Published on June 1st, 2019 | by Landon Buford0
Minnesota Lynx Top Dallas Wings On The Road 70-67
The Dallas Wings fall to the Minnesota Lynx 70-67 in their home opener at College Park Center on Saturday night. Kayla Thornton led the team with a game-high 12 points off the bench for the Wings. Other notable scorers were rookie Arike Ogunbowale, 11 points, and Azura Stevens, 10 points, as the Wings leading scorers. Steven also led the Wings in rebounding, as he snagged a total of eight rebounds.
The Wings got on the scoreboard first with an Ogunbowale lay in and Glory Johnson set the defensive tone the next trip down the court by collecting one of the two blocks she’d tally on the night in the fourth home opener meeting between the two teams. The first 10 minutes of the game saw three ties and four lead changes.
With the Wings down by two going into the second frame, the Lynx would go on a tear and score 25 points in the quarter and Minnesota would take a 41-27 advantage into the halftime break. Through the third quarter, the Wings would slowly come back, inching within six heading into the final quarter. Allisha Gray would bring the team within two with 7:09 remaining in the game, but Minnesota would find a way to elude the Wings with three-point shooting and late free throws, not letting the Wings bring it closer than three points.
The Wings are back in action Friday, June 7 against the Indiana Fever at 6 p.m. CT. The game will be broadcast on the CBS Sports Network.
After the game, Wings coach Brian Agler talks about the bench and the play of Azura Stevens.
“We finally got a group there that competed hard. In the first half, that same group didn’t do as well, but they got another chance in the third quarter and they really competed and made some plays defensively and hit some shots. I’m really proud of that group. That’s what we’re looking for. If we can get more people to play that hard and resilient during the course of the game on the defensive end then our team will start taking off here,” Agler.
He would continue:
“She was influential around the rim with her rebounding and her challenging of shots. She made a couple of nice plays on offense; she is extremely versatile for her size. Obviously, her minutes are going to go up. She’s only had a couple of practices with us. It was good to see for her.”
Stevens on how to take tonight’s game into the next game…
“I think analyzing film and looking at all the things we can grow in. It doesn’t just come down to one last play, and that’s with every game. So, we’re going to take it, dissect it, see where we can all get better and then work on those things in practice.”
On coming back from injury…
“It’s been about six months since I’ve played in a game, so there was a little rust. Finally got my groove back. I definitely need to get into better shape, but that will come with time.”
“I think we were playing with a lot of effort. That’s really the only big difference. We were hustling, fighting and showing a lot of heart.”
As for the Lynx, After the game Lynx Coach, Cheryl Reeve talked about how they were able to stay competitive as their lead begin to decrease.
“I hope it’s a sign of our team. It’s revealing when the game gets hard, not when the game is going well. It’s revealing when it’s tough and the way that Dallas was coming at us with force and a will. We had to withstand that. So we didn’t hang our heads when we made mistakes. Obviously, the crowd was into it and we just had to make some tough plays. And I thought we had some really, really tough plays down the stretch to help us get a W.”
Sylvia Fowles also spoke about keeping their composure.
“It’s always like that here in Dallas. It’s never easy. I don’t care if you’re up by 15 or 20. Dallas is always just that gritty team and they come out and they fight, so you got to know that at any point in time, they can come out and be aggressive. I was telling the girls about that, the girls who haven’t been here, and that’s exactly what happened tonight. So just playing our game and not getting rattled and just doing what we do best and that’s playing together as a team.”