Friday, May 24, 2019
Page 2

Storm at Sparks photo gallery

Friday, May 17, 2019 - Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart talk before the game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart talk before the game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart talk before the game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Candace Parker and Breanna Stewart talk before the game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Breanna Stewart and teammates stand for the national anthem. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Breanna Stewart and teammates stand for the national anthem. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Crystal Langhorne is defended by Chiney Ogwumike. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Crystal Langhorne is defended by Chiney Ogwumike. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Natasha Howard is defended by Nneka Ogwumike. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Natasha Howard is defended by Nneka Ogwumike. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Jordin Canada is guarded by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Jordin Canada is guarded by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike consult. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike consult. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Jewell Loyd scores over Riquna Williams. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Jewell Loyd scores over Riquna Williams. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Coach Derek Fisher talks to Sparks players. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Coach Derek Fisher talks to Sparks players. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Marina Mabrey. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Marina Mabrey. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Anriel Howard blocks a shot. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Anriel Howard blocks a shot. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Mercedes Russell goes up against Maria Vadeeva. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Mercedes Russell goes up against Maria Vadeeva. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Recee' Caldwell drives the ball. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Recee’ Caldwell drives the ball. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Jordin Canada goes up to score two of her 18 points on the night. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Jordin Canada goes up to score two of her 18 points on the night. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Breanna Stewart takes notes on the Storm bench. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Breanna Stewart takes notes on the Storm bench. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Chiney Ogwumike, Mercedes Russell and Sydney Wiese box out for the rebound. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Chiney Ogwumike, Mercedes Russell and Sydney Wiese box out for the rebound. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Sydney Wiese drives and scores. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Sydney Wiese drives and scores. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Nneka Ogwumike is guarded by Crystal Langhorne. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Nneka Ogwumike is guarded by Crystal Langhorne. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Anriel Howard guards Ashley Walker. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Anriel Howard guards Ashley Walker. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Courtney Paris guards Maria Vadeeva. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Courtney Paris guards Maria Vadeeva. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - The Sparks bench celebrates as time winds down. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – The Sparks bench celebrates as time winds down. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Nneka Ogwumike and Jewell Loyd collide. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Nneka Ogwumike and Jewell Loyd collide. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Sydney Wiese tries to drive over Courtney Paris. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Sydney Wiese tries to drive over Courtney Paris. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Chiney Ogwumike tries to pass around Natasha Howard. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Chiney Ogwumike tries to pass around Natasha Howard. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Los Angeles Sparks players give Storm forward Breanna Stewart a hug after their game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Los Angeles Sparks players give Storm forward Breanna Stewart a hug after their game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker share a laugh after the Storm-Sparks preseason game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker share a laugh after the Storm-Sparks preseason game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 - Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker share a laugh after the Storm-Sparks preseason game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.
Friday, May 17, 2019 – Breanna Stewart and Candace Parker share a laugh after the Storm-Sparks preseason game. Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld.

 

Wings Fall to Fever in Preseason Closer 71-66

Arlington, Tex. The Indiana Fever were able to close out their preseason schedule undefeated Sunday, as they came from behind to beat the Dallas Wings, 71-66.

Fever guard Kelsey Mitchell scored 17 of her game high 26 points in the second half, while rookie guard Paris Kea added 11 points and Natalie Achonwa chipped in 10.

Coach Pokey Chatman gave credit to the second-year player from Ohio State.

“At the end of the day, Kelsey Mitchell really stepped up big,” Chatman said. “She goes into every game with the other team keying on her. They know she’s going to take the big shots. She deserves all the credit for her play when we needed it.”

Busy hands from the Wings disrupted the visitors in the first half, but there were unable to maintain that consistency after the break. Coach Brian Agler felt his team played well up until the miscues on defense and the turnovers on offense in the third quarter, where they were outscored 29-13.

“They made shots, Mitchell got it going a little bit,” he said. “We had some good things happen in the first half and had some really good defensive spurts for a while.”

This year Dallas will be without the production of All-Star Liz Cambage, who was traded this past weekend to Las Vegas, and point guard Skylar Diggins-Smith, who is making her way back after giving birth last month. But even without their two stars from last season, the Wings are not short on young talent that can be competitive for the upcoming season.

The charge in the final preseason game was led by former Texas standout Brooke McCarty-Williams with 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. McCarty-Williams said she has been learning a lot from veteran players like Diggins-Smith and Tayler Hill.

“Ive just been listening to them and trying to apply it on the court. I am taking in everything they are telling me,” McCarty-Williams said.

The guard was the third different rookie to lead the Wings in three-straight preseason games. Kaela Davis, Theresa Plaisance, Kayla Thornton and rookie Kennedy Burke added 7 points a piece. Forward Imani McGee-Stafford, acquired from the Atlanta Dream last week, also notched quality minutes.

Dallas gave Indiana different personnel looks down the stretch to try to regain the lead, which had been as much as 17 points, but they were unable to close out the game. The Wings seemed committed to moving the ball throughout the game, but their offense was stagnant in the second half. Plaisance said the team should have stayed true to their offensive sets.

When we did stay true and got the ball into the paint; we were scoring on those possessions,” Plaisance said. “Now wed have to do that more consistently, I think that’s what’s going to be the focus for our first game.”

The Wings waived Australian center Cayla George and guard Nicole Seekamp shortly after the game. Seven-year forward Glory Johnson said everyone is fighting for spots, and pushing each other, but they are all like family.

“Regardless of who makes the team and who doesn’t, we will be friends when we leave here,” she said.” Everyone wants to see everyone do great.”

Dallas begins the 2019 regular season on the road May 24 against the Dream.

Pro, college happenings

Today’s preseason result:

The Fever used smothering defense to down the Sky, 76-65.

Tomorrow’s preseason games:

Mystics at Dream

Storm at Sparks

WNBA team news:

Connecticut is showing flashes of their newfound athleticism in their preseason games.

Atlanta’s newly-renovated court is ready just in time for their preseason game tomorrow.

Minnesota Lynx preview.

The new-look Lynx are optimistic about the season.

WNBA player news:

Jessica Breland survived cancer to thrive in the WNBA.

Lexie Brown feels sort of guilty about her viral video.

The Dream traded center Imani McGee-Stafford to the Wings for a 2020 pick.

Azura Stevens stands by her WNBA decision, but might have done it differently.

Rookie Napheesa Collier has arrived ready to learn.

Morgan Bertsch is balancing school and the WNBA.

WNBA coach news:

Nicki Collen’s dream job was a story of compromise, patience and support.

WNBA commissioner news:

Conference call with new league commissioner Cathy Engelbert.

College team news:

LIU’s new mascot is the shark.

College player news:

Five rising stars for next season.

Kitija Laska will move on from South Florida.

BYU star Shaylee Gonzales is trying out for the U19 team.

Two have transferred to North Texas.

Lauren Hill will be inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame Saturday.

College coach news:

Rice coach Tina Langley has signed a new five-year deal.

Western Carolina has named Heather Kearney its new head coach.

Kenny Brooks is using the transfer portal to reload Virginia Tech.

Buffalo’s new assistant coach is Candice M. Jackson.

Ohio State has hired Tamika Jeter as an assistant coach.

Brandy Manning is a new assistant coach at Georgia Tech.

Taylor Coleman is Bucknelle’s new assistant coach.

Washington State has brought aboard Jason Chainey and Camille Williams as assistant coaches.

St. Bonvaventure’s new assistant coaches are Amber Easter and Bryanna Mueller.

High school news:

Top recruit Treasure Hunt’s high school won’t be closing.

Sparks talk newness on media day

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Chiney Ogwumike (L) and Nneka Ogwumike attend the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/BNP Paribas Open).
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Chiney Ogwumike (L) and Nneka Ogwumike attend the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/BNP Paribas Open).
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Chiney Ogwumike (L) and Nneka Ogwumike attend the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld).

Los Angeles Sparks players discussed various topics at media day this week, including first-year coach Derek Fisher, the acquisition of Chiney Ogwumike and Alexis Jones, and the arrival of rookie Kalani Brown.

For star forward Nneka Ogwumike, Fisher is the fourth coach she’s played for in Los Angeles in her eight-year career. She said the former NBA pro’s style differs from that of Brian Agler, who left the Sparks last fall after four seasons.

“(Fisher is) very much a player’s coach, and that’s something that I have really not experienced in my career,” Ogwumike said. “He approaches a lot of what we learn in practice from a more humane perspective – not just a basketball player’s perspective. He incorporates a lot of life lessons and general ideas of life in basketball. I think that is what really is going to set us apart.”

“What I really like that he does is that he allows us as teammates and players to hold ourselves accountable. He steps in when he needs to, but he kind of gives us the reign as far as coaching each other through certain situations. I appreciate that, and I think that has always been a weakness of our team. It’s really great to see a coach that trusts in the veterans in that way. I think we do a lot of learning from each other and of each other.”

Fifteen-year veteran Alana Beard said the experience of the team, which includes longtime Sparks Candace Parker and Jantel Lavender, has made the transition to a new coach easier.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (L) and Alana Beard attend the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/BNP Paribas Open).
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Tierra Ruffin-Pratt (L) and Alana Beard attend the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld).

“The fortunate thing about this group is that we have a group with very high IQ individuals who come in and do their job,” Beard said. “It’s not about the expectations people have on us it’s about the expectations we have on ourselves. We hold each other and ourselves to a higher standard, so I am looking forward to this season and the new additions that we have. I am ready to see all of that come together.”

Chiney Ogwumike, drafted by the Connecticut Sun in 2014 and traded to Los Angeles earlier this month, looks forward to playing with her older sibling for the first time since both were at Stanford.

“I’m just really excited for this opportunity to reconnect with my sister and learn from my sister,” Chiney Ogwumike said. “As long as she’s been on the team I have been involved with what she does. To play with veterans that have that have talent and know what it takes to win, that’s an opportunity that I have here, which I am excited for.”

“Every day I just try to bring positivity, energy and just life and fun because it’s always been one of those things where if Nneka can’t win a championship, I hope I win a championship, and if I can’t win a championship, I hope she wins a championship. Finally, it’s like let’s just do this thing and do it together. As long as I can bring my best for every play and possession and help this team win that’s all I care about. Whoever is on the floor has a job to do, and as long as we do our jobs, I feel like we are putting ourselves in a great position to win a championship.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Kalani Brown attends the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/BNP Paribas Open).
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Kalani Brown attends the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld).

Baylor center Kalani Brown, whom the Sparks took with the No. 7 pick, said the team’s veterans have been helpful to her.

“In college, I’m used to a lot of structure,” Brown said. “And the vets have taken it upon themselves to make a great example for me and show me what’s to be expected, how to practice. It’s just the little things. They’re just teaching me how to be a pro one day at a time and make sure I’m educated on the do’s and dont’s.”

Sydney Wiese, who enters her third season in the WNBA, missed the last part of the 2018 with an injury. She said she has grown from the experience.

“Part of the game you deal with injuries here and there, so I’ve been fortunate throughout my career to not have to deal with too many,” she said. “But injuries can also be blessings, and I’ve learned a lot.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019 - Sydney Wiese attends the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/BNP Paribas Open).
Tuesday, May 14, 2019 – Sydney Wiese attends the Los Angeles Sparks Media Day in Los Angeles, California. (Maria Noble/WomensHoopsWorld).

“I think the next step as a professional, because you have the basketball down, you sort of understand what you need in that regard to be successful and to set yourself up. But I personally struggled with how to take care of my body and to also make sure that I got rest and I stretched. So that really forced me to advance in that regard. So I learned a lot and I’ve had a lot of really good people working with me and making sure I was fully healed and recovered.”

The Sparks lost their first preseason game against the Phoenix Mercury, won their second over the Seattle Storm, and open the regular season May 26 in Las Vegas, where they will face the Aces.

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