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Arike Ogunbowale leads Wings past Liberty

Sportsnaut
May 9, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; A general view of the game ball during the preseason WNBA game between the New York Liberty and the China National Team at Barclays Center.  Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Arike Ogunbowale scored 21 points and the visiting Dallas Wings defeated the New York Liberty 81-71 on Sunday afternoon to capture their second straight win.

The Wings (2-1) were aggressive from the tipoff and never trailed after a mid-second period run, expanding their advantage to as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter. New York cut its deficit to 79-71 with 2:12 to play but could not score the rest of the way.

Dallas forced the Liberty into 18 turnovers and outrebounded New York 33-28.

Isabelle Harrison added 18 points for the Wings, with Marina Mabrey hitting for 14, Allisha Gray scoring 11 and Kayla Thornton grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Dallas got just 10 points from its bench players but had a solid performance from its starters for the second consecutive game.

Sabrina Ionescu led the Liberty (1-3) with 17 points. Natasha Howard tallied 14 for New York while Betnijah Laney had 13 and Han Xu added 10. The Liberty have dropped three straight games after a season-opening win.

The two teams played a back-and-forth first half, with New York jumping ahead 9-2 in the first two and a half minutes before the Wings rallied to take the advantage at 12-11 on a pair of free throws by Gray at the 5:51 mark of the opening period. Dallas led 26-22 after the first 10 minutes.

The Liberty bounced back to go up 29-28 on a three-point play by Ionescu with 8:26 left in the half. But Dallas responded, using a 9-0 run over the middle of the quarter to take a 37-31 lead. The Wings went to the break ahead 39-37.

Gray led all scorers with 10 points in the half while Laney paced the Liberty with eight points. New York outshot the Wings 48.5 percent to 41.2 percent over the first 20 minutes, which featured four ties and five lead changes.

Dallas expanded its lead to as many as 10 points in the third quarter as Ogunbowale poured in three 3-pointers in the period to help offset Ionescu’s six points.

Tyasha Harris missed the game for the Wings with an ankle injury.

–Field Level Media