May 14, 2022
Daily Briefing — May 14, 2022: Chaos across the WNBA
And lots of Saturday reading recommendations to open your weekend
Happy Saturday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the W Roundup, the daily Watch List, the NCAA Roundup and Yesterday’s Recap. Day seven of the WNBA is here, following a trio of games of pure chaos. In Washington, the Dallas Wings started a point guard-less lineup and got eight assists from it, and their backup point guard played 29 minutes and set a career high in assists; meanwhile, the Mystics’ Myisha Hines-Allen somehow got ejected for this. In Atlanta, another backup point guard led, while the Las Vegas Aces did, uh, this. And finally, in New York — well, I’ll let Sabrina Ionescu speak for herself:
Was this part of a losing effort to the worst team in the league? Sure. Things are rough in Brooklyn right now.
Elsewhere, more importantly, Phoenix Mercury star Brittney Griner’s detention was extended for a month and she was denied house arrest. ESPN’s TJ Quinn remains the voice you need to pay attention to on this topic, both at ESPN.com and on Twitter.
But first, read:
- Our Spencer Nusbaum details all that Rhyne Howard has brought to the Dream so far — and because he’s Spencer Nusbaum, I do mean all that she has brought.
- Our Natalie Heavren chronicles Candice Dupree’s introduction to the coaching ranks.
- Our Jenn Hatfield looks at the unlikely path Katie Benzan took to a big night for the Mystics on Tuesday.
- Our Lucas Seehafer once again tries to figure out what the heck the Lynx are doing with their roster.
- Her Hoop Stats’ Robert Mummery explores expansion through one of my favorite lenses: the players on the margins who would be most impacted.
Minnesota: Signed point guard Moriah Jefferson and (contrary to a previous announcement) wing Evina Westbrook to full rest-of-season contracts. Re-signed combo guard Yvonne Turner and big Nikolina Milić to hardship contracts and added Hannah Sjerven on a hardship contract. (Turner and Milić were almost certainly released two days ago to create the space needed for Jefferson and Westbrook’s full contracts.)
Seattle: Signed combo forward Kaela Davis to a hardship contract.
Watch List, Saturday, May 14
(All times in Eastern, Game of the Day in bold)
Phoenix @ Seattle, 3 p.m., ABC
Los Angeles @ Connecticut, 7 p.m., Facebook (Local: Spectrum SportsNet/NESN+)
Chicago @ Minnesota, 8 p.m., NBA TV (Local: WCIU/Bally Sports North Extra)
Out of the portal:
- De’Mauri Flournoy: The point guard out of Vanderbilt committed to Georgia.
- Maddie Scherr: The wing out of Oregon committed to Kentucky.
- Taylor Soule: The combo forward out of Boston College committed to Virginia Tech.
Friday, May 13 recap
Dallas beat Washington, 94-86. The Mystics jumped out to a 24-12 lead and still led by 15 in the mid-second quarter; the Wings went on a 47-17 run from the mid-second to the early fourth quarter. Washington shot 52.5% from the field and 52.0% from three to Dallas’ 47.7% and 44.8%, respectively, but went 11-for-17 from the line to the Wings’ 19-for-23; Washington committed 21 turnovers; the teams combined for 39 fouls.
Off-ball guard Arike Ogunbowale led the Wings with 27 points on 6-for-12 shooting from three (3-8 from two), four rebounds, four assists and two steals against three turnovers; wing Allisha Gray had 21 points on 6-for-12 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from three and 6-for-6 from the line along with three rebounds, two assists and three steals; big Isabelle Harrison recorded a double-double with 15 points (5-9 FG, 5-6 FT) and 10 rebounds (five offensive), plus three assists without a turnover; backup point guard Tyasha Harris notched six points on 2-for-5 shooting, a career-high 10 assists and two steals in 28 minutes.
The Mystics were led by big Elena Delle Donne’s 20 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 from three, five rebounds and four assists without a turnover in 21 minutes; off-ball guard Ariel Atkins had 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting (4-5 3pt., 3-6 FT), four rebounds (three offensive), four assists and three steals against two turnovers and four fouls in 31 minutes; big Myisha Hines-Allen got ejected on one of the most routine fouls you’ll ever see, finishing with five points (1-4 FG, 0-1 3pt.), seven rebounds (three offensive), four assists and three turnovers; off-ball guard Alysha Clark played for the first time in two years, tallying nine points on 4-for-8 FG (0-3 3pt.) and four rebounds.
Las Vegas beat Atlanta, 96-73. The Aces jumped out to an 18-4 lead; the Dream cut the lead to five in the mid-second quarter. The teams shot similarly from the field and from three, but Vegas took 18 more threes and made seven more free throws; the Aces assisted on 24 of their 32 buckets and notched 11 steals; Atlanta committed 19 turnovers and 19 fouls.
Las Vegas was led by point guard Kelsey Plum’s 14-point, 11-assist double-double on 3-for-4 shooting from three (1-3 from two), plus two steals against three turnovers in 28 minutes; center A’ja Wilson had 15 points on 6-for-11 shooting (0-1 3pt.), seven rebounds and five blocks; combo forward Dearica Hamby added a double-double with 11 points on 3-for-7 shooting (1-3 3pt.) and 13 rebounds, plus two steals.
Backup point guard Aari McDonald led the Dream with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field and 5-for-7 from three, two assists and two steals against five turnovers in 31 minutes; wing Rhyne Howard had 13 points on 4-for-10 shooting (2-2 3pt.), four rebounds and two assists.
Indiana beat New York, 92-86 in overtime. The Fever led by 10 to start the fourth quarter, but the Liberty went ahead in the mid-fourth. The teams combined to shoot 37.3% from the field, but New York shot 8.2 percentage points better from three while Indiana took eight more free throws; the Fever won the rebounding battle by 24, including 11 more offensive boards, but only recorded 12 assists on their 31 made buckets; the Liberty notched 12 steals; the teams combined for 37 turnovers and 45 fouls.
Combo guard Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana with 24 points on 8-for-22 shooting from the field, 2-for-6 from three and 6-for-6 from the line along with three rebounds and two assists; combo forward Victoria Vivians had 20 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the field, 3-for-6 from three and 7-for-8 from the line, plus three rebounds, two assists and three steals against three turnovers; point guard Danielle Robinson made her 2022 WNBA debut, finishing with 17 points on 5-for-12 shooting (2-4 3pt., 5-6 FT), eight rebounds and two steals; big NaLyssa Smith recorded a double-double with 12 points on 5-for-15 FG (0-2 3pt.) and 17 rebounds (seven offensive) against three turnovers.
New York was led by point guard Sabrina Ionescu’s 31 points on 11-for-20 shooting from the field and 5-for-10 from three, three rebounds, seven assists and four steals against five turnovers; wing Betnijah Laney had 16 points on 6-for-17 shooting (2-2 3pt.), seven rebounds and three assists against four fouls in 40 minutes; center Stefanie Dolson fouled out in 26 minutes, finishing with 12 points on 5-for-11 FG (0-2 3pt.), two assists and two steals against three turnovers.