July 13, 2022 

Daily Briefing — July 13, 2022: Minnesota Lynx topple Phoenix in fierce double-overtime finish

A thrilling five-game slate opens the second half of the WNBA season

Happy Wednesday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the NCAA Roundup, the daily Watch List and Yesterday’s Recap. Day 57 of the WNBA season is here, leaving behind one of the more chaotic days in the season so far. The Minnesota Lynx and Aerial Powers continue to crush expectations, with Powers crossing thirty points twice in the her last three games as the Lynx start to crawl out of the bottom of the standings. Las Vegas and Chicago continue the race to the top, as the Sky keep the top spot in the league by just one win. For the teams at the bottom half of the standings, however, the second half of the season will determine who plays in late August and who has a better chance at next year’s rookie class. Indiana remains the only team with five or fewer wins total.

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But first read…

  • Our Missy Heidrick takes you into the playbooks of newly minted NCAAW coaches Lindsay Gottlieb (USC) and Ashley Langford (Stony Brook) as they prepare for their first seasons with their respective teams.
  • Our Jenn Hatfield unveils the defensive genius of Washington’s Alysha Clark through the story of her career so far, and what’s next for Clark and the Mystics.

NCAA Roundup

Transfer portal

Out of the portal

  • Shaylee Gonzales: The point guard out of BYU committed to Texas.

Watch List, Wednesday, July 13

(All times in ET)

Connecticut @ Indiana, 12 p.m., NBA TV (Local: Indiana Fever Livestream, NESN, NBA TV Canada)

Tuesday, July 12 recap

Seattle (16–8) beat Dallas (10–13), 83–74. Seattle grabbed the lead halfway through the first and quickly ran away with it, leading by six in the opening minutes of the second quarter. However, the Dallas bench pulled the Wings ahead by one, and managed to keep the lead until the mid-third, when the Storm grabbed a three point advantage on a set of back-to-back-to-back plays between big wing Breanna Stewart and off-ball guard Gabby Williams. From that point forward, Seattle would expand their lead to double digits as Dallas struggled to mount a comeback. Overall, Seattle shot 10.1 percentage points better from the field and 10.8 percentage points better from three than Dallas. The Storm made 16 of their 18 free throws to the Wings’ 13 of 18.

Stewart led Seattle and all scorers with 19 points on 6-for-12 from the field (1–4 3pt, 6–6 FT), seven rebounds and three assists. Center Ezi Magbegor notched 13 points on 3-for-5 from the field (7–7 FT), alongside eight rebounds (two offensive) on four fouls. Big Stephanie Talbot had 14 points on 6-for-8 from the field (2–3 3pt) and three rebounds on three fouls off the bench for Seattle.

In her 27 minutes off the bench, center Teaira McCowan led Dallas with a double double of 18 points on 8-for-14 from the field and 10 rebounds (six offensive). McCowan also logged two blocks and four fouls. Wing Marina Mabrey had nine points on 4-for-11 from the field (1–6 3pt), four rebounds and five assists against four turnovers and four fouls.

Las Vegas (16–7) beat New York (9–14), 107–101. Las Vegas took the early lead, building up a double digit advantage long before the end of the first quarter. The Aces would maintain and expand their lead through the mid-third, as the Liberty struggled with turnovers and couldn’t get shots to fall. In the late third, back-to-back three pointers from New York combo guard Sami Whitcomb would give the Liberty some momentum to pull within nine, but the Aces kept their distance. A final flurry of free throws for New York in the mid-fourth cut the lead to just three, but a perfect set of six free throws for Aces wing Jackie Young sealed the win for Las Vegas. The Liberty would never lead. Overall, the Aces out-rebounded the Liberty by nine and shot a near-perfect 34-for-35 from the free throw line. New York shot 15.1 percentage points better than Las Vegas from three and committed seven more fouls.

Point guard Kelsey Plum led the Aces with 27 points on 9-for-18 from the field (3–9 3pt, 6–7 FT), three rebounds and three assists. Young logged 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting (1–3 3pt, 8–8 FT), alongside five rebounds, seven assists and three steals against four fouls. Center A’ja Wilson had a double double with 23 points on 7-for-13 shooting (9–9 FT) and 14 rebounds (five offensive), alongside three assists and two steals.

For the Liberty, combo guard Sabrina Ionescu led with 27 points on 9-for-17 from the field (4–9 3pt, 5–5 FT), three rebounds, five assists and two steals. Big Natasha Howard logged a double double with 20 points on 5-for-11 from the field (10–13 FT) and 11 rebounds (three offensive) on three fouls. Whitcomb notched a season-high 17 points on 6-for-7 from the field (5–6 3pt) and three assists on four fouls in her 22 minutes off the bench.

Chicago (17–6) beat Atlanta (10–13), 90–75. Chicago led early with a 7–0 run in the mid-first, but Atlanta took an 8–1 run and kept within two entering the second quarter, before quickly taking over the lead and maintaining it through halftime. Entering the third quarter, the two teams would bounce the lead back and forth, with four lead changes and two ties before Atlanta grabbed a five-point lead. A 15–0 Chicago run through the mid-fourth turned the tides in favor of the Sky, who had suddenly built a multiple-possession lead that the Dream could not overcome. Overall, the Sky shot 11.0 percentage points better than the Dream from the field and set up shop in the paint, logging 18 more points from that area than Atlanta.

Big Candace Parker notched a double double with a season-high 31 points on 12-for-20 from the field (3–8 3pt, 4–4 FT) and 11 rebounds (two offensive), three assists and three steals on four fouls. Wing Kahleah Copper logged 23 points on 9-for-14 shooting (2–2 3pt, 3–6 FT), seven rebounds and a season-high two steals. Big Emma Meesseman had 10 points on 5-for-9 from the field, six rebounds (three offensive) and a season-high eight assists.

Big Cheyenne Parker led Atlanta with 14 points on 6-for-11 shooting (2–4 FT), six rebounds (two offensive) and two blocks. Wing Tiffany Hayes notched 12 points on 4-for-11 from the field (2–4 3pt, 2–2 FT), a season-high eight rebounds and two assists on five fouls. Point guard Aari McDonald had 12 points on 4-for-9 from the field (3–4 3pt, 1–2 FT), three assists and three steals in her 16 minutes off the bench.

Minnesota (9–15) beat Phoenix (10–15), 118–107 in double overtime. After twelve lead changes in the first quarter, the Minnesota Lynx managed an 8–0 run to take the lead. By the mid-second, however, the Mercury had started to heat up from three and tied the game at 29 apiece. The Lynx quickly took back a three-point advantage, but Phoenix was always close behind, even taking the lead in the early third quarter. Despite the 13-point lead the Lynx had built by the mid-fourth, a 15–2 Mercury run tied the game with a minute left in regulation, and by time’s expiration, the score was tied at 89 apiece.

Heading into overtime, Minnesota would jump out ahead early, but Phoenix would claw their way back, tying the game on a clutch two-pointer from combo guard Skylar Diggins-Smith. In the second overtime, the Lynx took an even more commanding lead early on, but this time were able to keep the Mercury at bay and grab the win. Overall, the Lynx shot 10.7 percentage points better from the field and 10.7 percentage points better from three than the Mercury. Minnesota also out-rebounded Phoenix by 11, while the Mercury grabbed eight more steals and secured eight more blocks.

Lynx off-ball guard Aerial Powers notched a double double with a career-high 35 points on 13-for-24 from the field (3–7 3pt, 6–7 FT) and a career-high 13 rebounds (five offensive), as well as three assists and two steals on nine turnovers and three fouls. Combo guard Rachel Banham logged a season-high 25 points on 8-for-14 from the field (6–9 3pt, 3–5 FT), three rebounds and a season-high seven assists off the bench for Minnesota. Center Sylvia Fowles had 14 points on 6-for-10 from the field (2–5 FT) and 14 rebounds (four offensive) against five fouls.

Diggins-Smith notched a double double with a season-high 32 points on 11-for-28 from the field (2–7 3pt, 8–1 FT) and 10 assists, alongside six rebounds and three steals on five fouls. Combo guard Diana Taurasi had 17 points on 5-for-23 from the field (5–17 3pt, 2–3 FT), a season-high seven rebounds, and five assists on five fouls.

Washington (15–10) beat Los Angeles (10–13), 94–81. The Mystics took an early lead and never gave it up, keeping a multiple-possession lead through to the final minutes of play. Overall, Washington shot at a worse clip than Los Angeles, but were able to put up enough shots to overcome the difference. The Sparks shot 23.7 percentage points better from three than the Mystics, while the Mystics grabbed 12 more rebounds and five more steals.

Big Elena Delle Donne led Washington and all scorers with 26 points on 10-for-14 from the field (4–5 3pt, 2–3 FT), two rebounds and three assists. Point guard Natasha Cloud logged a season-high 21 points on 6-for-11 scoring (3–4 3pt, 6–6 FT), four rebounds, nine assists and two steals. Off-ball guard Alysha Clark had nine points on 3-for-7 from the field (1–5 3pt, 2–2 FT), six rebounds and four assists. Off-ball guard Shatori Walker-Kimbrough notched 12 points on 5-for-8 shooting (1–4 3pt, 1–2 FT) and three assists off the bench for the Mystics.

For the Sparks, point guard Brittney Sykes logged 16 points on 6-for-12 from the field (4–4 FT), two assists and three steals off the bench for Los Angeles. Combo forward Katie Lou Samuelson notched 16 points on 6-for-8 from the field (4–5 3pt), three rebounds and two assists. Center Chiney Ogwumike had a double double with 10 points on 3-for-10 shooting (1–1 3pt, 3–4 FT) and 10 rebounds (two offensive) against four turnovers and four fouls.

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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