Gustafson shows promise in Wings' rare wins over Sun, Lynx

Megan Gustafson

For much of the last two seasons, the Connecticut Sun have been a thorn in the Dallas Wings' side.

With the Sun off to their hottest start and the Wings missing most of their key veteran pieces, including Skylar Diggins-Smith and Glory Johnson, it appeared it would be more of the same for Dallas.

Arike Ogunbowale, Allisha Gray and Megan Gustafson made sure that wasn't the case.

Ogunbowale banked in a go-ahead 3-pointer from the top of the key and with just over one minute remaining and Gray knocked down a pair of clutch free throws to seal a 74-73 win for the Wings (3-6) over the Sun (9-3) on Wednesday.

In her first start since the Wings' June 1 home opener against the Minnesota Lynx, Ogunbowale made her case to stay in it, scoring a team-high 23 points.


While Ogunbowale has shown early on this season that she's capable of scoring in bunches. She scored a career-high 25 points against the Las Vegas Aces on Saturday. However, she has struggled thus far through her rookie season to match that with efficiency.

Coming into Wednesday's game, Ogunbowale was averaging 11.4 points per game, but on 30.6% shooting from the floor and 23.5% from 3-point range.

However, she managed to combine the scoring output and efficiency against the Sun, shooting 10-17 from the floor.

"That's what we're looking for," coach Brian Agler said. "Good players and great players, they don't shoot 40% or below. They're usually every other game they're 50% or above. So that's what we're looking for.

She wasn't the only rookie who had a solid contribution for the Wings.

In a short first-half burst, second-round pick Gustafson gave the Wings some quality minutes, making all of her three shots for six quick points.

If Gustafson continues to play well, it could again leave the Wings with a difficult roster decision when Johnson and Moriah Jefferson return to the roster.

The Wings brought Gustafson back after cutting her prior to the regular season. But with Johnson's departure to compete with Montenegro in Eurobasket and Tayler Hill out indefinitely with a knee injury, that created a spot for the Wings to bring back Gustafson.


When the time comes, the Wings will have to evaluate her progress and decide whether or not it's been enough to warrant her earning a permanent roster spot.

"I wouldn't say that I'm trying to display anything," Gustafson said. "I'm just here to work as hard as I can and keep a team-first mentality. That's how I've always been and that's how I always will be."

Gustafson followed up her debut with six points and four rebounds in seven minutes of a 69-68 loss Friday to the New York Liberty.

The former South Shore Cardinal then scored four points, grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist in 10 minutes in an 89-86 victory over the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Sunday.

The win over the Lynx snapped Dallas’ 12-game losing streak in the series and recorded its first win over Minnesota since June 21, 2015. The Wings won for the fourth time in six games overall by outscoring Minnesota 29-17 in the final 11-plus minutes.

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