The stage was set and the lights were bright in Downtown Houston for the inaugural WMLBA Championship Game. The Tennessee Storm and Dallas Lightning tipped off at 7 pm at the Fonde Center. The game started off a close one, Dallas maintained control of the game early but Tennessee stayed within striking distance the entire first half only down 2 points at halftime. In the second half both teams came out ready to win in all, former WNBA Guard Ashley Shields led the charge for Tennessee (13 points and 7 rebounds) in the third quarter getting hot early in the second half. Aaliyah Whiteside (18 points and 2 rebounds) and Shonice Sprouce (16 points and 6 rebounds) also came out firing late in the fourth quarter striking fear in the hearts of Dallas fans who made the trip to Houston to root on their home team.
The Dallas Lighting had an answer every time down the court after a short lived offensive run by the Tennessee Storm. “The key to our victory tonight was how hard we played and how well we stuck together down the stretch” -Dallas Lightning Head Coach Alicia Thompson
The Lighting were able to seal the deal with a stellar performance by WMLBA Finals MVP Shaunte Smith (31 points and 12 rebounds) and Antoinette Thompson (18 points and 5 rebounds). One of the keys to the Dallas victory tonight was simply how well they shot the basketball. The Dallas Lighting’s field goal percentage was 61% compared to Tennessee only shooting 45%. Dallas also dominated the boards outrebounding Tennessee 39-22. “Tonight was a tough loss for our team, we played well but just didn’t do enough late in the game to come out with the victory” -Tennessee Storm Head Coach Tiffany Porter
Dallas was able to make Tennessee pay for every mistake they made late in the game and walked away with a 76-71 victory. Congratulations to both teams on an excellent season and extremely competitive game.
The Championship Game will be rebroadcast for fans who missed the action tonight on www.theWsportsnetwork.com. Special thanks to all the WMLBA Teams for making the 2017 inaugural season a success.