Arike Ogunbowale powered Dallas to a win on Wednesday, with 14 of her 25 points coming in the fourth quarter. 

Despite trailing 75-73 with 3:16 to go, the Wings rattled off the next 14 points to beat the Chicago Sky 87-79. As a whole, the Wings shot 100% on eight shots in the final five minutes of the game. 

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"I don't know. I mean, I was dead, honestly," Ogunbowale said after Dallas's comeback win. "Maddy [Siegrist] came to me and said, 'The Lord renews your strength.' And the last five minutes, we went crazy."

Postgame, head coach Latricia Trammell applauded her team’s ability to handle the Sky’s pressure.

"We know basketball is a game of surges," Trammell said. "You just gotta weather the storm because we were gonna go on our runs as well."

While Chicago was unable to find an answer for Dallas’ fourth-quarter surge, Sky rookie Angel Reese had a solid professional debut. Her first WNBA bucket came in the third quarter, and she finished with 12 points and eight rebounds, joining the remaining four Sky starters in double-digit scoring.  

Of Reese's 12 points, seven came in the fourth quarter.

"She's [Angel Reese] a great player on and off the court," Ogunbowale said of the LSU alum's performance. "This is her first game. Obviously, she has a long career, this is a good start."

While rapper Latto was in the building for the Sky game, Kim Kardashian dropped by the Los Angeles Sparks game with daughter North to see the Sparks took on Atlanta. Rookies Cameron Brink and Rickea Jackson both made their WNBA debuts, while Layshia Clarendon had their first career triple-double.

Brink finished with 11 points, four assists, and two blocks, but got into foul trouble with five fouls in 20 minutes. 

Atlanta would have the last word, thanks to Rhyne Howard leaving behind some broken ankles in her 25-point performance.

Cameron Brink already has her rookie of the year pick for the upcoming WNBA season, and it’s Indiana-bound star Caitlin Clark

In the latest edition of Kelley on the Street, host Kelley O'Hara caught up with Brink in New York hours before the Stanford phenom went No. 2 overall to the Los Angeles Sparks at the 2024 WNBA Draft. When O’Hara asked who would win the WNBA's rookie of the year, she answered without pause.

"Caitlin Clark," she said, while a fan commented that she thought Brink would take home the award. Brink later added that the extra foul granted to WNBA players will be "good for me."

"I hope it’s me," Charisma Osborne, who was later drafted by the Phoenix Mercury, said when asked her ROY prediction. "But, I don’t know — we’ll see."

Watch more of Kelley on the Street:

The WNBA draft lottery is set for Dec. 10, with four teams in the running for the No. 1 overall pick — the Indiana Fever, Phoenix Mercury, Los Angeles Sparks and Seattle Storm.

While the Mercury finished the 2023 season with the worst record, the WNBA combines the two seasons prior to the draft to determine the odds for the No. 1 overall pick. So the Fever, who won the lottery for the first time in franchise history in 2023, have the best shot at the No. 1 pick again in 2024.

Who will each team select when the draft rolls around in April? Just Women’s Sports projects the four lottery picks, based on the team odds for the draft lottery.

1. Indiana Fever: Caitlin Clark, Iowa

Clark is arguably the biggest star in college basketball.

Last year’s consensus player of the year, the Hawkeyes senior proved herself an elite shooter, leading the NCAA in 3-pointers with 140 and finishing second in scoring with 27.8 points per game. She also has the ability to make the players around her better — she led Division I with 8.6 assists per game. And she is putting on a show again this season, with a 44-point game on her stat sheet.

Clark has another year of NCAA eligibility remaining the 2023-24 season, and she has suggested that she may use it. But if she chooses to go to the WNBA, she’s a clear front-runner for the No. 1 overall pick.

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Paige Bueckers has two years of eligibility remaining for UConn, but she also is a top WNBA prospect. (Lance King/Getty Images)

2. Phoenix Mercury: Paige Bueckers, UConn

Bueckers is another elite shooter and playmaker. She secured national player of the year honors as a freshman in 2021, and her shooting ability is nearly unmatched.

The Huskies guard, though, has significantly fewer college appearances under her belt than many of the other players qualified for the 2024 draft due to injuries — including a torn ACL that caused her to miss all of last season.

A redshirt junior, Bueckers has played just 46 games for UConn, and she is eligible to stay with the program through 2026. But after putting together a lackluster season in 2022 and finishing with the worst record overall in 2023, the Mercury may be willing to take a risk for a shot like Bueckers’.

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Stanford's Cameron Brink averaged 3.47 blocks per game last year. (Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

3. Los Angeles Sparks: Cameron Brink, Stanford

Brink is a versatile big who brings good offense and great defense to the table.

While she is not as prolific a scorer as Clark or Bueckers — a tall order, indeed — her defense makes up for it. The 6-foot-4 senior averaged 3.47 blocks per game last year, placing her third in the league.

And she can score from the post and from the perimeter, making her a smart addition to any team. Brink posted 20 points and 17 rebounds as she showcased her scoring prowess against No. 9 Indiana on Nov. 12.

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Aaliyah Edwards is leading UConn in scoring so far this season. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

4. Seattle Storm: Aaliyah Edwards, UConn

The departure of Breanna Stewart has left the Storm in need of a strong post presence, and UConn’s leading scorer could provide just that.

Edwards led the Huskies on the scoresheet last season, dropping 16.6 points per game, and she leads the team again through four games this season, with 18.0 per game.

Her size is also an advantage — the 6-foot-3 power forward is a force on the court and a fearsome defender and rebounder. She collected an average of 9.0 rebounds per game last season and her one-on-one defense is top-notch.

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Kamilla Cardoso averaged 9.8 points and 8.5 rebounds for South Carolina last season. (Grant Halverson/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Honorable mentions

These players also would be great choices in the first round, in no particular order:

  • Kamilla Cardoso, South Carolina
  • Angel Reese, LSU
  • Hailey Van Lith, LSU
  • Rickea Jackson, Tennessee
  • Georgia Amoore, Virginia Tech
  • Jacy Sheldon, Ohio State

No. 6 Stanford staved off Duke last night in overtime, 82-79, courtesy of a career-high scoring night for Cameron Brink.

The star senior dropped 29 points for the Cardinal, nine of those points in overtime, to keep her team undefeated in nonconference play so far this season. Brink also collected 11 rebounds and 6 blocks and went 10-10 from the free-throw line to top off her high scoring night.

Kiki Iriafen also had a standout night for Stanford. She contributed 27 points and 9 rebounds in its gutsy overtime win.

“They gave us all we could ask for and more,” Cardinal head coach Tara VanDerveer said to the Associated Press. “This game was kind of a heavyweight fight and it was a grind-out game. These are the kind of games that will get us ready for the Pac-12 gauntlet.” 

After showing the Blue Devils everything she could do, Brink expected a warm welcome into the locker room from her teammates.

The 6-foot-4 forward leaped into the locker room and screamed. She closed her eyes and raised her arms to her chest. But the room was silent. 

So Brink bottled her excitement and began to walk to her seat.

Only then did her teammates relent, jumping up around Brink, shouting and showering her in water. The players laughed and celebrated their undefeated record. 

“We’re such a young team, getting a game like this under our belts shows us that we can fight through stuff,” Brink said.

Paige Bueckers is back and ready to prove herself.

On Tuesday, Bueckers was named to an Associated Press preseason All-American, a sign of what people expect out of the UConn basketball star as she returns to the court for the first time in almost a year and a half.

“To still have people believe in me, believe what I can do on the court, it means a lot,” Bueckers said at the Big East media day. “And just coming back from injury, sort of having that confidence, having other people still have confidence in me it means a lot. But at the end of the day, like preseason awards don’t really matter at all. You got to go out there and prove it.”

Having Bueckers back is big for the Huskies, who are looking to compete with a fully healthy roster this season. Bueckers, Azzi Fudd and Ice Brady all are returning from injuries.

“The difference between having Paige and not having Paige is, you know, your chances of competing for a national championship just went up exponentially,” head coach Geno Auriemma said, noting that this is the best he’s seen Bueckers look – even taking into account her National Player of the Year season as a freshman in 2021.

“Paige is a better player now than she was when she was national player of the year,” he said. “She’s bigger. She’s stronger. She’s quicker. She just sees things differently now than she did when she was a kid.”

Bueckers joins an AP All-America list headlined by Iowa star Caitlin Clark, who was once again a unanimous selection, and LSU star Angel Reese. Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley, Stanford’s Cameron Brink and Indiana’s Mackenzie Holmes rounded out the squad.

Holmes becomes the first preseason All-American in Indiana history, while Clark is now a three-time preseason All-American. All six players have been named end-of-season AP All-Americans in recent years, with Clark, Reese and Holmes making the first team at the end of the 2022-23 season.

Stanford’s roster will look a lot different this season, but Cameron Brink isn’t worried.

In fact, the senior says her team is in better shape than people might realize. The Cardinal lost several players to graduation, including standout guard Haley Jones to the WNBA Draft and Lauren Betts, the No. 1 recruit in 2022, to rival UCLA in the transfer portal.

The Cardinal won a national championship during Brink’s freshman year in 2021. That created high expectations for a program that, despite making nine Final Fours since 2008, hadn’t won a title since 1992. Then, Stanford went undefeated in conference play in 2021-22 before losing to UConn in the Final Four.

Last season was a disappointment for the Cardinal, as Ole Miss upset the No. 1 seed in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. It was the first time since 2007 that Stanford hadn’t made it to the Sweet 16.

That, followed by a slew of transfers, put Stanford and head coach Tara VanDerveer in an unusual position. Now, the storied program must contend with the impending demise of the Pac-12 conference. In the wake of multiple Pac-12 universities agreeing to join other sports conferences in 2024, due in large part to college football media deals, Stanford is in preliminary talks to move to the ACC.

Despite the continuously evolving offseason turmoil, the Cardinal are focused on the upcoming season after reloading with a solid freshman class, according to Brink.

“We’ve done a lot of rebuilding, but I could not be happier with what we have so far,” Brink said during WNBA All-Star weekend last month. “It’s still such early stages, but the freshmen are legit. I’m just so excited to see them grow.”

Stanford signed five-star guard Courtney Ogden, who averaged 21.3 points, 10.7 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game during her senior season at Atlanta’s Westminster School. They also added two four-star players, forward NuNu Agara and guard Chloe Cardy.

Brink, the two-time Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, says she’s been impressed with all three freshmen so far.

“They’re open to learning and are so coachable,” she said. “They have the best attitudes.”

The 21-year-old Brink will be tasked with leading a Stanford team this season against tough competition in the Pac-12 (while the conference still stands). Former teammate Betts’ transfer to UCLA turns the Bruins into a contender full of young talent, while USC landed top recruit JuJu Watkins and Arizona boasts another talented recruiting class led by three five-star recruits.

Colorado and Utah finished first and third in the Pac-12, respectively, last season and return most of their rosters. That includes Pac-12 Player of the Year Alissa Pili for Utah and NCAA Tournament standout Frida Formann for Colorado.

Despite the competition, Brink has confidence in her Stanford squad.

“We are going to be really good,” she said.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

LAS VEGAS — Cameron Brink, Deja Kelly and Hailey Van Lith sat courtside for the WNBA All-Star Game last month, looking directly at their preferred futures.

The three are heading into their senior years — Brink at Stanford, Kelly at North Carolina and Van Lith at LSU. And like the players on the court, their WNBA dreams are so close, they can almost touch them.

“God willing, this is a dream of mine,” Brink said. “So, I think seeing all this is such a good reminder of how much hard work it takes to get there. And what the players sacrifice to be in this league. I think it’s just a really humbling experience, and I’m just really happy to be here.”

Anyone who watches the WNBA or dreams of playing in the league is familiar with the difficulties of making a roster. There’s a lot of talent coming out of college basketball — Brink, Kelly and Van Lith included — but a limited number of spots.

This season, 15 of 36 draftees made opening day rosters, 15 remained on rosters from the 2022 draft, and just eight players drafted in 2021 were rostered to start the season.

For the three seniors, this upcoming season is crucial to raising their draft stock. The next two WNBA drafts could feature the deepest classes the league has ever seen.

As undersized guards, Kelly (5-8) and Van Lith (5-7) are both focusing on extending their range. Kelly shot 28% from beyond the arc last season, while Van Lith made 29% of her attempts. They’ve been effective getting to the rim off the bounce in college, but they know 3-point shooting is vital to success in the WNBA.

“I’m working on a number of things,” Kelly said. “But I think just being as consistent as possible, just playing within my game. That and really extending my range as well. I think as a guard and my size, it’s something I have to have.”

Brink also wants to improve her outside shooting as a skill that can set the 6-4 forward apart from other bigs. She looks to players like Breanna Stewart and A’ja Wilson for inspiration on how to capitalize on versatility while remaining dominant inside.

Versatility has become increasingly important in the WNBA in the last few years, as traditional, back-to-the-basket posts and guards who can’t create for themselves are becoming less effective. Posts have to have range, and guards need to be able to score in isolation.

Van Lith and Brink are coming off a successful stint in 3×3 basketball, where they claimed gold at the FIBA World Cup in June and Brink was named tournament MVP. The nature of 3×3, they say, promotes versatility.

“I think 3×3 is such a dynamic game, and it’s so volatile,” Brink said. “You have to be able to defend every position, be able to shoot, be confident in your shot. You have to be able to handle the ball and clear the ball in between possessions.”

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Brink, Kelly and Van Lith pose with reigning WNBA MVP A'ja Wilson during All-Star weekend. (Annie Schutz/Just Women's Sports)

With only three players on the court at a time, Van Lith even spent time in the paint, playing with her back to the basket. It’s an unexpected skill set that she hopes to show off next season at LSU, after transferring from Louisville to play for the defending NCAA champions.

“I have a post bag, and it is deep,” Van Lith said with a smile. “Just wait until I get to LSU, because it is coming out.”

Changes in women’s basketball are happening off the court, too. Brink, Kelly and Van Lith have witnessed the rapidly evolving landscape firsthand, coming into college during the COVID-19 pandemic and now being some of the first players to benefit from NIL.

The opportunity to accept sponsorships and marketing opportunities has allowed college players to build and monetize their personal brands, bringing more attention to themselves and the game. Players like Aliyah Boston, who is enjoying a successful rookie season, is proof that talent can get players to the next level, but personality and visibility can bring fans from college to the WNBA. Boston already has a strong following from South Carolina, and those fans have continued their support for the Fever post, voting her as an All-Star starter this season.

“NIL plays a huge role in that growth process, just because fans get to see what we are doing for NIL, and it makes them want to watch us play basketball even more,” Kelly said. “NIL hit my sophomore year, and a lot of people wanted to see our team and see what we were about. Once they saw we were actually good, it made them want to come back.”

Of course, not every NIL deal transfers from college to the professional ranks. Branding remains important at the next level, and several players have found ways to benefit despite not going to college during the NIL era.

Wilson, the two-time WNBA MVP, has deals with Starry and Ruffles. Stewart, another of the league’s most well-known players, has a signature shoe with PUMA.

Coinciding with more eyes on the league, fashion has become a big part of WNBA culture. Skylar Diggins-Smith launched an entire clothing collection with PUMA last season, and tunnel pregame tunnel outfits have dominated WNBA Instagram accounts for the last few seasons.

The differing styles among players are one of the many ways they express and market themselves. It’s also something that’s trickling down to the college level.

“I love it,” Van Lith said. “There is no pressure to put a label on it. They can dress masculine one day, and the next day they can show up in a dress. There’s so much range.”

Player fashion, Van Lith says, is bigger than just what brands they are wearing. Like the changing versatility on the court, it represents exactly what the WNBA is about.

“The league is just a great example of diversity in so many ways,” she says. “Fashion is definitely one of those.”

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.

The Phoenix Mercury have had a disappointing start to the 2023 season, but that puts them in the lead in the race for the No. 1 pick for the 2024 WNBA Draft.

The four teams with the worst record at the end of the season all will have a shot for the top overall pick via the WNBA draft lottery. And as the WNBA season continues, teams get a better idea of if they have got a shot at one of the NCAA’s best.

The draft should be stacked with talent, with possible selections including Iowa senior Caitlin Clark, UConn redshirt junior Paige Bueckers and LSU fourth-year junior Angel Reese.

While each of these star players has at least one more year of eligibility remaining, they are far from the only talent on offer. Tennessee’s Rickea Jackson, Virginia Tech’s Elizabeth Kitley and Ohio State’s Jacy Sheldon all are in their final year of eligibility and could have been first-round picks in 2023.

The Mercury (2-9) sit alone at the bottom of the league just over a quarter of the way into the season. Next comes the Seattle Storm (3-9), then the Minnesota Lynx (4-9). Chicago (5-8) rounds out the lottery spots, with the Sky on a five-game losing streak after beginning the season 5-3.

But the Sky’s offseason moves could come back to bite them, as they don’t even have a draft pick in the first round in 2024. Instead, their pick will go to the Dallas Wings, who also reserve the right to swap first-round picks with Chicago in 2025.

The U.S. women won the 2023 FIBA 3×3 World Cup on Sunday, defeating France 16-12 in the gold medal game. It is the U.S. women’s third 3×3 title, but first since 2014.

The U.S. squad was made up of two current NCAA players in LSU transfer Hailey Van Lith and Stanford’s Cameron Brink, plus two longtime 3×3 veterans in Cierra Burdick and Linnae Harper. Burdick, who graduated from Tennessee in 2015 and has played stints with a multiple WNBA teams, was also a member of the U.S. team that won 3×3 gold in 2014.

The Americans went 7-1 during the tournament, losing only to Canada during the first game of group play.

In the gold medal game, Burdick and Van Lith each recorded seven points and six rebounds. Brink, competing in her first ever 3×3 competition, was named tournament MVP after amassing 39 points and 45 rebounds in eight games.

Thanks to the top-four finish, the U.S. women also qualified for the 3×3 Olympic Qualifying Tournament, which will be held in early 2024 ahead of the Paris Olympics. It is also possible the U.S. won’t need to attend that tournament if its 3×3 world ranking improves between now and November, when the top three nations will earn automatic Olympic berths (the U.S. is currently ranked fourth).

The U.S. women won gold in the Olympic debut of 3×3 basketball in 2021 with a roster of WNBA standouts: Stefanie Dolson, Allisha Gray, Kelsey Plum and Jackie Young.

During the 2023 WNBA Draft on Monday night, the Washington Mystics selected Stephanie Soares with the fourth pick before promptly trading her to the Dallas Wings. In return, the Mystics received picks in the 2024 and 2025 drafts.

Soares was a sought-after prospect in this year’s draft — 6-foot-6 forward who can shoot 3-pointers is hard to come by. But the Mystics were willing to deal her because of the strength of the next two WNBA draft classes.

With a fifth year of NCAA eligibility still on the table for players as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, several of the top upcoming prospects could declare for next year’s draft or the 2025 draft. Between the two, WNBA teams will have a deep group of prospects to choose from. Here are the top 10 in those classes.

1. Caitlin Clark, G, Iowa

The Iowa guard is one of the most well-rounded prospects we’ve seen in a long time. Her scoring, passing and rebounding skills make her a triple-double threat every game and could set her up to be the No. 1 draft pick in 2024 or 2025 (depending on when she declares). Clark is known for her scoring ability — she can shoot from almost anywhere — but it’s her passing ability, both in the halfcourt and on the fastbreak, that makes the Iowa star a potential No. 1 pick.

2. Cameron Brink, F, Stanford

Brink is the kind of player that will have WNBA coaches and executives salivating. A big with guard skills is one of the most coveted player types as the WNBA continues to evolve into a positionless league. Brink is already a top shot-blocker and scorer on the inside. If she continues to develop her 3-point shot, the Stanford forward will become even more sought after at the next level.

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Angel Reese was named the Final Four Most Outstanding Player after leading LSU to the NCAA title. (C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

3. Angel Reese, F, LSU

The reigning Final Four Most Outstanding Player arrived at Maryland in 2020 as the top-ranked wing in the country. Over the next two years, she played mostly as a post for the Terrapins. Now at LSU, she does a bit of both. Reese’s versatility makes her a player who can fit on any roster, and she’s polished enough to make an immediate impact. Add in her elite rebounding skills, and Reese can expect to hear her name called early on draft night.

4. Olivia Miles, G, Notre Dame

Notre Dame’s point guard is known for her creativity on the court. From facilitating to manufacturing opportunities for herself, it’s hard to predict what Miles will do next. And when it comes to setting up her teammates, there is no one better at understanding tendencies and putting players in positions to score. An injury stopped her from playing in the NCAA Tournament, but I’ve seen enough of Miles to know she’s a future WNBA star.

5. Rickea Jackson, F, Tennessee

Jackson was slated to be a top draft pick this year before deciding to come back to Tennessee for a fifth season. She played her first three years at Mississippi State under three different coaches, so the stability of having coach Kellie Harper for two seasons at Tennessee will be great for Jackson’s development. But even without that, she’s a promising prospect. Jackson is a proven scorer who is strong around the basket and can attack off the bounce. Her 6-2 frame is ideal for the WNBA and will be an asset on defense as well.

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Paige Bueckers missed the entire 2022-23 season for UConn after tearing her ACL. (G Fiume/Getty Images)

6. Paige Bueckers, G, UConn

While a healthy Bueckers could be a No. 1 draft pick, her injuries over the last two seasons are cause for concern. Still, Bueckers was named Player of the Year as a freshman for a reason. She’s been pro-ready since she set foot on UConn’s campus. If she can put together a full season without an injury, the guard will be a top pick. And even if she doesn’t, Bueckers is so skilled that WNBA executives will likely take the risk anyway.

7. Aaliyah Edwards, F, UConn

As injuries plagued UConn this season, Edwards proved she can be the centerpiece of a team. No matter who else was on the court, Edwards performed. Like Reese, she was tabbed as a wing coming into college, so she is able to attack off the bounce and defend on the perimeter. Another versatile prospect, Edwards will be a good get for any team.

8. Elizabeth Kitley, C, Virginia Tech

Kitley could have been a first-round draft pick this season if she didn’t elect to come back to Virginia Tech for a fifth year. Kitley has improved every season, winning ACC Player of the Year in both 2022 and 2023. Her body control on both ends of the floor makes her difficult to guard and difficult to score over. At 6-6, she has the ability to extend to the free-throw line, and her shooting stroke can likely be developed beyond the arc.

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Kamilla Cardoso has all the tools to thrive in the WNBA. (Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images

9. Kamilla Cardoso, C, South Carolina

Cardoso has spent the last two seasons coming off the bench behind this year’s No. 1 pick, Aliyah Boston, but make no mistake, she would be starting on any other team. On several occasions this year, it was Cardoso who made the difference for the Gamecocks when teams tried different defenses to slow them down. She’s 6-7 with good hands, making post-entry passes easy for her teammates. And on the other end of the floor, Cardoso is a skilled shot blocker.

10. Jacy Sheldon, G, Ohio State

Ohio State’s point guard missed most of the year due to injury, but an impressive March Madness improved her draft stock so much that Sheldon could have been a 2023 top-five pick if she hadn’t opted to return for a fifth year. She has the ability to be the best offensive and defensive player on the court in any given game. Sheldon also possesses a toughness that WNBA teams will like.

Eden Laase is a Staff Writer at Just Women’s Sports. Follow her on Twitter @eden_laase.