ARLINGTON, Texas — The Dallas Wings are flying high in their playoff run, after upsetting the No. 2 seed Las Vegas Aces, winning a 82-80 win Thursday night. And the big takeaway – put some respect on Wings Center Teaira McCowan's name!
McCowan made a go-ahead layup with just 11.4 seconds left in the game to help secure the team's win. Even better, the thriller took place on the Wings' home court at College Park Center in Arlington.
Kelsey Plum sank a 3-pointer with 1:11 left to pull Las Vegas to 80-78 and after a Dallas miss, Chelsea Gray made a jumper from the free-throw line to tie it at 80. Dallas guard Tyasha Harris dribbled down the clock before driving into the lane and finding a wide open McCowan under the basket with 11.4 seconds remaining.
Las Vegas struggled to get into its offense and called a timeout with 3.8 seconds to go. Then Gray found a wide open A’ja Wilson in the paint, but her layup rolled off the rim as time expired.
McCowan finished with 21 points and a season-high 16 rebounds for Dallas, which was without leading scorer Arike Ogunbowale for a second straight game. Marina Mabrey and Harris each scored 15 points.
During her post-game interview, McCowan shared how when she joined the Wings this season, it was a little rocky because the team didn’t know how to play to her strengths. The center is coming off her fourth-straight double-double and is happy to see the team coming together.
“It’s special to see. You know, when I’m getting the ball and I’m giving my teammates the ball, everyone’s involved. You know, everyone’s clicking,” she said.
In their final games of regular season play, the Wings are showing promise ahead of the playoff, with back-to-back wings against the top two teams in the league.
In her post game interview, Dallas Wings Head Coach Vickie Johnson shared her enthusiasm.
“I feel amazing. I’m happy for our team and especially the ladies. They believed and they did a great job of listening to the schemes the coaching staff [prepared]. They did a great job of preparing them and they executed," Johnson said.
"We know the game is about runs, Las Vegas is a great team. We knew they could come down and knock some shots. The execution by Ty [Harris] and ‘Big T’ [Teaira McCowan] was huge at the end. Just her performance aside, her performance was amazing, so I was happy to see her make shots and do what she needed to do to help our team be successful.”
Yet, the night started off with a somber note. Players from Las Vegas and Dallas locked arms before the game to honor Brittney Griner, who was sentenced to nine years in a Russian prison earlier in the day. Griner, a two-time U.S. Olympic champion and a eight-time WNBA all-star, was convicted of drug possession and smuggling.
No matter the wins or losses, the WNBA stands together.
The Dallas Wings stay home to face the Indiana Fever (5-28) on Saturday, Aug. 6. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. CT. You can also watch live on Bally Sports Southwest Extra and NBA TV.