July 25, 2022
Daily Briefing — July 25, 2022: Tina Charles takes charge
Teaira McCowan dominates for Dallas
It’s Monday, I’m sorry. Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the Yesterday’s Recap. Day 68 of the WNBA season was here, featuring a historic performance from Tina Charles, season-highs from Kelsey Mitchell and Natisha Hiedeman, and the Lynx slipping ever-further away from playoff contention. Tina Charles’ day in particular came after mass outcry after she continued to be in the Storm’s starting lineup — yours truly was well-represented in that mass — which appears to be a permanent thing. Which doesn’t make any basketball sense, let me tell you. (Editor’s note: we sure about that?)
Either way, Tina Charles played well last night. But the Storm played 40 minutes of zone defense, likely to compensate for Tina Charles hamstringing their previously historically excellent defense. Something to keep an eye on going forward.
But first, read:
- WNBA.com’s Mark Schindler spoke with the Sparks’ Lexie Brown and Katie Lou Samuelson on how the growth in their games and their comfort on the court has driven career years
- The Dallas Morning News’ Peter Warren broke down Arike Ogunbowale’s shooting profile and where she’s struggling
- Friend Of The Daily Briefing Mark Schindler dove into the defensive excellence of Rebekah Gardner
- Basketball News’ Nekias Duncan looked at how Sophie Cunningham has contributed to the Mercury’s small-ball success
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Wednesday, July 24 recap
Dallas (12-15) beat Indiana (5-25), 96-86. The Fever led 14-7 in the mid-first quarter, but the game was tied by the mid-second; the Wings went on a 38-19 run from then through the late third. Dallas shot 52.1% from the field, but just 19.0% from three; the teams each committed 24 fouls.
Off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings with 22 points on 9-for-18 shooting (0-4 3pt.), four rebounds, five assists, and two steals; center Teaira McCowan had 17 points on 8-for-10 FG, seven rebounds (five offensive), and three assists in just 19 minutes; wing Allisha Gray notched 16 points on 6-for-11 from the field (2-4 3pt.), three rebounds, three assists, three steals, and two blocks against two turnovers and four fouls in 34 minutes; combo forward Kayla Thornton tallied 11 points on 3-for-5 FG (0-2 3pt.), eight rebounds (three offensive), five assists, and two blocks against two turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes.
Indiana was led by combo guard Kelsey Mitchell’s season-high 34 points on 13-for-23 from the field, 3-for-6 from three, and 5-for-8 from the line, five rebounds (three offensive), six assists, career-high three steals, and two blocks against four turnovers; big NaLyssa Smith had 16 points on 6-for-15 shooting (2-5 3pt.) and five rebounds against four turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes; center Queen Egbo notched 14 points on 5-for-8 FG (4-7 FT) and five rebounds (three offensive) against five fouls in 21 minutes.
Seattle (18-10) beat Atlanta (12-16), 82-72. The Storm scored the first six points, but the game was within one possession from then through the mid-second quarter; Seattle then went on an 11-2 run, and that was the difference for most of the last 24 minutes. The Dream were held to 34.5% from the field and 24.0% from three, while taking 10 fewer free-throws than the Storm; Atlanta had a season-high 17 offensive boards.
Center Tina Charles led Seattle with a 27-point, season-high-15-rebound double-double — with 20 of those points and 10 of those rebounds coming in the first half — on 9-for-13 from the field and 4-for-7 from three, plus four blocks against three turnovers; big wing Breanna Stewart had 23 points on 5-for-13 shooting (1-4 3pt., 12-13 FT), and 10 rebounds (three offensive) for a double-double, plus four assists, two steals, and three blocks.
The Dream were led by wing Rhyne Howard’s 23 points on 9-for-30 from the field and 4-for-14 from three, six rebounds, and three assists without a turnover; big Cheyenne Parker had 12 points on 6-for-14 shooting (0-1 3pt.), eight rebounds (four offensive), and three assists against three turnovers and four fouls in 29 minutes; big Naz Hillmon notched nine points on 3-for-10 FG, a career-high 14 rebounds (seven offensive), four assists, and two blocks against four turnovers.
Connecticut (19-9) beat Minnesota (10-19), 86-79. The game swung between ties (or near-ties) and double-digit (or near-double-digit) Sun leads. The Lynx shot 6.2 percentage points better from three, but Connecticut took seven more threes and won the rebounding battle by 12; the teams combined for 17 steals.
Combo guard Natisha Hiedeman led the Sun with a career-high-tying 19 points on a career-high 5-for-8 from three (1-2 from two) and five assists against two turnovers; big Alyssa Thomas notched a double-double with 15 points on 4-for-10 from the field and 7-for-8 from the line and 10 rebounds (four offensive), plus five assists against fix turnovers; center Brionna Jones notched 18 points on 8-for-14 FG, eight rebounds (four offensive), and two steals against four turnovers; big wing Jonquel Jones returned after missing the past three games, finishing with eight points on 3-for-7 shooting (1-2 3pt.) and four rebounds in 15 minutes off the bench.
Minnesota was led by off-ball guard Aerial Powers’ 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting (1-2 3pt.), four assists, and two steals against four turnovers; big Nikolina Milić fouled-out in 26 minutes, finishing with 14 points on 7-for-9 FG (0-1 3pt.), four rebounds (three offensive), and three turnovers; backup combo guard Rachel Banham had 11 points on 4-for-9 from the field and 3-for-6 from three and three assists. Center Sylvia Fowles was out with right knee pain.