Skylar Diggins sits in WNBA season opener at Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS — Skylar Diggins’ return to the state of Indiana on Saturday night prompted a busload of Notre Dame women’s basketball fans to take in the Dallas Wings’ WNBA season opener against the Indiana Fever.
Unfortunately, Diggins too was a spectator in Dallas’ 90-79 season-opening victory at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
Former Irish stars Devereaux Peters and Natalia Achonwa did suit up for the game, and both came off the bench for the losing Fever.
Peters collected two points, three rebounds and three turnovers in 14 minutes, while Achonwa logged eight minutes, and had a point, two rebounds and an assist.
Peters is in her first year with Indiana, signing as a free agent in the offseason after four seasons with the Minnesota Lynx. Peters won two NBA titles with the Lynx.
The reason given for Diggins spending the entire game on the bench was that she is “day to day.” The former Irish All-American hasn’t played in a WNBA game since tearing an ACL in her left knee last season on June 28.
The season before, Diggins’ second in the league, the South Bend Washington grad was named the WNBA’s most valuable player and made the league’s All-Star team.
Dallas, formerly the Tulsa Shock, started the season ranked seventh in the AP WNBA Power Rankings. Indiana opened the season fifth.
Plenette Pierson scored 17 points for the Wings. Dallas never trailed after going on a 14-2 run to lead 58-53 in the third quarter.
The Fever rallied to a 68-all tie on rookie Tiffany Mitchell's driving layup late in the quarter, but Mitchell failed to convert the 3-point play and Indiana never pulled in front.
Odyssey Sims had 14 points, Karima Christmas scored 13 and Theresa Plaisance added 12 for the Wings. Mitchell, the ninth overall pick in the 2016 WNBA draft, led the Fever with 18 points in her debut. Erlana Larkins had 14 points and 13 rebounds, Erica Wheeler scored 13 and Maggie Lucas 11.
The Wings next play Sunday night in New York.
Two other former ND players are on WNBA opening-day rosters. Kayla McBride had a game high 24 points for San Antonio in its 73-63 overtime loss to Atlanta on Saturday night.
Jewell Loyd makes her season debut on Sunday night as she and the Seattle Storm visit the Los Angeles Sparks.