Tue, 22 Jun 2021

Charli Collier posts double-double in debut as Wings rout Sparks

Field Level Media
15 May 2021, 15:19 GMT+10

Allisha Gray scored 23 points and No. 1 overall pick Charli Collier notched a double-double in her professional debut as the visiting Dallas Wings surged past the Los Angeles Sparks 94-71 in the teams' WNBA season-opener on Friday night.

Collier, a 6-foot-5 forward/center from Texas, hit 4 of 6 shots for 11 points and hauled in 10 rebounds for the Wings, while Gray added nine rebounds, four assists and four steals to her big scoring effort. Arike Ogunbowale, the 2020 WNBA leading scorer, opened up the new campaign with 17 points in just 20 minutes.

Sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike led Los Angeles in scoring with 18 and 12 points, respectively. But the Sparks shot a rough 35.9 percent from the field and only managed 44 points in the final three quarters after a strong start.

Chiney Ogwumike drove in for a layup with 8:27 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut Dallas' lead down to 70-64. Nia Coffey, who had just hit a couple of 3-pointers, then had a good look beyond the arc that would have cut the lead to three.

But that shot rimmed out and the Wings quickly got the ball into Marina Mabrey's hands for a wide-open 3, which she swished for a 73-64 advantage.

That opened the floodgates for the visitors.

Over the next five minutes, the Sparks couldn't hit anything while Dallas steadily increased the lead during a game-clinching 13-0 run.

That spurt included the Mabrey 3, an Ogunbowale layup and jumper, a Gray drive, a Kayla Thornton 3-footer and an Isabelle Harrison layup.

The six-point game became a dominating 19-point lead.

The Sparks looked good early on, taking a 27-20 lead after the first quarter. The Wings then scored the first six points of the second quarter, and eventually caught up with L.A. at 33-33 on a Thornton 3-pointer.

After taking a 44-41 halftime lead, the Wings continued the momentum shift in the third quarter by outscoring the hosts 26-19.

Dallas then stymied L.A.'s offense in the fourth quarter, holding the Sparks to just 11 points for the runaway win.

--Field Level Media

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