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:

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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 and on Twitter.

But first, read:

W Roundup

Chicago: Released off-ball guard Sparkle Taylor. Also picked up point guard Julie Allemand and big Ruthy Hebard’s fourth-year contract options.

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.

Washington: Released Stephanie Jones from her hardship contract, which terminated with Alysha Clark being activated.

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)

NCAA Roundup

Transfer portal

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.

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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