:00 PM (CT)
Site: Mohegan Sun Arena
Television: WNBA League Pass
Wings: Skylar Diggins, Erin Phillips, Aerial Powers, Karima Christmas, Courtney Paris
Liberty: Alex Bentley, Jasmine Thomas, Alyssa Thomas, Camille Little, Chiney Ogwumike
The Dallas Wings ride in to Connecticut with a two-game win streak for the third and final matchup with the Connecticut Sun. The Wings have lost twice to Connecticut this year, both times in Arlington. Glory Johnson notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds in an 86-83 loss on July 2, and Odyssey Sims dropped 20 points against the Sun in a 89-78 loss on July 20.
Aerial Powers was inserted into the starting lineup for the second time this season for last Sunday’s 84-81 win over the New York Liberty. Karima Christmas, who moved to the power forward spot after an injury to Plenette Pierson, continued her streak of 32 straight starts to open the season. Christmas led the team with a season-high 23 points. Center Courtney Paris registered her second straight double-double and eighth of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds vs. the Liberty.
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-high averages 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.
“Last week, we took a look at our final four games and said ‘let’s make this a four-game series’. We took the first two last week, so right now we are 2-0 in our series and looking for a good note to end our season on the road.”
Assistant coach Bridget Pettis– “We’re taking away a lot from this season. Anytime you go through a season with a lot of adversity and trials, it’s a just a lesson. Not too many have patience for that because everybody wants to win. That’s just part of it, that you have to go through the growth part. We learned a lot about ourselves this year and we have a lot that we got from it.
“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.”