August 1, 2020
Rookies steal the show in Wings victory over the Fever
Dallas rookies guide team to win over Indiana
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Satou Sabally #0 of the Dallas Wings shoots the ball against the Indiana Fever on July 31, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida.
The outstanding play of the Dallas Wings (2-1) and their rookies, especially that of Satou Sabally, lifted the Wings over the Indiana Fever (1-2) on Friday night in a 76-73 win.
In just their third WNBA game, the rookies in Dallas showed out.
Sabally put the team on her back, leading the way with 23 points and 17 rebounds, making franchise history as the first rookie with at least 20 points and 15 rebounds in a single game.
This rookie doesn’t seem like a rookie.
After nerves in her first game, she is playing with extreme confidence and is being aggressive on both ends of the floor. Sabally had the game-sealing block and final free throws to put the game away against the Fever.
Brian Agler took notice of Sabally’s performance, as she went to work and even sized up one of the best bigs in the game, Teaira McCowan.
“She’s a very mature person and mature player,” Agler told The Next. “She just picks and chooses her opportunities. Last two games she’s really stepped up to be aggressive. She started aggressive in the game, she scored the first four points. Tonight we needed her on the floor. We had a hard time knocking three-point shots down, she’s a really good three-point shooter and just hadn’t hit shots yet. That’s gonna come as well… We learned from this, there’s a lot of things we can grow from and get ready for the next one.”
Sometimes rookies take the entire course of the season to find their groove in the WNBA, but for Sabally, it just took a couple of games to show she’s for real.
“I’m feeling really good,” Sabally said. “We can take a lot of good things out of the game and props to my team. They really did a good job today, just playing hard and through that I had driving lanes. Pick and roll, that was amazing. We set really good screens so that’s how I got my drives, it was really good teamwork. I didn’t do that alone… I would say it was great teamwork and I was just playing hard and finally got some buckets. I still got to work on my three a little bit more and get into rhythm.”
Though, Sabally wasn’t the only rookie to show up. Tyasha Harris and Bella Alarie were consistently effective in ways other than scoring throughout the game.
Harris was the one running the show for Wings the entire fourth quarter with Moriah Jefferson on the bench. She did not shy away from the opportunity, leading the team in assists with five and scoring the first basket for Dallas in the fourth. Harris and Sabally combined for 14 of the 19 points Dallas scored in the final quarter. Alarie had the matchup of McCowan, who is no easy assignment, and she very much held her own throughout the course of the game.
An argument could be made that this game was not only Sabally’s breakout, but one for Alarie as well with her defensive performance and overall presence. Alarie led the team in blocks with two and took advantage of her offensive opportunities when she got them. She went 2-for-4 from the field and drained a pair of free throws for 6 points in the game.
In plus/minus, Harris was +12 and Alarie, +18.
Dallas will look to stay in the win column on Sunday as it faces the Las Vegas Aces on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. ET.