By: Anthony Miller
After a slow start on offense once again, the Dallas Wings found new life starting in the second quarter as they took down the Phoenix Mercury 90-77 Friday night.
The offense for Dallas had a lackluster start once again as they have had in the previous three games as they scored just 17 points as Phoenix took a first-quarter lead at 21-17. Three minutes into the second quarter, Phoenix Mercury star guard Diana Taurasi sank a step-back jump shot to give them their biggest lead of the game at seven. It was Natasha Howard floating jump shot and one foul that changed the momentum of the game. That would help Dallas get some confidence leading to a 45-42 halftime lead over Phoenix.
Dallas’ second half was all about Arike Ogunbowale as she scored 20 points in the half Dallas controlled the whole second half of the game. Their defense stifled the Mercury offense led by Taurasi and Brittney Griner as Phoenix only mustered 35 points in the second half. The Wings would end up holding strong with an impressive 90-77 win in front of a sold-out 6,253 fans at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas.
Ogunbowale was the star of the game with a season-high of 35 points and five assists in the win. After scoring zero points in the first quarter and a half, Satou Sabally finished the game with 17 points and 16 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season. Howard was equally as impressive with 22 points and seven boards in the win. The Dallas Wings improved to 5-3 on the season and are now 4-0 at home for one of their best starts playing at home in franchise history.
Postgame Reaction/Analysis to the Dallas Wings Win
Dallas’ defense over the last four games has allowed 80 or fewer points in those contests after allowing over 90 points in two of their first four games of the season. When NTZ Network asked Wings head coach Latricia Trammell about their defensive success over the last four games, belief in team defense is what she contributed to it.
“Buy in. Yeah, that’s the big thing the buy-in, the execution. The team we run team defense so having each other’s back. Executing what the game plan is and you always think about defense, I mean thank god it travels right? Because we will need it going into New York. This is the grit, the intensity, the passion, the energy, the communication. I’ve been very proud of them.” – Latricia Trammell, Dallas Wings Head Coach
An underrated part of Ogunbowale’s game this season has been her passing which has shown good improvement. She finished the game with five assists and when NTZ Network asked her about her passing, she credited her teammates for knocking down the shots.
“I would say, my teammates. They are knocking them down. They’re getting to open spots and they’re knocking it down. Tash, Satou, Lani all of them so they make it easy for me.” – Arike Ogunbowale, Dallas Wings
Sabally once again gave an impressive performance for the Wings as she recorded her fifth double-double of the season she is showing herself to be a dominant force for Dallas. Coach Trammell credits Sabally for taking the initiative in embracing this new role of hers through her hard work in fighting through her injuries last season.
“She envisioned it herself. She came with a different mindset. I remember when I was first hired and talking to her, she goes ‘This is my year.’ She has kept that same mindset. So, she is a determined young lady and she has taken the excuse away from everyone else not to be joined in that bandwagon. Very proud of her.” – Latricia Trammell, Dallas Wings Head Coach
Sabally echoed the same sentiments in having the confidence in taking the next step in her role with the Wings.
“I just feel like I’m just playing basketball. I’m just free. I’m just having fun. I’m playing pain free which is a big thing. I think, once you don’t get to thinking about playing basketball you just do what you are set to do. I was really adamant about having a good season and adamant about doing the little things right and I trusted the process and I trusted in what I have been doing. I knew that I could confidently say that I wanted to take a bigger role.” – Satou Sabally, Dallas Wings
The Dallas Wings will have to think short-term as they travel to New York to take on the Liberty Sunday at 12:00 pm on ABC as they look to make it three straight wins on the season.
Featured Image via Twitter (@DallasWings)