Poetic justice came for the Dallas Wings on Sunday night when Arike Ogunbowale hit a high-arching, game-winning 3-pointer with two seconds left that was eerily similar to Jewell Loyd’s two days earlier as the Wings reversed the fortunates of Loyd’s shot by defeating the defending champion Seattle Storm 68-67 at Angel of the Wings Arena in Everett, Wash.
“I got tripped or something so I didn’t even see her shoot it,” said Ogunbowale’s teammate and college roommate Marina Mabrey. “I was twirling on the ground and then I turned around and I saw it go up and go in and I was like ‘who else, I know Arike shot that.’ I was so happy she made it. Cuz that’s her time. She is the best player at buzzer beaters so it was cool to see her do it again.”
Ogunbowale’s shot prevented overtime, a place where the Storm defeated the Wings on Friday and on May 22 — both times by three points.
“We definitely had to get over that hump,” Ogunbowale said. “We can play with Seattle, obviously we showed that, we went into two overtime games. But they’re a vet team and they have a lot of great players and they really know how to finish out games. We’re a young team ... this was a step that we had to take. I’m glad we were able to play Seattle three times really early in the season to test us.”
Isabelle Harrison guarded Loyd on a drive to the basket with 12 seconds remaining, forcing her to miss a floater. Harrison then fought with Stephanie Talbot and Mercedes Russell to secure the game-saving rebound and got a pass up to Kayla Thornton at half-court. Thornton called a timeout with 4.5 seconds to go and Ogunbowale then made her game-winner over Jordin Canada’s outstretched hand.
With 0.7 remaining, the Storm got the ball in to Breanna Stewart, who got off a turnaround shot in the post, but it went off the back iron and out.
Ogunbowale (24 points) scored Dallas’ final eight points, including a three with 32.6 ticks remaining that cut Seattle’s lead to two. The Storm led by seven with 3:13 to go and also led by 12 twice in the third before the Wings tied the game with 7:42 to play. So it was back-and-forth down the stretch.
Seattle led by five at halftime after Dallas had led by four after one.
Sunday marked the first time this season that Ogunbowale scored 20-plus in a Dallas win. She had scored 20-plus in all five of the Wings’ losses before Sunday, which must have been frustrating. Mabrey (15 points and seven rebounds on Sunday) scored 20-plus in all five of those losses as well.
“The one thing I tell them is it’s about the team, it’s about what we do as a team,” said Wings coach Vickie Johnson. “If you look at our stats, even though (Allisha) Gray only played two games, didn't shoot the ball well today, but before today I think we had Arike, Mabrey and Gray probably scoring almost 19 to 20 a game. So they’re gonna have opportunities to score, they just gotta take their time, make shots and also get they're teammates involved as well. They have to create for their teammates and when they're shooting the ball very well it’s going open everything up for Izzy, Satou (Sabally), Charli (Collier) to finish around the basket.”
Harrison finished with 14 points and eight boards. Loyd scored a game-high 25 in defeat while Stewart had 14 points and seven rebounds and Sue Bird had 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
The Wings (3-5) have two other wins, but Sunday’s may have been their most satisfying seeing as it got them revenge on the Storm and got the monkey off their back when it comes to winning close games. They have now won two of their last three contests after losing four-straight close ones.
With the loss, Seattle fell to 7-2 and fell a half a game behind the now first-place Connecticut Sun.
Minnesota Lynx (3-4) over Atlanta Dream (4-4), 100-80
Kayla McBride made four or more 3-pointers at a better than 50 percent rate for the second game in a row after falling short of accomplishing both in each of her first five games of the season. Her 4-of-7 effort from beyond the arc contributed to her Lynx-high 19 points. She also had four assists.
The contributions came from all over in Minnesota’s 100-point performance. Sylvia Fowles had 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the field to go along with seven rebounds and five steals. Crystal Dangerfield also scored 17 while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out four assists. Napheesa Collier added 14 points, six boards and six helpers while Rachel Banham was 3-of-3 from deep and 5-of-5 from the field with 13 points.
The Lynx led by 12 entering the fourth before winning the final frame 24-16.
Tiffany Hayes dropped 21 points in defeat for an Atlanta team that has lost two in a row. The Lynx have won three in a row.