The Dallas Wings (7-17) claimed their first road win of the season with an 80-77 victory over the Phoenix Mercury (11-12) tonight. Rookie of the Year candidate Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings with 23 points, four assists, three rebounds and one steal.
This is the eighth game of 20 or more for Ogunbowale this year, her third in the last three games, and the thirteenth time this season the rookie has been the Wings’ leading scorer. The Notre Dame product went 11-of-16 from the line tonight, setting a new career-high for free throws made and attempted. Ogunbowale also netted nine of her points in the fourth quarter and is averaging almost 5.0 points in the final quarter this season, one of the highest rookie marks in the WNBA over the past 10 years.
Allisha Gray added in 16 points, tying her season-high, while dishing out an assist and snagging one rebound. Gray was a perfect seven-for-seven from the charity stripe tonight. Gray and Ogunbowale were joined in double digit scoring figures by Kayla Thornton (11) and Glory Johnson (10) as well, marking the fifth time this season that Dallas has had one scorer with 20 and three with 10 or more.
The Wings were down by as many as six in the fourth quarter but clawed back in the waning moments with a 7-0 run over the final 1:21 of the game. The seesaw battle saw 15 lead changes and nine ties. The final lead change came with 29 seconds remaining when Isabelle Harrison picked the pocket of Leilani Mitchell and drove the length of the floor for a lay in, putting Dallas up 79-77. Ogunbowale would get fouled and make one of her two, but got the rebound on her second free throw to help run out the clock and secure the win.
The Wings return home to take on the Los Angeles Sparks Wednesday, August 14 at 7 p.m. CT on Recovery Night.