August 25, 2022
Daily Briefing — Aug. 25, 2022: ICARUS — Wings fly too close to the Sun
Sun advance to the semifinals
It’s Thursday — the workweek’s almost passed! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W and NCAA Roundups and Yesterday’s Recap. Day six of the WNBA postseason was here, featuring a lesson in nominative determinism. After taking an uncompetitive loss to open the series, Dallas came back and blew out Connecticut in Game 2 on Sunday. And after 20 minutes last night, the game was tied, and the Wings were flapping their wings as hard as they could to get out. But Dallas did not heed Daedalus, and you know what happens when Wings get too close to the Sun: they melt and fall off and plunge into the sea.
Such was the case for Dallas last night, which had one of the worst second halves imaginable. Connecticut forced more turnovers than allowed buckets, and obliterated the Wings on the boards. Not much more to it. And now the Sun move on, as they go to Chicago, looking to avoid becoming the first team to go 0-7 against a single team in one season.
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But first, read:
- Our Tony East reported on Lin Dunn and the Fever’s optimism about Indiana’s organizational direction
- WNBA.com’s Mark Schindler wrote the bible on Alyssa Thomas — from auspicious beginnings to her meticulous game to her growth as a leader
- The Athletic’s Will Guillory went deep with Swin Cash on the entirety of her career
- The Des Moines Register’s Tommy Birch covered Ashley Joens off-the-court career: teaching
- Daniel Connolly’s “UConn WBB Weekly” looks at whether Aaliyah Edwards is primed for a junior-year breakout
- Her Hoop Stats’ Richard Cohen continues his “WNBA Dissected” column with a look at the W once again scheduling itself into a corner and the chess matches that the revised playoff format has enabled
Chicago: Extended head coach/general manager James Wade’s contract through 2025
Kansas State: Center Ayoka Lee will miss the upcoming season due to knee surgery to resolve what has been an ongoing issue, but will return for her grad year in 2023-24. She would have been a mid-to-late-first-rounder on my 2023 WNBA draft board.
Wednesday, Aug. 24 recap
Connecticut beat Dallas, 73-58, to win the series 2-1. The game was tied through the mid-third quarter, but the Wings scored just eight points over the next 10 minutes. The teams combined to shoot just 35.9 percent from the field and each went 4-for-17 from three, but the Sun had seven more free-throws and nine more rebounds, including 17 total offensive boards; Connecticut notched 14 steals, part of 19 Dallas turnovers; the teams combined for 38 fouls.
Big wing DeWanna Bonner led the Sun with 21 points on 7-for-20 from the field, 1-for-5 from three, and 6-for-8 from the line, five rebounds (three offensive) and five assists; big Jonquel Jones had 11 points on 5-for-10 shooting (0-1 3pt.) and 10 rebounds (four offensive) for a double-double, plus two steals against three turnovers and four fouls in 24 minutes; combo guard Natisha Hiedeman notched 11 points on 3-for-5 from three (1-for-5 from two), two rebounds and two assists.
The Wings were led by wing Marina Mabrey’s 20 points on 7-for-14 from the field and 2-for-5 from three against eight turnovers; point guard Veronica Burton had 10 points on 3-for-6 shooting (1-4 3pt.) — eight in the first quarter — six rebounds (three offensive), and four assists against three turnovers; backup center Teaira McCowan notched eight points on 2-for-6 FG (4-6 FT), 12 rebounds and two blocks against five turnovers.