Securing its sixth straight win, and a double-bye in the playoffs, the Seattle Storm (17-3) defeated the Dallas Wings (7-13) in an offensive shootout, 107-95.
The Storm were led by Breanna Stewart, who secured yet another double-double in a 23 point, 11 rebound showing, and Jewell Loyd, who scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
After Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale was able to score 15 points in the first half, Alysha Clark put her on ice with the lockdown defense. Ogunbowale was held to zero points in the second half.
“[Clark is] motivated when we get defensive stops, that pushes our offense, we’re able to run in transition, we’re able to push, move the ball and find each other for open threes,” Loyd said. “Make sure that the media knows that [Clark] should be the Defensive Player of the Year.”
Both team’s got off to a hot shooting start, and traded several leads and ties in the first quarter, with Dallas ending up on top by one at the end of the frame. Clark and Natasha Howard led the Storm with six points a piece, and both teams shot over 50% from the field in a strong offensive showcase for both teams.
The second quarter was equalling as offensively driven, with both teams holding above 50% shooting from the field and scoring at will. After more back and forth action, the Storm led Dallas 55-54, with Stewart leading the way with 11 points after a last-second and-one basket put them ahead. Dallas featured five double-digit scorers at the half.
The second half was more of the same, but the Storm began to separate late in the third quarter and into the fourth, building up a double-digit lead with eight minutes to play. Ending the game with a season-high 107 points, and shooting well over 50%, the Storm held off the Wings for their sixth straight win. Along with Loyd and Stewart, the Storm received double-digit scoring contributions from Howard (16 points), Clark (14 points), and Sue Bird (10 points).
With a double-bye secured in the playoffs, and a shot at the WNBA semifinals to begin the 2020 playoffs, the Storm still have things to improve and build upon before they take a much needed rest. “We’re never really satisfied, there’s another level of our game,” Loyd said. “We want to get better defensively even more so, get more aggressive, talking more, there’s always things to build on and that’s what we’re looking for on our seven day rest and break.”
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- Defensive Player of the Year candidate Alysha Clark held the league’s top scorer, Arike Ogunbowale, to no points in the second half. Clark also added 14 points, shooting 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
- Breanna Stewart and Jewell Loyd tied with 23 points apiece to lead the Storm in scoring. Stewart also added 11 rebounds for a double-double. Fifteen of Loyd’s points came in the second half.
- 30 of the Storm’s 39 baskets were assisted. Sue Bird led the team with nine assists, while Stewart added six and Jordin Canada came off the bench with five.
- Most Valuable Player candidate Breanna Stewart moved into fourth place in Seattle Storm history in career rebounds with 1053.
- The Storm scored a season-high 107 points in the win. Their previous season-high scoring output was against the New York Liberty, when they scored 105.
- Rookie Satou Sabally led all scorers with 25 points, while shooting 64.3 percent. She also added a team-high seven rebounds.
- The Wings had 24 personal fouls, the most by a Storm opponent this season.
- Arike Ogunbowale dominated the second quarter, scoring 13 of her 15 points in the game. She played all 10 minutes of the quarter and shot 4-for-6 from the field.
- Five Dallas scorers hit double digits: Sabally, Allisha Gray (17), Ogunbowale (15), Marina Mabrey (10), and Tyasha Harris (10).