With the WNBA season in full swing, the Blue Zone takes a look at three former Blue Devils who are making an impact in the professional ranks:
Lexie Brown, Los Angeles Sparks
Brown is off to a hot start this season, and Friday night was a game to remember for her. The former Duke standout scored a career-high 26 points in the Sparks’ 99-93 overtime victory against the Phoenix Mercury. Brown was scoring from all three levels of the court, connecting on difficult pull-up jumpers and using hesitation moves to get to the basket. The Suwanee, Ga., native was extremely effective as well, shooting 68.8% from the floor and 42.9% from deep. Los Angeles has started the season 2-2 due to a difficult slate, facing the league-leading Las Vegas Aces twice along with two contests against a talented Mercury team. Brown has scored double-digits three times this season, and her skills as both a ball handler and scorer are any defense’s nightmare. She will look to build on this career-high performance with upcoming games against the Seattle Storm.
Chelsea Gray, Las Vegas Aces
It is no secret that the Aces are loaded with talent, and they have shown their firepower by boasting a 5-0 record to begin the season. Gray has been effective as the guard that gels this team together. She leads her squad and is tied for second in the league with a remarkable 7.0 assists per game. In Las Vegas’s 94-73 win against the Minnesota Lynx May 28, Gray had her best game of the season, recording 19 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. Moreover, the former Blue Devil shot 7-for-10 from the field and 3-for-4 from three. Although Gray did not have her best game in the Aces’ most recent contest against the Atlanta Dream — scoring eight points with six turnovers — she knocked down a clutch mid-range jumpshot to seal the 92-87 victory. The Manteca, Calif., native has been excellent thus far, and will be a key cog in the Aces’ elite offensive machine moving forward.
Elizabeth Williams, Chicago Sky
Over the course of the season, Williams has played significant minutes for the Sky, impacting the game in a number of facets. She opened the season with a 14-point performance in a May 19 77-66 victory over the Lynx. Not only did she have a great scoring outburst, but the former National Defensive Player of the Year at Duke recorded three steals and two blocks. In Chicago’s most recent contest — a nail-biting one-point defeat at the hands of the New York Liberty — Williams made her impact felt. In 31 minutes, she recorded eight points, six rebounds and two blocks. The Virginia Beach, Va., native has been a key defensive stopper, and she will be important as forwards Morgan Bertsch and Isabelle Harrison are dealing with injuries for the Sky.
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Ranjan Jindal is a Trinity sophomore and an assistant Blue Zone editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.