June 15, 2022 

Daily Briefing — June 15, 2022: MERC-ED — Mystics snap Mercury winning streak

McBride's big game not enough for Lynx

Happy hump day! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 33 of the WNBA season is here, following me being very correct about Phoenix not being good yet. The Mystics coasted past those Mercury, despite getting poor/low-scoring efforts from Natasha Cloud, Ariel Atkins, and Elena Delle Donne, and Phoenix only got five points from its bench. Then over in Minneapolis, Seattle played without Sue Bird (non-COVID illness) and Mercedes Russell (non-basketball injury, same designation as her preseason ailment), and some weird stuff happened. But it still beat Minneapolis, so we’ll spend another couple days not thinking about the Storm almost losing to a team they had no business almost losing to.

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Oh, and Mercury big Brianna Turner set a record for the most minutes played without a true shot attempt, per Across The Timeline. Good for her!

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But first, read:

  • Our Natalie Heavren details the varied efforts of the Mercury in their Washington trip, from in-game struggles to the State Department briefing
  • Our Jacqueline LeBlanc tries to piece together what the Sun could be doing with their open roster spot
  • Our David Yapkowitz recaps the beginning of the Sparks’ Fred Williams era

W Roundup

Indiana: Signed point guard Khayla Pointer. Because why not add a fourth point guard to a team that already has seven players listed at guard.

Watch List, Wednesday, June 15

(All times in Eastern, Game Of The Day in bold)

Las Vegas @ Dallas, 1 p.m., League Pass (Local: My LV TV, Bally Sports Southwest Extra)

Atlanta @ Connecticut, 7 p.m., League Pass (Local: Bally Sports Southeast, NESN+)

Phoenix @ Indiana, 7 p.m., League Pass (Local: Bally Sports Arizona Extra, Indiana Fever Livestream)

NCAA Roundup

Kansas State, Wisconsin: The teams are set to play on Nov. 11 at The Ballpark Formerly Known As Miller Park. (The real name is American Family Field, but I’m guessing fewer folks are going to know that name — I sure didn’t.) This is big news, considering it’s 1. a nominally outdoor stadium (retractable roof), and 2. a Major League Baseball stadium. Pretty cool!

Tuesday, June 14 recap

Washington beat Phoenix, 83-65. The Mercury had things tied near the end of the first quarter, and trailed by 13 just six minutes later. Phoenix assisted on 21 of its 24 buckets, the fifth-highest assist rate by a team this season, per Her Hoop Stats; the Mystics only committed nine turnovers and 14 fouls.

Washington was led by center Shakira Austin’s 16 points on 6-for-11 shooting (0-1 3pt.) and 10 rebounds for a double-double; backup center Elizabeth Williams had 10 points on 4-for-7 FG, six rebounds, and two assists without a turnover in 13 minutes; off-ball guard Alysha Clark notched 11 points on 3-for-5 from three (1-3 from two), six rebounds, and two steals without a turnover.

Wing Diamond DeShields led the Mercury with 21 points on 9-for-21 shooting (2-5 3pt.), eight rebounds, and two assists against four turnovers; center Tina Charles had 19 points on 7-for-14 from the field and a career-high-tying-5-for-8 from three, four rebounds, and two assists; combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith tallied 11 points on 3-for-8 FG (0-2 3pt., 5-7 FT), three rebounds, a season-high-tying eight assists, three steals, and three blocks against four turnovers — just the second 11/3/8/3/3 game without overtime in WNBA history, per HHS.

Seattle beat Minnesota, 81-79. The Lynx led for 17:40 between the mid-first quarter and the mid-third. Minnesota shot 13.1 percentage points better from the field, but took only three free-throws — fewer than half the league’s previous season-low, per Across The Timeline — while the Storm out-shot it by 12.8 percentage points from three; the Lynx assisted on 24 of their 28 buckets; Seattle grabbed a season-high 15 offensive rebounds.

Big wing Breanna Stewart led the Storm with 29 points on 10-for-18 from the field (1-3 3pt.) and 8-for-10 from the line, eight rebounds (four offensive), and three assists; backup combo guard Epiphanny Prince had 15 points in 18 minutes on a season-high 5-for-8 from three (0-2 from two), three rebounds, and two assist without a turnover; combo guard Jewell Loyd struggled to 14 points on 5-for-16 shooting (3-7 3pt.), two rebounds, and five assists; off-ball guard Gabby Williams notched four points on 1-for-7 FG (0-2 3pt.), a career-high-tying 10 rebounds (career-high-tying five offensive), and eight assists against just one turnover.

Minnesota was led by off-ball guard Kayla McBride’s 20 points on 9-for-15 from the field and 2-for-5 from three, four rebounds, and three assists against two turnovers; combo forward Jessica Shepard, coming off the bench for some reason, had 12 points on a nice 6-for-9 FG, six rebounds, and two assists; de facto combo guard Aerial Powers notched 10 points on 4-for-11 shooting (0-1 3pt.), five rebounds, and a career-high-tying seven assists against five turnovers; big Nikolina Milić tallied 11 points on 5-for-11 from the field (0-3 3pt.), seven rebounds, and four assists against three turnovers.

Written by Em Adler

Em Adler (she/they) covers the WNBA at large and college basketball for The Next, with a focus on player development and the game behind the game.

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