Arike Ogunbowale closed out her WNBA Rookie of the Year campaign as the Dallas Wings (10-24) fell to the Seattle Storm (18-16) 78-64 Sunday at College Park Center.
Ogunbowale came into Sunday’s game ranked third in the WNBA in points per game, averaging 18.9 points on the season.
“The future is bright for our league,” guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said. “She’s Rookie of the Year, in my opinion.”
The fifth pick in the 2019 WNBA Draft recorded her 11th 20-point game of the season, cementing her place in the WNBA record books as the only rookie to accomplish the feat.
She finished Sunday’s matchup with 25 points on 7-19 shooting. The University of Notre Dame alumna tallied eight of those points six minutes into the first quarter.
From a team standpoint, Ogunbowale said she does not consider the 2019 season a success.
“It’s not a success until you win some games [and] make the playoffs,” Ogunbowale said. “I’m focused on the team right now, and we didn’t do what we should have. Next year we have a better chance.”
Throughout the season, Ogunbowale played the point guard position, a switch from the shooting guard spot she played in during her stint at Notre Dame.
“If talent’s there, you take talent and you figure it out later,” Greg Bibb, Dallas Wings President and CEO said after selecting Ogunbowale in the 2019 WNBA Draft.
Head coach Brian Agler said he does not know if Ogunbowale will continue playing in the point guard spot next season. Diggins-Smith and guard Moriah Jefferson, who naturally play point guard, will return for the next campaign, leaving Agler with multiple options to play in both guard spots.
“We’ll have to wait until training camp and see how that shakes out. All three are really good players,” Agler said. “We have ideas how we can play them all together, but at the same time, you don’t really know until you get them all out there.”
The Dallas Wings finished the 2019 season with a 10-24 record, the team’s worst finish since the 2016 season when it relocated to the Metroplex. Ogunbowale scored 630 total points in her rookie season, giving her the third-highest scoring output for a rookie in league history.