June 11, 2022
Daily Briefing — June 11, 2022: SKY HIGH — Chicago snaps Sun winning streak in Uncasville
Late Storms in Dallas
Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 30 of the WNBA season is here, featuring an opportunity to rewatch some of the crazy stuff you missed last night — because even if you were fortunate enough to watch one of the three down-to-the-wire games last night, you surely missed at least one of the others. Maybe you missed Breanna Stewart’s dominance in Dallas. Maybe you couldn’t see the Chicago Sky shake the Connecticut Sun. Maybe your bedtime preceded the Phoenix Mercury’s three superstars finally playing well together.
And even if you caught those, maybe you missed Marine Johannès‘ explosive season debut for the New York Liberty, or the Minnesota Lynx hitting an emotionally devastating rock bottom. Okay, maybe you don’t need to rewatch that last one.
But first, read:
- Her Hoop Stats’ Robert Mummery takes a very cool dive into league-wide early-season trends
- In The Washington Post, Frankie de la Cretaz introduces how the WNBA reflects differences between queer and heteronormative culture
- Swish Appeal’s Sabreena Merchant gives an overview of the Mercury’s positive developments
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Watch List, Saturday, June 11
(All times in Eastern)
Las Vegas @ Los Angeles, 9 p.m., League Pass/Facebook (Local: My LV TV, Spectrum SportsNet)
Friday, June 10 recap
Chicago beat Connecticut, 83-79. The game was mostly within a couple possessions until the Sun had a 13-1 run in the mid-third quarter, but the Sky responded with a nine-minute-long 25-10 run. Chicago shot 9.6 percentage points better from three while assisting on 25 of its 31 buckets.
Big Emma Meesseman led the Sky with a season-high 26 points on 11-for-14 FG (1-1 3pt.), five rebounds, four assists and two steals; big Candace Parker had 18 points on 5-for-10 shooting from the field (3-4 3pt.), three rebounds, five assists and two blocks against three turnovers and five fouls in 34 minutes; bench combo forward Rebekah Gardner notched 14 points on 5-for-8 shooting (1-2 3pt.), five rebounds, a career-high-tying three steals and two blocks against two turnovers; backup point guard Julie Allemand made her Sky debut.
Connecticut was led by backup center Brionna Jones’ 20 points on 9-for-15 FG (0-1 3pt.) and five rebounds (three offensive); big wing DeWanna Bonner had 18 points on 8-for-15 shooting (1-4 3pt.) and three assists against two turnovers; big Alyssa Thomas notched 11 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field, four rebounds and eight assists against four fouls in 35 minutes. Only seven Sun played.
New York beat Indiana, 97-83. The Fever led for most of the first two-plus quarters before the Liberty scored 34 points in the third quarter. New York outshot Indiana by 17.2 percentage points from the field and 17.8 percentage points from three while assisting on a season-high 31 of its 38 buckets; the Fever only committed five turnovers. Both Rebecca Allen* and Emily Engstler left with injuries.
Big Natasha Howard led the Liberty with a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double — season highs in both — on 12-for-16 shooting (1-2 3pt.), plus five assists against two turnovers and four fouls in 31 minutes; point guard Sabrina Ionescu had 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting from the field and 1-for-5 from three, six rebounds, and seven assists against four turnovers; backup center Han Xu notched a career-high 16 points in 16 minutes on 6-for-8 FG (2-2 3pt.), five rebounds and two blocks without a turnover; wing Marine Johannès made her season debut, tallying 11 points on 3-for-5 shooting from three (1-2 from two), two rebounds and six assists off the bench.
Indiana was led by combo guard Kelsey Mitchell’s 23 points on 8-for-17 shooting from the field (2-4 3pt.) and four assists; big NaLyssa Smith had 15 points on 7-for-13 shooting (0-2 3pt.) and nine rebounds (four offensive) against two turnovers; combo forward Victoria Vivians notched 11 points on 3-for-12 FG (1-4 3pt.), four assists and three steals without a turnover.
Seattle beat Dallas, 89-88. The Storm had three separate double-digit leads that the Wings erased throughout the game. The Storm shot 11.1 percentage points better from the field while winning the rebounding battle by eight, but they took nine fewer free throws.
Big wing Breanna Stewart led the Storm with a season-high 32 points on 12-for-22 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from three and 5-for-6 from the line, along with a season-high 11 rebounds for a double-double, plus two assists in 33 minutes; combo guard Jewell Loyd had 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting (3-6 3pt.), four rebounds and five assists against three turnovers; center Ezi Magbegor fouled out in 29 minutes on a suspect call, finishing with 13 points on 6-for-9 FG, six rebounds and two blocks against four turnovers.
Dallas was led by off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale’s 23 points on 6-for-17 shooting from the field, 3-for-7 from three and 8-for-8 from the line along with six assists; backup big Isabelle Harrison had 19 points on 7-for-10 FG (1-1 3pt.), six rebounds, two assists and three steals against two turnovers and four fouls in 25 minutes. Centers Teaira McCowan and Charli Collier were healthy scratches.
Washington beat Minnesota, 76-59. The Mystics jumped out to a 13-5 lead, but the Lynx tied it up by the mid-second quarter; Washington went ahead for good immediately thereafter with a 17-4 run through the early third. The Mystics held Minnesota to just 32.8% shooting from the field and 28.6% from three; Washington committed 20 fouls.
Big Myisha Hines-Allen led the Mystics with a season-high 17 points on 6-for-8 shooting (3-4 3pt.), six rebounds and two assists without a turnover in 21 minutes; backup center Elizabeth Williams had 11 points on 5-for-9 FG, six rebounds, two steals and no turnovers; off-ball guard Ariel Atkins notched 12 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field (1-4 3pt.), three rebounds and two steals.
The Lynx were led by off-ball guard Aerial Powers’ 12 points on 3-for-8 shooting from the field (1-2 3pt.) and 5-for-7 from the line, three rebounds, and two assists against two turnovers; big Damiris Dantas made her season debut, finishing with nine points on 2-for-7 shooting from three (1-4 from two).
Phoenix beat Atlanta, 90-88. The game was mostly within two possessions until the Mercury scored nine straight points across the end of the third and beginning of the fourth quarters. Phoenix shot slightly worse from the field and 9.4 percentage points worse from three but took 19 more free throws, thanks to 19 Dream fouls.
Combo guard Diana Taurasi led the Mercury with 23 points on 6-for-15 shooting from the field, 3-for-10 from three and 8-for-9 from the line, plus three rebounds and six assists without a turnover; center Tina Charles had 20 points on 7-for-15 FG (2-4 3pt.), nine rebounds and four assists against four turnovers and four fouls in 33 minutes; combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith notched 18 points on 7-for-16 shooting (1-5 3pt.), five rebounds and three assists against three turnovers.
Atlanta was led by wing Rhyne Howard’s 25 points on 9-for-18 shooting from the field and a career-high 6-for-12 from three, three rebounds, and five assists without a turnover; big Cheyenne Parker recorded a 20-point, 13-rebound — both season highs — double-double on 8-for-12 shooting (2-2 3pt.) with two steals; point guard Aari McDonald made her first start of the season, finishing with 13 points on 6-for-12 FG (0-3 3pt.), four rebounds, four assists and two steals without a turnover.
* An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that players can only sign three hardship contracts during the season before teams must provide rest-of-season contracts in order to retain them. That provision applies to seven-day contracts, not hardship contracts. In addition, the New York Liberty player who left Friday’s game with an injury was Rebecca Allen, not Sami Whitcomb. The Next regrets these errors.