Arlington, TX -- The Atlanta Dream made their first ever trip to Dallas to challenge the revamped Dallas Wings on their new floor on Sunday, coming up with the first ever opponent victory in the College Park Center winning 102-93.
It was a slow start for the Wings as the Atlanta Dream took an early lead halfway through the first quarter 15-6. After a quick substitution and a timeout by the Wings, the College Park Center rose to its feet as two back-to-back three's in two fiery fast break plays closed the gap between the Dream and the Wings to 27-23.
Early foul calls caused stop-and-go playmaking, turning into early mistakes for both teams. Turnovers became the Wings' plunder as bad decisions with the rock totaled out to 19 turnovers in the matchup.
"We'd like to get up and down, that's more of our speed," Dallas Wings player Karima Christmas said. "We had a lot of turnovers that got us at the end of the game. We just have to make adjustments and adjust to the flow of the game."
The first half was highlighted by Wings player Jordan Hooper and the Dream's Angel McCoughtry, as Hooper scored 11 points off of 4 field goals in only 10 minutes of play, while McCoughtry led the Dream with 15 points.
"We played a very good basketball team. And we're still trying to find our way through this, with the adjustments we've made, bringing in new players," Atlanta Dream Head Coach Michael Cooper said. "I like what I see; I think our young kids are really understanding how to get it done."
Hooper continued to provide for the Wings throughout the matchup, as the 6'2 forward in her second year in the WNBA finished with 15 points.
Even in a new environment, the game proved that experience was a major key for the ultimate winners, as the Dream's elder leaders in McCoughtry and Sancho Lyttle led the attack. Both players combined for a total of 19 years in the league, with their familiarity in tough situations, provided the Dream's capability to win. Lyttle finished with 10 points while McCoughtry finished with 26 points.
A combination of bad shot selection in the first and fourth quarters for the Wings caused them to shoot 41 percent from the field, while the Dream shot 52 percent. Although, rookie presence of Ruth Hamblin and Aerial Powers for the Wings demonstrates a hopeful future as the season moves forward. Powers finished with 16 points before fouling out of the game.
As the Wings and the Dream switched sides on the court, the hard fought battle between the Dream's stifling defense and the Wings' offensive threats continued.
"Yeah, it got tough, but that's the game. It's nothing we've never seen before," McCoughtry said. "We just had to keep fighting. We just wanted to get defensive stops."
The fourth quarter consisted of both teams battling back and forth, highlighted by an Odyssey Sims three-pointer. Although, small chip in points and quick turnaround shots converted off of turnovers kept the Dream one step ahead of the new kids on the block.
"I thought a few of the other players stepped up and made some things happen," Dallas Wings Head Coach Fred Williams. "Tonight was a close one all the way to the end. It was a battle, and we dug ourselves in a hole in some transition situations. We fought back defensively, and we played through a lot of things that didn't go our way."
The Dream extend their wins to 10-3 on the series against the Dallas Wings/Tulsa Shock and will face the Indiana Fever in a home game on Sunday, May 29 while the Dallas Wings will face the Chicago Sky for their third home game in a row.