May 7, 2022
Daily Briefing — May 7, 2022: OPEN SEASON — Canada sparks comeback, Seattle and Las Vegas make statements on opening night
Becky Hammon aces her first test and Elena Delle Donne returns
Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the daily Watch List, W Roundup and NCAA Roundup, and Yesterday’s Recap. The WNBA season is fully underway, and four games are under our belts — with some surprising results from opening night, some expected ones. We had career days from Dana Evans and Jordin Canada in a thriller in Chicago; Candace Parker moving up the all-time leaderboards; Elena Delle Donne really playing basketball; Indiana finally being fun to watch; and Seattle and Las Vegas making mincemeat of Minnesota and Phoenix, respectively.
But first, a big ol’ NCAA transfer portal update.
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For complete coverage of all 12 teams, be sure to catch up on our team previews:
Watch List, Saturday, May 7
(All times in Eastern)
Connecticut @ New York, 6 p.m., ESPN
Atlanta @ Dallas, 8 p.m., CBS Sports Network
New to the portal:
- Taylor Chavez, combo guard, Arizona
- Emily Kiser, center, Michigan
- Destiny Littleton, off-ball guard, South Carolina
- Jade Loville, off-ball guard, Arizona State
- Ashley Scoggin, off-ball guard, Nebraska
- Taylor Soule, combo forward, Boston College
- Morasha Wiggins, off-ball guard, North Carolina. The rising sophomore was the composite No. 38 player in the class of 2021.
Out of the portal:
- Brinae Alexander: The off-ball guard out of Vanderbilt committed to Maryland
- River Baldwin: The center out of Florida State committed to N.C. State
- Aijha Blackwell: The big out of Mizzou committed to Baylor
- Haley and Hanna Cavinder: The point guards out of Fresno State committed to Miami
- Kennedy Brown: The center out of Oregon State committed to Duke
- Christianna Carr: The wing out of Syracuse committed to Arkansas
- Chrislyn Carr: The point guard out of Syracuse (no relation to Christianna) committed to Louisville
- Taya Corosdale: The big out of Oregon State committed to Duke
- Bella Cravens: The big out of Nebraska committed to TCU
- Dalayah Daniels: The center out of Cal committed to Washington
- Molly Davis: The point guard out of Central Michigan committed to Iowa
- KK Deans: The point guard out of West Virginia committed to Florida
- Lauren Ebo: The center out of Texas committed to Notre Dame
- Dre’una Edwards: The big out of Kentucky committed to Baylor
- Uju Ezeudu: The point guard out of Denver committed to FGCU
- Dyaisha Fair: The point guard out of Buffalo committed to Syracuse
- Lauren Fields: The off-ball guard out of Oklahoma State committed to Arizona
- Clara Ford: The center out of Boston College committed to Virginia Tech
- Jasmine Franklin: The big out of Missouri State committed to Tennessee
- Caitlyn Harper: The center out of Cal Baptist committed to Purdue
- Jillian Hollingshead: The big out of Georgia committed to Tennessee
- Gabby Hutcherson: The combo forward out of Ohio State committed to Pitt
- Rita Igbokwe: The center out of Pitt committed to Mississippi
- Jordyn Jenkins: The big out of USC committed to UTSA
- Aubrey Joens: The off-ball guard out of Iowa State committed to Oklahoma
- Morgan Jones: The big wing out of Florida State committed to Louisville
- Taylor Jones: The center out of Oregon State committed to Texas
- Greta Kampschroeder: The wing out of Oregon State committed to Michigan
- Lou Lopez Sénéchal: The combo forward out of Fairfield committed to UConn
- Koi Love: The big out of Arizona committed to USC
- Esmery Martinez: The big out of West Virginia committed to Arizona … after LSU reported that she’d signed with the Tigers a week prior
- Jazmine Massengill: The combo guard out of Kentucky committed to Florida State
- Brynna Maxwell: The wing out of Utah committed to Gonzaga
- Abby Meyers: The wing out of Princeton committed to Maryland
- Kari Niblack: The combo forward out of West Virginia committed to Georgia
- Ashley Owusu: The point guard out of Maryland committed to Virginia Tech
- Elisa Pinzan: The point guard out of USF committed to Maryland
- Sammie Puisis: The off-ball guard out of Florida State committed to USF
- Angel Reese: The big out of Maryland committed to LSU
- Eniya Russell: The point guard out of South Carolina committed to Kentucky
- Stephanie Soares: The center out of The Master’s University (NAIA) and ESPN’s former No. 53 recruit in class of 2018 committed to Iowa State
- Cameron Swartz: The wing out of Boston College committed to Georgia Tech
- Sara Scalia: The wing out of Minnesota committed to Indiana
- Jana Van Gytenbeek: The off-ball guard out of Stanford committed to Baylor
- Stephanie Visscher: The combo guard out of SFA committed to Michigan State
- Aaronette Vonleh: The center out of Arizona committed to Colorado
- Kylee Watson: The big out of Oregon committed to Notre Dame
- Priscilla Williams: The off-ball guard out of Syracuse committed to USF
- Bendu Yeaney: The combo guard out of Arizona committed to Oregon State
Friday, May 6 recap
Washington beat Indiana, 84-70. The Fever trailed by one point in the mid-first quarter before allowing 12 straight, and they trailed by as many as 21 in the second quarter before cutting the gap to six in the mid-fourth. The teams combined to shoot 22.5% from three; Indiana won the rebounding battle by 11 but committed 14 turnovers and 20 fouls.
Big Elena Delle Donne led Washington — in her first home opener in four years — with 21 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field and 1-for-5 from three, nine rebounds (three offensive), three assists and two blocks without a turnover; point guard Natasha Cloud notched 17 points on 6-for-13 shooting (0-4 3pt.), four rebounds and six assists; off-ball guard Ariel Atkins scored 15 points on 6-for-11 FG (1-4 3pt.) with three assists and no turnovers.
Indiana was led by combo guard Kelsey Mitchell’s 17 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field and 2-for-7 from three, three rebounds and three assists; NaLyssa Smith recorded a double-double in her professional debut with 13 points (5-13 FG, 0-3 3pt.) and 13 rebounds against three turnovers and four fouls in 35 minutes; rookie center Queen Egbo had 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting, six rebounds and two assists against three fouls in 20 minutes.
Los Angeles beat Chicago, 98-91 in overtime. The Sky led 12-2 after a dominant first 3.5 minutes, but the Sparks led by the late second quarter; Chicago then led by five with less than 90 seconds to go before Dana Evans fouled Jordin Canada on a late three attempt to allow her three free throws to send it to overtime. The teams combined to shoot 50.4% from the field; the Sky had 28 assists on 36 buckets; the teams combined for 30 assists, 45 turnovers and 44 fouls.
Canada led Los Angeles with a career-high-tying 21 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the field (0-1 3pt.) and 9-for-9 from the line, four rebounds, eight assists and two steals against three turnovers; big Nneka Ogwumike had 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting (2-3 3pt.), seven rebounds, two assists and three steals against three turnovers; off-ball guard Lexie Brown and point guard Chennedy Carter each scored 12 points off the bench — Brown on 4-for-5 shooting from three (0-1 from two) with three rebounds, five assists and two steals; Carter on 4-for-5 shooting from two in just 12 minutes.
Evans led the Sky with a career-high 24 points on 9-for-17 shooting (2-7 3pt.), five assists and four steals against four fouls; big Candace Parker had 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting from the field and 3-for-7 from three, six rebounds, six assists and three steals against six turnovers and four fouls; big Emma Meesseman notched 12 points on 6-for-11 FG (0-1 3pt.), eight rebounds and five assists against four turnovers; center Azurá Stevens scored 13 points on 6-for-13 shooting (1-3 3pt.), plus six rebounds and two assists without a turnover; point guard Courtney Vandersloot recorded 11 points on 2-for-7 shooting from the field (1-3 3pt.) and 6-for-6 from the line and eight assists against eight turnovers and four fouls.
Las Vegas beat Phoenix, 106-88. The Aces jumped out to a 20-7 lead and were up by 22 a couple minutes into the second quarter. Las Vegas shot 58.2% from the field and 52.4% from three while holding Phoenix to 25.0% from deep; the Aces won the rebounding battle by 12; they committed 16 turnovers and 23 fouls.
Las Vegas was led by combo forward Dearica Hamby’s 24 points on 11-for-14 shooting (1-2 3pt.), seven rebounds and two blocks against three turnovers and four fouls; combo guard Kelsey Plum had 20 points on 7-for-16 shooting from the field and 5-for-9 from three, six rebounds and seven assists against five turnovers and three fouls; wing Jackie Young scored 20 points on 8-for-10 FG, plus three rebounds and four assists against four turnovers and three fouls; big A’ja Wilson recorded a double-double on 15 points (5-8 FG, 0-1 3pt., 5-6 FT) and 11 rebounds, plus two assists.
Combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith led the Mercury with 25 points on 10-for-18 shooting (1-3 3pt.) and three rebounds without a turnover; point guard Shey Peddy scored 16 points on 6-for-12 FG (2-5 3pt.) with two assists and two steals; center Tina Charles and combo guard Diana Taurasi combined for 24 points on 8-for-27 from the field and 1-for-10 from three and seven rebounds, with Charles adding three assists and three steals and Taurasi notching nine assists.
Seattle beat Minnesota, 97-74. The teams were tied at halftime before the Storm won the third quarter 34-14. Seattle shot 53.0% from the field and 48.0% from three while holding the Lynx to 39.2% and 19.0%, respectively; Minnesota assisted on 23 of its 31 buckets; the Storm notched 14 steals, part of 17 forced turnovers; the teams combined for 34 fouls.
Seattle was led by big wing Breanna Stewart’s 17 points on 6-for-14 shooting from the field and 2-for-5 from three, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals and no turnovers against three fouls in 26 minutes; combo guard Jewell Loyd matched those 16 points on 6-for-12 shooting (1-4 3pt.), plus three rebounds, two assists and two steals against three fouls in 22 minutes; backup combo guard Epiphanny Prince scored 13 points on 5-for-6 FG (3-3 3pt.), with two assists and two steals without a turnover; backup wing Stephanie Talbot notched 11 points on 4-for-6 from the field (1-2 3pt.), two rebounds, three steals and two blocks; point guard Sue Bird recorded 11 points (3-4 3pt.), nine rebounds and two steals against three turnovers in just 22 minutes.
Center Sylvia Fowles led the Lynx with 16 points on 8-for-14 FG, four rebounds and two assists without a turnover in 23 minutes; off-ball guard Aerial Powers had 14 points on 6-for-16 shooting from the field and 1-for-6 from three, three rebounds and four steals against three turnovers.