The Dallas Wings ended the preseason with an 82-74 loss to the Connecticut Sun on Sunday afternoon.
“I think that we are a physical team but I think that we have some work to do,” Wings guard Brianna Kiesel said postgame. Kiesel led the team in minutes played on Sunday and finished with 9 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists.
“We’re still trying to learn from each other,” Kiesel said. “But I think we have a lot of good stuff for this year. I think AP (Aerial Powers) is coming out. She’s showing a lot of hard work. Glo’ (Glory Johnson) surprised me with her game as well.”
It was Dallas forward Plenette Pierson that hit the first Wings shot at the College Park Center five seconds in and scored 5 in a 15-3 Wings run to open the game. By the end of the first, the Wings led the Sun 18-6. Connecticut answered in the next frame, hitting 12 field goals in the quarter and taking a 34-32 halftime lead.
Dallas forward Glory Johnson took command coming out of the locker room, scoring the first six Wings baskets of the second half and finishing with the team-high 13 points.
“It felt great to be in a game atmosphere,” Johnson said. “It’s different than in practice. You can go full speed. When you’re playing against opponents you get to play as hard as you can.”
Despite Johnson’s effort, the Sun’s hot shooting continued in the third. Back-to-back threes from Jamie Weisner and Rachel Banham helped Connecticut to a double-digit lead heading into the final quarter.
Connecticut extended the lead to 15 with 7:46 remaining in the game when the Wings started to make a late-game push. After leading the team in scoring last week in Indiana, rookie guard Aerial Powers hit a 3-pointer to cut the lead back to single digits and finished with 12 points before fouling out at the 1:02 mark in the fourth.
“I wanted to help my team cut down the lead and we did, but we couldn’t close it out,” Powers said. “Whatever coach needs me to do, if he tells me to, I’m going to do that. I’m always looking to help my team in any way.”
Powers’ final penalty was the last call for the Wings’ comeback chances. Connecticut center Jonquel Jones hit both free throws to give the Sun its final 8-point advantage. Jones finished as the game’s leading scorer with 16 points.
Dallas will open the regular season next Saturday at Indiana. The Wings return to the College Park Center on May 21st for the home opener vs. the San Antonio Stars.