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Syracuse in the WNBA: Brittney Sykes, Los Angeles fall to Dallas in season opener

Sykes tallied six points, three assists, and two steals in the loss

Dallas Wings defeats the Los Angeles Sparks 94-71 during a WNBA basketball game at the Convention Center in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

One former Syracuse Orange women’s basketball player took the court this weekend for the start of the WNBA’s 25th season. Five-year WNBA veteran Brittney Sykes (‘17) started for the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday night in their home opener.

The Sparks were defeated in the Los Angeles Convention Center by the Dallas Wings, 94-71. Sykes tallied six points, a team-high three assists, and two steals in the loss. She played 27 minutes and shot 28.6% from the field and went 0-4 from three. Sykes also grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot in the contest.

As a team, the Sparks shot 35.9% from the field and 25.9% from three. Nneka Ogwumike led LA with 18 points and eight rebounds. Three other Sparks recorded double-figure scoring, including Chiney Ogwumike (12 points), Kristi Toliver (11), and Nia Coffey (10).

On the Wings side, Allisha Gray led Dallas with 23 points and nine rebounds. Former Notre Dame stars Arike Ogunbowale and Marina Mabrey also scored double-digits with 17 and 11 points, respectively.

It was the first game of the season and the first game back in the Convention Center since 2019, as the WNBA had a bubble set up in Florida last year. There are still some cobwebs LA needs to dust off as the season gets underway, but overall I think Sykes played well on defense. She blocked a few shots and was able to lock down opponents despite her 5’9” frame.

Sykes and the Sparks’ next game is set for Friday, May 21 at 10:30 p.m. EST/7:30 p.m. PST. The game will air on CBS Sports Network.