Home WNBA Articles and Highlights Stingy Defense Helps The Wings Soar Pass The Mercury 77-62

Stingy Defense Helps The Wings Soar Pass The Mercury 77-62

367
0
Photo Credit: Mike Yduarte

Phoenix, AZ —Stifling defense helped the Dallas Wings on Tuesday as the they defeated the Phoenix Mercury by a score of 77-62 at the Footprint Center.

Arike Ogunbowale lead the way with 23 points, Natasha Howard chipped in 19 points and 10 boards for the Dallas Wings on Tuesday night. It was the Mercury’s sixth straight double-digit loss.

The super three of Ogunbowale (23 points), Satou Sabally (18 points) and Howard (19 points) scored 60 of Dallas’ 77 points in the game, approximately 78% of the total points. The Wings held Phoenix to the lowest point total of any opponent this season, including just 11 points in the final frame.

Sabally put up her 10th double-double of the season with her 18 points and 12 boards for the Wings (7-8), which has won three straight in the series. She also had a career-high six assists.

“There’s nothing better,” said Head Coach Latricia Trammell of having the star talent at her disposal. “They’re the finishers. They’re the leaders on this team. They’re the voice in the locker room. They’re the culture. They’re the players that we want, that’s going to help move this organization forward in a positive way.”

Brittney Griner scored 20 points for Phoenix (2-11). Michaela Onyenwere chipped in 12 points and Diana Taurasi was held in check for the contest with six points on 2-of-7 shooting from the hardwood. Sophie Cunningham (back) and Megan Gustafson (concussion) did not play.

The Wings started the game red hot, scoring 12 points in the first three minutes of the game. However, the offense got stagnant and they scored just 12 points in the entire second quarter.

Dallas finished the contest with 17 turnovers, leading to 21 Phoenix points. Sabally and Howard made five each, but impacted the game in other ways to make for their miscues.

Photo Credit: Mike Yduarte

“We just didn’t focus on the bad things happening,” said Ogunbowale after the game. “We just have to come together, get some stops, get some scores, and that’s what we did.”

Ogunbowale was deadly throughout the game, but took over in the final quarter. She scored nine points and dished out two assists in the fourth quarter alone, single handedly accounting for more points (scored and assisted on) than Phoenix as a whole.

In that final frame, the Wings utilized a 14-0 run to seal the game. The Mercury’s Sug Sutton scored to make it a three point game, 63-60 with just 8:09 remaining in the game. The Mercury would not score another point until the waning minute of the game, by then they was done by 15.

Dallas used their tough defense and athleticism to get out in transition, the Mercury had 12 fast break points to just two for the Wings. Transition defense has been a focus for Trammell and her staff recently, and that attention to the little stuff paid off in this game.

“Our turnovers were too high,” said Trammell. “We’ve got to make sure we take care of the basketball. We had 17, which is way too many.”

Howard was a machine for Dallas, showcasing the versatility that has defined her whole career. She finished with a double-double while defending multiple positions on the floor. With Teaira McCowan and Kalani Brown in foul trouble, Howard pitched in to help guard Brittney Griner, who is listed approximately seven inches taller than Howard but she held her ground against the taller Griner.