Staley says A’ja Wilson is absolutely ready to become the face of women’s basketball
South Carolina women’s basketball fans know — when A’ja Wilson really gets going, there’s little, if anything, that can slow her down.
But Gamecock fans never saw Wilson as quite as dominant as she was Saturday night for the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces against the Indiana Fever — 39 points, 11 rebounds, five assists, a stat line that has only been produced one other time in the WNBA’s 23-year history, according to Across The Timeline.
Those 39 points are also more than Wilson ever scored in a single game at South Carolina.
Wilson’s effort paid off in a 102-97 overtime win for the Aces over the Fever, a result that pushes Las Vegas to 7-5 on the season. Her performance also earned a social media shoutout from NBA legend Dwyane Wade, as well as one from her old coach, Dawn Staley.
Wilson was particularly efficient in her career-best performance, shooting 70% from the field and 78.6% from the free throw line while turning the ball over just twice and committing just one personal foul.
“I get into this zone, this place, where I can’t feel anything, I just know that I have to score the basketball, I have to produce for my team,” Wilson told reporters after the game.
On the losing end of Saturday’s overtime thriller, former Gamecock Tiffany Mitchell put up five points, five assists and three rebounds for the Fever.
A little over a third of the way through her sophomore season, Wilson ranks fifth in the league in points per game, ninth in rebounds and ninth in blocks. Her efficiency rating ranks sixth, and her field goal percentage is seventh. The reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year is in contention to start her second All-Star game in a row.