The Dallas Wings (4-8) travel to Chicago to take on the Sky (6-7) for the first time this season. The Wings hold an 22-14 advantage over the Sky in the all-time series, but Chicago has won two of the last three meetings. The Sunday showdown will be broadcast on WNBA League Pass starting at 5 p.m.
Theresa Plaisance and Arike Ogunbowale were the Wings leading point getters in the team’s last outing, both netting 15 points, respectively. Plaisance’s total was a season high and marked five straight games of 10 or more points for Ogunbowale. Kayla Thornton, Isabelle Harrison and Theresa Plaisance pulled down five or more rebounds against the Fever, stretching the Wings’ streak of at least three players with five or more rebounds to nine games.
Diamond DeShields leads the Sky at a 14.5 points per game clip, while Jantel Lavender pulls down a team-leading 6.6 boards per game and Courtney Vandersloot hands out a league-leading 8.0 assists per game.
Arike Ogunbowale was named the WNBA’s Rookie of the Month for the month of June. Through the nine games that were played last month, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin native averaged 13.2 points, 2.2 rebounds and 1.9 assists. She has eclipsed double-digit scoring figures in five straight games and in seven of the last eight contests. Ogunbowale has also been the team’s leading scorer, or tied as such, five times this season
DON’T GET SWUNG ON
Coach Brian Agler coached his 500th career WNBA game on Sunday, June 30. He joins Dan Hughes (573) and Mike Thibault (556) as the only WNBA coaches to have coached 500 or more games.
GIMMIE THE LOOT
The Wings came away with a come-from-behind 89-86 win against the Minnesota Lynx. The victory was the first against the Lynx since 2015 and snapped the longest road winning streak in WNBA history for one team against a single opponent. Arike Ogunbowale led the team with 19 and five other players (Kayla Thornton, Theresa Plaisance, Isabelle Harrison, Allisha Gray and Kaela Davis) tallied 11 or more points. Plaisance collected 10 rebounds, accumulating back-to-back double-doubles for the first time in her career.
Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings against the Sun, compiling 23 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal. The Notre Dame product is the first Wings rookie to post back-to-back 20-point games since the 2014 season and she’s the League’s leading rookie scorer at 12.9 points per game. Isabelle Harrison was the team’s second leading scorer, submitting 13 points and six rebounds. Theresa Plaisance handed out a team-high five assists, marking a new career-high for the Louisiana native. The Wings bench continued to shine as it outscored Connecticut’s reserves 22-6, outperforming its opponent bench for the sixth time this season.
TEAMWORK MAKE THE DREAM WORK
Wings rookie Arike Ogunbowale exploded for a career-high 25 points against Las Vegas, the second most points scored by a rookie so far this season. Her total was the most scored by a Dallas rookie since Azura Stevens tallied 26 against the Indiana Fever last season. Ogunbowale and Megan Gustafson combined for a combined 34 points against the Aces, making it the most points scored by a rookie duo so far this season. The two followed it up with 29 total points in the Wings win over the Sun, the third most points scored by rookie teammates this season.
The Wings are holding its opponents to a staggering 70 points per game at the College Park Center, the fewest points allowed at home this season by any team in the League. The Dallas defense set the record for fewest points allowed since the team came to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in a 71-61 win against the Atlanta Dream on 6/15 and then broke that record in the next game against the Phoenix Mercury, holding them to just 54 points.
DOUBLE-DOUBLE ANIMAL STYLE. WELL DONE FRIES.
Kayla Thornton and Theresa Plaisance recorded double-doubles in a 69-54 win over the Phoenix Mercury last, helping the Wings post back-to-back wins. Thornton’s double-double, the first of her career, came by way of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Her board total was a new career high, nine of them being defensive, and her 37 minutes logged were the most she recorded in her career in a single game. Plaisance’s double-double, also coming from points and rebounds, was the second of her career. Her 12 points tied her season high and her 11 rebounds gave her a new career mark. It was the first time the Wings had two players with double doubles since August 5, 2018 vs. Washington. The Wing momentum was created by dominating the glass, corralling a season-high 49 rebounds and outrebounding the mercury by a margin of 21. Azura Stevens defensive effort showed up on the box score in the form of a career-high four blocks. Wing’s Rookie Megan Gustafson also got the first playing time of her career and scored the first points of her career, finishing the game with four points three rebounds and an assist.
WINNER, WINNER CHICKEN PARM DINNER
Dallas posted its first win of the season against the Atlanta Dream, besting them 71-61. Wings rookie Arike Ogunbowale led the charge for the Wings, netting a season-high 17 points, and was joined in scoring by Allisha Gray’s 16 points, also a season high. Ogunbowale’s 17 points are the fifth most scored in a single game by a rookie this season. Gray also had a game-high eight rebounds, leading the team in rebounding in consecutive games for the second time in her career and being the team’s top rebounder for the fifth time in her career.
THEN HAVE NO FEAR, THE CAMERA’S HERE
Despite a loss to the Washington Mystics, the Wings saw a season-high scoring performance from Glory Johnson, who collected 15 points on seven-of-13 shooting. Johnson has now notched 104 double-digit scoring games in her career, with last game being this first time she has done it this season. The Tennessee product has also appeared in 181 games for the organization, tying Kara Braxton for sixth most played in franchise history. She has started in every game this season and is five starts behind tying Skylar Diggins-Smith for fourth most starts in organization history. Johnson’s block she tallied against the Indiana Fever last week brought her career total to 86, moving her into ninth all-time on the Wings’ total block list.
ROOKIE, ROOKIE, ROOKIE CAN’T YOU SEE
Rookies Arike Ogunbowale and Brooke McCarty Williams had quite the WNBA debut and continue to be solid producers for the Wings. Ogunbowale erupted for a season-high 25 points in Las Vegas on June 22. Her outpouring was the second most points by a rookie so far this year. She followed it with 23 points against the Sun, marking the first time since 2014 that a Wings rookie has posted back-to-back 20-point games. Ogunbowale was also the only starter to eclipse double-digit scoring figures in the Wings two games against the Dream and Lynx she is the leading rookie scorer in the WNBA. Since rejoining the team, Megan Gustafson has also put in work. She’s averaging 5.4 points through and has bested her point total against Las Vegas. McCarty-Williams got her first career start at Indiana on 6/7 and also got the starting nod against the Dream at home on 6/19. She hit a key three-pointer against the Dream to put the Wings up 43-40 and eventually secure the team’s first win of the season. Her 3.1 assists per game are the third most of any rookie in the League.
IT WAS DENTYNE, COACH
Coach Agler’s reputation for defense has continued in Dallas. The Wings’ defense is holding its opponents to 74.2 points per game, the third best defense in the league. Dallas is also holding its opponents to 26.8 field goals made per game on an average of 65.3 attempts, the fewest average makes and attempts in the league. The Wings are holding opponents to 41.1 percent from the field, the third worst opponent shooting percentage.
I WANNA BE THE VERY BEST, LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS
Kayla Thornton turned it on against Indiana on 6/13, dropping a career-high 19 points on a career best six-of-17 shooting. Thornton also set career standards in three-points made, going three-for-seven from the three-point line and a perfect four-of-four from the charity stripe. The UTEP product also pulled down seven rebounds. Theresa Plaisance also record a new career best against the Indiana Fever when she dished out four assists. The LSU product also scored 12 points, her first double-digit game of the season and the first since August 12 of last season. Wings newcomer Imani McGee-Stafford topped her season-high of 10 points that she tallied against Washington with 12 points against the Fever. This is just the third time in her career that the University of Texas graduate has had back-to-back games with double-digit scoring figures.
DON’T GET CAUGHT WATCHING THE PAINT DRY
42.3 percent of the Dallas Wings’ scoring this season had come from inside the paint, the fourth most in the league. The Wings have scored 30 or more points in the paint every game but four this season, including 36 against the Fever at home, 30 against the Fever in Indiana, 30 against the Dream at home, 30 against the Mercury, 32 against the Lynx and Sun and 34 at the Dream and Mystics.
BLOCKS AND BOARDS, WATCH YOUR FRAME SHAKE UP
Spearheaded by swatters Isabelle Harrison, Azura Stevens and Theresa Plaisance the Wings have averaged 3.9 blocks per contest. Kayla Thornton, Allisha Gray and Glory Johnson have paced the team with offensive rebounds so far this season, helping the Wings average 12.3 offensive rebounds a game, the best in the league by two total rebounds. Dallas is also scoring 11.8 second chance points a game, the second most in the league.
HERE’S A FUN FACT FOR YA
Kayla Thornton and Brooke McCarty-Williams rank third and ninth, respectively, for points per game by players who are in the WNBA but went undrafted. They are also first and eighth, Thornton then McCarty-Williams, for minutes a game.
ON THE MOVE
The Dallas Wings traded center Liz Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces in return for guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Isabelle Harrison. The deal also included the Wings picking up Vegas’ first and second round picks from the 2020 draft. The Wings made another deal the same day, acquiring Imani McGee-Stafford from the Atlanta Dream for the Wings’ 2020 third round pick. Jefferson, 25, averaged 5.4 points a game in 2018 after returning from injury halfway through the season. Harrison, 25, who took a medical leave of absence during the 2018 season, started 33 contests for San Antonio in 2017. McGee-Stafford, 24, appeared in 29 games for the Dream last season, starting two of them.
WELCOME TO TEXAS, COACH
The Dallas Wings hired two-time WNBA Champion Brian Agler to serve as the team’s head coach on December 18, 2018. Agler joins the Wings with more victories than any other coach in U.S. women’s professional basketball history. Agler brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to Dallas, including 12 years as a WNBA head coach. Before coming to Dallas, Agler was the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. Compiling an 85-51 overall record, Agler’s guided the Sparks to four playoff appearances and the 2016 WNBA Championship. Agler’s stint in LA also included back-to-back 28-6 seasons in 2016 and 2017 and a second appearance in the WNBA Finals following the 2017 campaign.
ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF
The Dallas Wings resigned the duo of Kayla Thornton and Glory Johnson this off season. Thornton, who claimed a championship with the KB Stars of the WKBL before reporting to camp, started 32 of last season’s 34 contests. The UTEP product averaged 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds, all career-high marks, while shooting a career-best 44.7 percent from the field and 86.0 from the foul line. Johnson, entering her seventh season in the WNBA, has spent her entire career with the Wings organization. She appeared in 29 outings last season, averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Johnson’s 1,448 total rebounds give her the second most total boards in franchise history.
A ROOKIE NOW
Dallas’ first round draft pick, No. 5 overall, Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame) became a household name when she stunned UConn and Mississippi State en route to the Irish capturing the NCAA Championship in 2018 and was vital to the South Bend squad returning to the championship game the following year. She passed Dallas’ own Skylar Diggins-Smith this season to become the program’s all-time leading scorer. The 2018 and 2019 All-American was All-ACC First-Team in the same years.
TEXAS FOREVER, Y’ALL
The Wings made moves off the court by welcoming Texas Capital Bank as the team’s marquee jersey partner. The community efforts of the two organizations started last month with the revitalization of the Sarah Wilke Youth Center, part of the Wesley Rankin Community Center in West Dallas, and will continue with more community events throughout the season and partnership.