They say that there’s a first time for everything. The week of June 7th marks the first time the Seattle Storm’s Jewell Loyd has gotten Player of Week honors. It took place during the third week of the WNBA season, and if you saw her no-hesitation catch and shoot rainbow of a three pointer, you would not be surprised.
The first overall pick of the Seattle Storm set off an explosive squall of her own when she unleashed a thunderous shot in the overtime of a highly-contested western conference match up. Loyd is a former 2015 Rookie of the Year and All-WNBA Second team selection.
Loyd’s Memorable Week
Even taking that epic shot out of the equation Loyd has been amassing the kind of impressive stats we might expect to see from a player of the week. In a previous game this week against the Indiana Fever, she garnered 18 points and 5 assists. Big picture, she has good reason to be pleased with her game.
Emotional highs and lows are characteristic of sport. But rare are those moments of combustible, and totally spontaneous, ebullience. No sports fan could be unmoved by the shot that rocked Angel of the Wings Arena (even with a limited number of fans in attendance).
The Storm are 2-1 in the games leading up to her recognition as player of the week. Her stats were impressive not only on the offensive side of the ball as she is the only player in the entire WNBA to rank in the top 10 in both points and assists, but also in steals. She has solidified her reputation around the league as something of a ball hawk. No possession is ever safe with Jewell Loyd around.
Jewell Loyd is not a newcomer to clutch, game-winning shots. She hit a corner three last year against the Los Angeles Sparks with just 0.8 seconds left. Surrendipitously, there were also 0.8 seconds left this time. She launched it from 27 feet out. Both offenses were very prolific in the Dallas/Seattle game. It was one of the two highest-scoring games of this week in the Women’s Basketball Association.
Living Up to Her Reputation
Both teams had to withstand runs from their opponents including in the overtime period when the Storm rang up ten straight points to leave a knotted 82-82 game in the rear view mirror. However the Wings came through with a run of their own outscoring the Storm 12-2 to make the score 92-92 in the final minute. Neither team was able to lead by more than 2 points in overtime.
When the game was on the line, Storm head coach Noelle Quinn took advantage of the hot-shooting Loyd and drew a play designed especially for her. It ended up being a catch and shoot. She curled off a screen set by frontcourt superstar Breanna Stewart and unleashed an emotional cavalcade as her (contested) three found the bottom of the net. Jewell’s stat line at the end of the game featured 25 points and 7 assists. The 105-102 final score sent a strong message to onlookers that the WNBA is a high scoring league. Players like Jewell Loyd continue to electrify their home arena and that bodes well for the years ahead.