May 23, 2021 

The Dallas Wings fall to the Seattle Storm 100-97 in overtime

The home opener was a good litmus test that the team plans to learn and grow from

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It had been 622 days since the Dallas Wings last played at the College Park Center; they returned to Arlington, TX., and put on a show. The Wings fought hard against the defending champions pushing the game to overtime but falling 100-97. There was a different air around Dallas as they showed grit on both sides of the ball, however, they did not have an answer for Breanna Stewart.

The fifth-year forward had a big night making history with 36 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks; becoming the 5th player in #WNBA history to record at least 35 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks in a regular-season game. She also became the fastest player to 2,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in league history, a record previously held by another Storm great Lauren Jackson.

Although the Storm hit the century mark it was a good defensive effort from the Wings; forcing Seattle to shoot 43.8 percent from the field and 28 percent from three. Dallas also continued to show improvements on offense as well; having four players in double figures three of which were double-doubles.

The effort was powered by Arike Ogunbowale with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists; and Marina Mabrey putting up 26 points, grabbing nine boards and dishing out five assists. Per Across the Timeline; it was the second time in WNBA history a pair of teammates have had more than 25 points, seven rebounds and 5 assists in the same game. Ogunbowale said the team played a really good game they just have to learn how to finish in the end.

“Seattle’s a great team, but we’re also a great team and we’ve grown so much from last year and this is only game two and we’re going into overtime with the reigning champ,” the three-year guard said. “Obviously we wanted this win but we can watch the film and get better and we’re gonna play them again twice so we got to get ready for that.”

Guard Allisha Gray left the team to compete in the 3×3 Olympic qualifying tournament so head coach Vickie Johnson had Mabrey step up and she had a career night.

“I talked to Marina after Gray left and gave her a different goal for our team in order for us to be successful; and she went over and beyond that,” Johnson said post-game. “I have a lot of trust in [Mabrey] and Arike is just Arike, we will be good team. We aren’t there yet, but we will be a good team.”

It was the fourth game in seven days for the Storm; while the Wings did a good job by limiting 18-year veteran Sue Bird to six points; but they did not stop the flow of seven-year guard Jewell Loyd who added 25 points and allowed guard Jordin Canada to chip in 14 points coming off of the bench.

In addition to the scoring from Stewart, the three players accounted for 75 of the team’s 100 points. Five-year forward Isabelle Harrison was tasked with defending Stewart and they battled in the paint throughout the game; she was still able to score 16 points and grab 11 rebounds.

This game was a great learning opportunity for Dallas. They played one of the most experienced teams in the league and they did not let the game get too far away from them and most importantly the communication never stopped. Mabrey said the Wings will learn from this game and just keep pushing forward.

“It’s just two games into the season we lost the tough one to one of the best teams in the league. We just have to learn and move on and not be okay with it but also understand that we have some learning to do and keep pushing forward,” she said.

Even with Dallas getting their first loss of the season the team is excited about how much more the team can improve once some key players make their way to the back to the team.

The Wings had a week off between their first two games; they will not get time off in between games of this kind until the Olympic break. Dallas is a young team with high energy that will be put to the test starting May 24 when they head east to face the New York Liberty. Then, the team will head back south to face the Atlanta Dream where everyone may get their first look at No. 2 draft pick Awak Kuier as she is expected to meet the team in Atlanta.

Written by Arie Graham

Arie Graham joined 'The Next' in May 2021 as the beat writer for the Dallas Wings.

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