Rookie Kaela Davis, the 6’2″ guard who helped South Carolina win the NCAA championship in March, scored 14 points to lead the Dallas Wings to an 80-75 win over the Indiana Fever on Saturday night, May 6, in the Wings’ second — and final — preseason game this year. It was Davis’ second dougle-digit-scoring game of the pre-season. She was also perfect at the free throw line, going 6-for-6, and ended the game with 4 rebounds.
The Wings kick off regular season play against the Mercury in Phoenix on May 14, after a 1-1 pre-season slate. Their first home game in May 20 against the Minnesota Lynx.
The Wings started off slow against the Fever, ending the first half down by 9 points. But veteran Skylar Diggins-Smith, back full force this year after sitting out much of last year — the team’s first in Dallas — with a knee injury, kicked into high gear with five unanswered points in the third quarter, to bring the Wings to within 1, 44-45. With just over a minute left in the quarter, Davis scored on a reverse lay-up to give the Wings a 55-54 lead going into the fourth.
Diggins-Smith had 13 points in the game, including one three-pointer. She had 2 rebounds and 5 assists.
Team-wise, the Wings recorded 19 total assists, the most in preseason play, and 38 rebounds, compared to 17 assists ad 36 rebounds for the Fever. It was the second straight game in which the Dallas players out-rebounded their opponents.
Another veteran, Karima Christmas-Kelly, hit in double-digits, with 10 points, while veteran Courtney Paris led the team in rebounds with 9. Allisha Gray, another rookie from the South Carolina championship team, was 2-for-2 on three-pointers.
All but two players on the pre-season roster saw playing time in Saturday’s game, and every Wings player that took the court scored at least 2 points. The team’s field goal percentage was 39.7 percent — 42.9 percent on three-pointers — and they were 69.7 percent from the free throw line.
Diggins-Smith praised the Wings rookies that played in Saturday night’s game, calling the victory over the Fever “a win by committee.” Head Coach Fred Williams said defensive pressure by his players, “especially in the fourth quarter,” was a key factor. He also praised the team’s rookies, and said that this game was “just the beginning” of Diggins-Smith return to full power. “The way she is orchestrating things with her teammates is keeping us really balanced,” he said of the four-year veteran.