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  • Eric Martinez

Las Vegas Aces open WNBA Commissioner’s Cup with win over Wings 95 to 81; Wilson nets 36 points, 12 rebounds, 6 steals

A packed house at the College Park Center in Arlington was the perfect venue for the opening of the Commissioner’s Cup game for the Las Vegas Aces.  The back-to-back champions’ fanbase echoed as the team entered the floor.  Young girls in the stands cheered on WNBA star A’ja Wilson, Kelsey Plum, and birthday girl Kate Martin, a rookie for the Aces.  The Dallas Wings were coming off a five-game road trip (2-3) and looked to bounce back at home with injuries still playing a part of the season. 

The Aces came out of the gate strong, fast and with a plan to share the ball to create open shots.  Las Vegas shot for 63.2% from the field in the first quarter and defensively held the Wings to 25% field goal percentage.  The story of the first quarter was the points in the paint for the Aces by dominating 18 to the Dallas Wings’ 4 points and making all 4 of their free throws to set the tone and lead at the end of the first, 29 to 16.  As the game progressed, one player seemed to find their rhythm and played under control all night.  Aces’ forward, A’ja Wilson ended the night with 36 points, 12 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 assists. 

Her high-volume scoring came on an efficient play during the 34 minutes that she played.  With this performance, A’ja Wilson became the only player in WNBA history to record a 36+ points, 12+ rebounds, and 6+ steals in a single game.  Aces had a flurry of contributions from players such as Kelsey Plum that ended the game with 20 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists.  More than anything, Plum was the floor general with timely shots made, but driving to kick out the ball that set up several open three-pointers. 

Her 43% field goal efficiency came in a time where the Aces’ always needed a big shot to drop, and it was Kelsey or Jackie Young.  Young dropped 19 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists and played aggressively the entire game.  The Dallas Wings dropped to a record of 3-5, however they showed heart with the second quarter comeback.  The Wings cut the lead 47 to 42 at halftime.  Arike Ogunbowale had another tremendous scoring game with 31 points and 7 assists.  Three starters for Dallas ended the night with double-digits. 

Maddy Siegrist was a bright spot for the Wings with 14 points and 5 rebounds, but it was her hustle that was noticeable by getting to the free throw line on offensive putback plays.  Monique Billings and Teaira McCowan combined for 26 points and 21 rebounds.  Aces started off strong in the 4th quarter and extended their lead to 17, 78 to 61 with 8:47 remaining in the game and pushed it with 4:04 left in game, Aces extended lead to 17 with 3:33 left in game.  Next for Dallas is another Commissioner’s Cup game Friday night in Los Angeles to play against the Sparks.  The Las Vegas Aces will host the Seattle Storm on Friday for another Commissioner’s Cup game. 


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