June 16, 2022 

Daily Briefing — June 16, 2022: Fun in the Sun — Connecticut breaks triple-digits in rout of Atlanta

Charles in charge in Indiana

It’s Thursday — the workweek’s almost passed! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, daily Watch List, and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 34 of the WNBA season is here, following some highly predictable results with some highly unpredictable ways of getting there. For example: Connecticut ran over Atlanta, but while scoring 105 points and canning 14 threes, with Courtney Williams leading the Sun with an efficient outing. Then, over in Dallas, the Aces won. Which is to be expected, but it took erasing an early 16-point deficit in order to do so.

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Also, Jackie Young is back! The wing returned for the first time in nearly two weeks, and shot terribly — but she played 35 minutes! Hooray!

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But first, read:

W Roundup

Atlanta: Signed off-ball guard Destiny Slocum to a hardship

Connecticut: Signed off-ball guard Jazmine Jones

Watch List, Thursday, June 16

(All times in Eastern)

Washington @ New York, 7 p.m., League Pass (Local: Monumental, YES App)

Wednesday, June 15 recap

Las Vegas beat Dallas, 92-84. The Wings had a 16-point lead midway through the second quarter — a 90.1% win expectancy, then allowed a 30-10 Aces run over the next 10 minutes. Las Vegas shot 9.6 percentage points better; Dallas committed 20 fouls.

Point guard Kelsey Plum led the Aces with 27 points on 9-for-20 from the field, 4-for-11 from three, and 5-for-8 from the line, four rebounds, and three assists against four turnovers; center A’ja Wilson scored 25 points on 11-for-16 FG (1-1 3pt.), plus five rebounds, two steals, and four blocks; combo forward Dearica Hamby recorded a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double on 5-for-7 shooting (0-1 3pt., 6-8 FT) with two assists and no turnovers; point guard Chelsea Gray notched 16 points on 7-for-12 from the field (0-2 3pt.), five rebounds, and eight assists without a turnover.

The Wings were led by off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale’s 28 points on 8-for-18 from the field, 4-for-9 from three, and 8-for-10 from the line, four assists, and two steals against two turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes; wing Marina Mabrey returned to the rotation, finishing with 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting (3-7 3pt.), three rebounds, and two assists against three turnovers in 26 minutes off the bench; big Isabelle Harrison had a double-double in only 18 minutes, with 12 points on 5-for-10 FG and a season-high-tying 10 rebounds (four offensive), plus two assists and no turnovers against five fouls; backup big Awak Kuier tallied no points (0-5 FG), nine rebounds (four offensive), three assists, and two blocks — that’s the second 0 pts/9 reb/3 ast/2 stl game in league history, per Across The Timeline, and also the second-such game against a Vickie Johnson-employing team!

Connecticut beat Atlanta, 105-92. The Sun shot 51.9% from the field and 53.8% from three — while the Dream shot quite well, that’s tough to beat; the teams combined for 17 steals.

Sun combo guard Courtney Williams led Connecticut with a season-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting (2-3 3pt.), eight rebounds, and two assists; Sun combo guard Natisha Hiedeman had a season-high 18 points on a nice 6-for-9 from the field and 3-for-6 from three, plus three assists and two steals; Sun big wing Jonquel Jones notched 15 points on 6-for-13 FG (3-5 3pt.), nine rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.

Atlanta was led by point guard Aari McDonald’s 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting (2-5 3pt.), five rebounds, and three steals; off-ball guard AD scored a career-high 21 points on 8-for-17 from the field and 4-for-6 from three, with four rebounds (three offensive) and two assists against four turnovers and four fouls in 25 minutes; backup big Naz Hillmon fouled-out in 19 minutes, finishing with eight points on 3-for-4 FG, nine rebounds (four offensive), and three assists against three turnovers.

Phoenix beat Indiana, 93-80. The Mercury led 15-11 in the late first quarter, then went on a 18-3 run. Phoenix out-shot the Fever by 13.5%; Indiana tied a season-high with 16 offensive rebounds; the Mercury notched a season-high nine blocks; the teams combined for 39 fouls.

Phoenix was led by center Tina Charles’ season-high 29 points on 11-for-21 shooting (3-5 3pt.), seven rebounds, four assists, and three blocks against two turnovers and four fouls in 33 minutes; combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith had 13 points on 6-for-12 FG (1-4 3pt.), five rebounds, six assists, and three blocks against three turnovers; wing Diamond DeShields notched 16 points on 5-for-9 from the field (0-3 3pt.) and 6-for-6 from the line, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals against four fouls in 23 minutes.

Combo guard Kelsey Mitchell led the Fever with 26 points on 10-for-20 from the field and 3-for-8 from three and three assists against two turnovers; combo forward Victoria Vivians had 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting (1-5 3pt.), five rebounds, and five assists; center Queen Egbo notched 12 points on 6-for-13 FG, six rebounds, two assists, and two blocks.

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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