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Wings Set for Wednesday Rumble with Sun

June 25, 2019 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Dallas Wings News Release

The Dallas Wings (2-6) are back in action tomorrow, Wednesday, June 26, for a 7 p.m. contest against the Connecticut Sun (9-2) at College Park Center. The matchup can be viewed on Fox Sports Southwest Plus and WNBA League Pass.

The last time out, Wings rookie Arike Ogunbowale exploded for a career-high 25 points, the second most points scored by a rookie so far this season. Her total was the most scored by a Dallas rookie since Azura Stevens tallied 26 against the Indiana Fever last season. Allisha Gray chipped in 11 points, giving her the fourth double-digit point total this season and the third time she's done it in the last four games. Dallas has had a pair of scorers hit double-digits in seven games this season. Kayla Thornton collected 10 boards against the Aces, giving her back-to-back outings with 10 or more rebounds for the first time in her career.

Jonquel Jones, the League's sixth leading scorer, is the Sun's statistical leader in points (16.7), minutes (30.1), rebounds (11.5) and blocks. Alyssa Thomas leads the team in shooting, converting on 51.5 percent of her shots from the floor.

HOME COOKIN'

The Wings are holding its opponents to a staggering 65.3 points per game at the College Park Center, the fewest points allowed at home this season by any team in the League. The Dallas defense set the record for fewest points allowed since the team came to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex in a 71-61 win against the Atlanta Dream on 6/15 and then broke that record in the next game against the Phoenix Mercury, holding them to just 54 points.

DOUBLE-DOUBLE ANIMAL STYLE. WELL DONE FRIES.

Kayla Thornton and Theresa Plaisance recorded double-doubles in a 69-54 win over the Phoenix Mercury last, helping the Wings post back-to-back wins. Thornton's double-double, the first of her career, came by way of 18 points and 11 rebounds. Her board total was a new career high, nine of them being defensive, and her 37 minutes logged were the most she recorded in her career in a single game. Plaisance's double-double, also coming from points and rebounds, was the second of her career. Her 12 points tied her season high and her 11 rebounds gave her a new career mark. It was the first time the Wings had two players with double doubles since August 5, 2018 vs. Washington. The Wing momentum was created by dominating the glass, corralling a season-high 49 rebounds and outrebounding the mercury by a margin of 21. Azura Stevens defensive effort showed up on the box score in the form of a career-high four blocks. Wing's Rookie Megan Gustafson also got the first playing time of her career and scored the first points of her career, finishing the game with four points three rebounds and an assist.

WINNER, WINNER CHICKEN PARM DINNER

Dallas posted its first win of the season against the Atlanta Dream, besting them 71-61. Wings rookie Arike Ogunbowale led the charge for the Wings, netting a season-high 17 points, and was joined in scoring by Allisha Gray's 16 points, also a season high. Ogunbowale's 17 points are the fifth most scored in a single game by a rookie this season. Gray also had a game-high eight rebounds, leading the team in rebounding in consecutive games for the second time in her career and being the team's top rebounder for the fifth time in her career.

THEN HAVE NO FEAR, THE CAMERA'S HERE

Despite a loss to the Washington Mystics, the Wings saw a season-high scoring performance from Glory Johnson, who collected 15 points on seven-of-13 shooting. Johnson has now notched 104 double-digit scoring games in her career, with last game being this first time she has done it this season. The Tennessee product has also appeared in 181 games for the organization, tying Kara Braxton for sixth most played in franchise history. She has started in every game this season and is five starts behind tying Skylar Diggins-Smith for fourth most starts in organization history. Johnson's block she tallied against the Indiana Fever last week brought her career total to 86, moving her into ninth all-time on the Wings' total block list.

ROOKIE, ROOKIE, ROOKIE CAN'T YOU SEE

Rookies Arike Ogunbowale and Brooke McCarty Williams had quite the WNBA debut and continue to be solid producers for the Wings. Ogunbowale erupted for a season-high 25 points in Las Vegas on June 22. Her outpouring was the second most points by a rookie so far this year. Ogunbowale was also the only starter to eclipse double-digit scoring figures in the Wings two games against the Dream and Lynx she is the third highest scoring rookie in the W. Since rejoining the team, Megan Gustafson has also put in work. She's averaging 5.5 points through two contests and has bested her point totals in each game. McCarty-Williams is the League's eleventh leading rookie scorer and got her first career start at Indiana on 6/7 and also got the starting nod against the Dream at home on 6/19. She hit a key three-pointer against the Dream to put the Wings up 43-40 and eventually secure the team's first win of the season. Her 3.5 assists per game are the second most of any rookie in the League. BMW is also tied for averaging the third most minutes of any first-year player.

IT WAS DENTYNE, COACH

Coach Agler's reputation for defense has continued in Dallas. The Wings' defense is holding its opponents to 73.5 points per game, the second best defense in the league. Dallas is also holding its opponents to 26.1 field goals made per game on an average of 64.4 attempts, the fewest average makes and attempts in the league. The Wings are holding opponents to 40.6 percent from the field, the third worst opponent shooting percentage.

I WANNA BE THE VERY BEST, LIKE NO ONE EVER WAS

Kayla Thornton turned it on against Indiana on 6/13, dropping a career-high 19 points on a career best six-of-17 shooting. Thornton also set career standards in three-points made, going three-for-seven from the three-point line and a perfect four-of-four from the charity stripe. The UTEP product also pulled down seven rebounds. Theresa Plaisance also record a new career best against the Indiana Fever when she dished out four assists. The LSU product also scored 12 points, her first double-digit game of the season and the first since August 12 of last season. Wings newcomer Imani McGee-Stafford topped her season-high of 10 points that she tallied against Washington with 12 points against the Fever. This is just the third time in her career that the University of Texas graduate has had back-to-back games with double-digit scoring figures.

DON'T GET CAUGHT WATCHING THE PAINT DRY

45.9 percent of the Dallas Wings' scoring this season had come from inside the paint, the second most in the league. The Wings have scored 30 or more points in the paint every game but one this season, including 36 against the Fever at home, 30 against the Fever in Indiana, 30 against the Dream at home, 30 against the Mercury, 32 against the Lynx and 34 at the Dream and Mystics.

BLOCKS AND BOARDS, WATCH YOUR FRAME SHAKE UP

Spearheaded by swatters Isabelle Harrison, Imani McGee-Stafford and Azura Stevens, the Wings have averaged 4.5 blocks per contest, placing them fifth best in the league. Kayla Thornton, Azura Stevens and Allisha Gray have paced the team with offensive rebounds so far this season, helping the Wings average 13.6 offensive rebounds a game, the best in the league. Dallas is also scoring 13.0 second chance points a game, the most in the league.

HERE'S A FUN FACT FOR YA

Kayla Thornton and Brooke McCarty-Williams rank third and eighth, respectively, for points per game by players who are in the WNBA but went undrafted. They are also first and sixth, Thornton then McCarty-Williams, for minutes a game.

ON THE MOVE

The Dallas Wings traded center Liz Cambage to the Las Vegas Aces in return for guard Moriah Jefferson and forward Isabelle Harrison. The deal also included the Wings picking up Vegas' first and second round picks from the 2020 draft. The Wings made another deal the same day, acquiring Imani McGee-Stafford from the Atlanta Dream for the Wings' 2020 third round pick. Jefferson, 25, averaged 5.4 points a game in 2018 after returning from injury halfway through the season. Harrison, 25, who took a medical leave of absence during the 2018 season, started 33 contests for San Antonio in 2017. McGee-Stafford, 24, appeared in 29 games for the Dream last season, starting two of them.

WELCOME TO TEXAS, COACH

The Dallas Wings hired two-time WNBA Champion Brian Agler to serve as the team's head coach on December 18, 2018. Agler joins the Wings with more victories than any other coach in U.S. women's professional basketball history. Agler brings more than 30 years of coaching experience to Dallas, including 12 years as a WNBA head coach. Before coming to Dallas, Agler was the head coach of the Los Angeles Sparks. Compiling an 85-51 overall record, Agler's guided the Sparks to four playoff appearances and the 2016 WNBA Championship. Agler's stint in LA also included back-to-back 28-6 seasons in 2016 and 2017 and a second appearance in the WNBA Finals following the 2017 campaign.

ALLOW ME TO REINTRODUCE MYSELF

The Dallas Wings resigned the duo of Kayla Thornton and Glory Johnson this off season. Thornton, who claimed a championship with the KB Stars of the WKBL before reporting to camp, started 32 of last season's 34 contests. The UTEP product averaged 9.2 points and 4.0 rebounds, all career-high marks, while shooting a career-best 44.7 percent from the field and 86.0 from the foul line. Johnson, entering her seventh season in the WNBA, has spent her entire career with the Wings organization. She appeared in 29 outings last season, averaging 8.0 points, 6.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists. Johnson's 1,448 total rebounds give her the second most total boards in franchise history.

A ROOKIE NOW

Dallas' first round draft pick, No. 5 overall, Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame) became a household name when she stunned UConn and Mississippi State en route to the Irish capturing the NCAA Championship in 2018 and was vital to the South Bend squad returning to the championship game the following year. She passed Dallas' own Skylar Diggins-Smith this season to become the program's all-time leading scorer. The 2018 and 2019 All-American was All-ACC First-Team in the same years.

TEXAS FOREVER, Y'ALL

The Wings made moves off the court by welcoming Texas Capital Bank as the team's marquee jersey partner. The community efforts of the two organizations started last month with the revitalization of the Sarah Wilke Youth Center, part of the Wesley Rankin Community Center in West Dallas, and will continue with more community events throughout the season and partnership.

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