Wings Drop Game to Fever

By Kayte Ledbetter

The Dallas Wings (20-17) fell to the Indiana Fever (12-25), 97-84 in overtime, Sunday, August 3 in a game that saw the Wings play in overtime for the first time this season.

The Wings didn’t allow the Fever their first field goal until 6:18 in the opening quarter, when their first field goal represented the first basket of 13-1 Indiana run. Arike Ogunbowale sunk her second three of the quarter to combat the previous three baskets from Indiana that came from beyond the arc. Veronica Burton forced a steal with just eight seconds on the clock, setting Dallas up with the final shot of the quarter, an opportunity they took advantage of to cut their deficit to just three points after trailing by as many as seven.

Kelsey Mitchell had dipped into double digits after the first quarter, totaling 11 points that included two baskets from deep. In the first quarter alone, each starter had grabbed at least two boards each, while Teaira McCowan led rebounding efforts with five herself. Crystal Dangerfield grabbed a team leading two offensive rebounds in the quarter.

After the Fever spent the first two minutes of the second quarter extending their lead back to seven, Dallas responded with a 9-0 run that gained them their first lead since the 5:45 mark in the first quarter. Despite the lead change, the Fever outscored the Wings 7-2 in the final three minutes to regain their three-point lead going into the half.

At the half, both Ogunbowale and Sabally had hit double digits, each with ten points on four made field goals. The Wings shot an even 40% (14-35) in both the first and second half and the Fever recorded a clip just better at 41.7 (15-36). Kelsey Mitchell and NaLyssa Smith were in double figures at the half, while the Wings were able to hold Aliyah Boston to just seven points following her 27-point performance on September 1.

The Dallas starters worked to bring it within one point at the conclusion of the third quarter. The entire quarter saw an evenly matched effort where the Wings would have gained their first lead at the conclusion of a quarter had Kelsey Mitchell not sunk a three in the final four seconds.

As the Fever sunk a three to both conclude the third and open the fourth, the Wings had their work cut out from them to pull away from the Fever after they found themselves down four points. Dallas did exactly what they needed, firing from all cylinders as they made up for lost ground with a 6-0 run. Crystal Dangerfield made it her mission to not let the Fever get too close, extending the Dallas lead to four points twice in the span of a minute. For every basket Dallas had, Indiana had a response, closing the cap every time the Wings pulled farther ahead.

Through the conclusion of regulation play, each Dallas starter had hit double digits, with Sabally and Ogunbowale leading the effort with 19 points each.

Their first overtime of the season proved a challenge for Dallas as Indiana outscored them 8-0 through two and a half minutes, allowing them to gain their largest lead up to that point. Erica Wheler recorded three fouls in the span of seven seconds and went on to record her fourth in overtime and sixth of the game which allowed Dallas to regain possession of the ball at a crucial time, right after they had made their first field goal of overtime. The opportunity was not enough though, as Ogunbowale’s three remained the solo Dallas field goal of the extra five minutes. Dallas was outscored 19-6 to be served with their largest loss since August 8 when they lost by 20 points to Las Vegas.

NaLyssa Smith and Kelsey Mitchell both finished with 30 points on the night. Aliyah Boston recorded her 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds.

As Smith and Mitchell had both led team scoring efforts for the Fever, a duo did the same for the Wings. Arike Ogunbowale and Satou Sabally both finished with 22 points, with Ogunbowale sinking four threes and Sabally grabbing nine boards and dishing out four assists. Ogunbowale’s 21 20+ point games ranks as the fourth most in the league.

Natasha Howard totaled 15 points and recorded three blocks alongside Teaira McCowan. McCowan recorded her 11thdouble-double of the season with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Her 11 double-doubles are tied for the seventh most in the league this season alongside New York’s Jonquel Jones and teammate Natasha Howard. Crystal Dangerfield recorded 11 points and six rebounds to have grabbed five or more boards in six games this season.

Tonight represented the third time this season that all five Dallas starters finished in double figures (7/7 vs. LVA, 8/22 at MIN).

The Wings will remain at home where they will take on the New York Liberty on Tuesday, September 5 at 7 p.m. CT with coverage on CBS Sports Network.