Las Vegas Aces center Aya Wilson scored a record 35 points in his 89-72 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks.
Sparks striker Nneka Ogvumike led with 16 points and 9 rebounds. Wilson also led Asata with 11 rebounds. Despite the loss, the Sparks managed to keep the aces below their average score of 90.8 points per game. This is their third meeting this season, Ogwumike noted their improvement from previous matches.
“We had more of a game plan so we wouldn’t help too much,” she said. “Sometimes attracting too many players to the ball causes too much distortion to the weak side. So we wanted to commit to being more one-on-one. “
Central Liz Cambage, who typically scores 16.3 points per game, was held at six points. She was compared to her former teammate Wilson.
“I was trying to get her a little better on offense,” said Sparks interim head coach Fred Williams. “Keeping A’ja Wilson difficult is a task because she knows how to come down, fade and shoot up.”
The Sparks opened their offensive early, with guard Katie Lou Samuelson scoring in the first minutes. Guard Chenedy Carter made a five-point streak, but the Sparks score remained fixed at 18 points in the last four minutes of the first quarter.
As the game progressed, Los Angeles could not cope with Las Vegas’ offensive accuracy. In the second quarter, the aces made a series of 11-2 and secured a double-digit lead. Their players from the front aggressively doubled the Sparks, and the Las Vegas guards hit the paint for blows.
By halftime, the aces were shooting at 60 percent of the field. Sparks shot only 39 percent.
“Coach Fred [Williams] we said that if we get the ball, you have to shoot it confidently, “said guard Jordan Jordan. “I think in the first half and throughout the game we just hesitated a bit and were in our own head.
Los Angeles found ways to stop in defense and score a goal. The Sparks scored 19 points in the third quarter, the most Sparks scored as the Aces scored more than 20 points in the first three quarters.
“I think they tried hard, a little too much,” Williams said. “They just need to have more practice, to reduce the time with things we do on the floor in different ways.”
Samuelson scored 13 points, Cambad made three blocked shots and Canada scored 10 points and 8 assists. Carter led the Sparks bench with nine points.
The Sparks’ next game will be against the Dallas Wings on June 19 at 1 p.m.
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