The Dallas Wings (17-14) defeated the Connecticut Sun (21-10) for the second game in a row on Friday evening, getting 30 points from Arike Ogunbowale and 16 offensive rebounds as a team in a lopsided 95-75 victory. The 2023 regular-season series between the Wings and Sun concludes with two wins for each team.
Though the Wings have had an up-and-down August—they’re now 3-3 during the month with a near-even net rating of minus-0.6—Friday’s game was an indisputable high point, and one of the Wings’ most complete efforts of the season.
Connecticut notoriously has been one of the WNBA’s toughest places to play over the years, but Dallas shrugged off any potential road woes, hitting the 90-point mark for the 13th time this season while holding the host Sun to 38 percent shooting from the field. Of particular note was the fourth quarter, which Dallas won convincingly, 29-12. It had been a back-and-forth game up until then with eight lead changes, but the Wings distanced themselves from the Sun when it mattered most, turning a close contest into a much more comfortable one in a matter of minutes.
Wings’ success over Sun shows season-long progress
In a way, the Wings’ margin of victory on Friday represented their growth over the course of the 2023 WNBA season. They scored just 74 points in their first matchup against Connecticut back in June, but performed much better in a July rematch that looked like a win until the Sun made a late comeback.
Most recently, though, the Wings have had the Sun’s number. Dallas thwarted a similar comeback attempt last week, leading Connecticut for the entire second half in a 91-81 victory, and once again closed with conviction on Friday, pummeling the Sun to the tune of 52 points in the paint. The Wings’ frontcourt depth was invaluable. Centers Teaira McCowan and Kalani Brown combined for 28 points and 13 rebounds (seven offensive), while forward Natasha Howard posted a well-rounded line of 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Another Arike scoring show
Of course, it was Ogunbowale who put on the biggest show. The three-time All-Star was scorching-hot from long range, knocking down a career-high seven 3-pointers, and was efficient with the basketball overall, shooting 11-for-20 from the field and recording four assists against two turnovers. It was the third time this season Ogunbowale has gone for 30 or more points. She did it in her usual heavy playing time, only sitting for just over one minute in the entire game.
Rike ended a 30pt night with a dagger ️ pic.twitter.com/SVapY20tF3— Dallas Wings (@DallasWings) August 19, 2023
The Wings now sit four games behind Connecticut for third place in the WNBA standings with nine games remaining, although they’ll need some outside help if they’re going to make a move. The Wings have games against the Washington Mystics (15-16) and the Minnesota Lynx (15-16) in their immediate future.
The Sun will take on the Chicago Sky (12-19), the Mystics and the New York Liberty (25-7) in their next handful of games.