Charli Collier posted an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double in her WNBA debut to help the Dallas Wings earn a season-opening 94-71 road victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday at Staples Center.
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2021 draft shot 4-of-6 from the field and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line. She also added one steal and one block, and the Wings outscored the Sparks by 15 with the ex-Texas star on the floor.
Collier's first WNBA bucket occurred in the first quarter, when she gained positioning on Sparks center Chiney Ogwumike and hit a jumper in the key:
Collier later nailed a bucket from just inside the three-point line:
Her biggest basket occurred in the third quarter, however.
L.A. went on an 11-3 run to cut a 63-49 lead to 66-60. Wings forward Allisha Gray then missed a layup, but Collier grabbed the offensive board between two Sparks players and was able to muscle her way to a bucket for an eight-point edge:
Collier added five more points afterward.
Gray led all scorers with 23 points on 7-of-15 shooting in addition to her nine rebounds. She also excelled on the defensive end, amassing four steals.
Wings guard Tyesha Harris dished seven assists to guide a fantastic offensive effort that included shooting 53.1 percent from the field. Dallas also knocked down 18-of-22 free throws.
Dallas guard Arike Ogunbowale had an efficient game, scoring 17 points in just 20 minutes. The ex-Notre Dame star and 2018 NCAA tournament heroine was limited due to foul trouble, but her 10 third-quarter points enabled Dallas to take a 70-60 lead into the fourth quarter.
For L.A., forward Nneka Ogwumike led the Sparks with 18 points, and her younger sister, Chiney, added 12 more.
The Sparks took a 27-20 lead after the first quarter but went ice cold afterward. Dallas took advantage, outscoring Los Angeles 24-14 in the second quarter, 26-19 in the third and 24-11 in the fourth.
Dallas won despite committing 26 turnovers. The Sparks couldn't take advantage, though, shooting just 35.9 percent from the field and 7-of-27 from three-point range. Dallas also dominated the boards, 45-25.
Dallas now faces a tough test against the defending WNBA champion Seattle Storm, who will visit the Wings at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas on Saturday, May 22 at 8 p.m. ET.
The Sparks also have a tough test with the team scheduled to visit the WNBA finalist Las Vegas Aces at Mandalay Bay Events Center on Friday at 10:30 p.m.