Jewell Loyd called game.
On Friday as the Seattle Storm and Dallas Wings faced off at Angel of the Wings Arena in Everett, the score was tied up 102-102 in overtime with the clock winding down.
With 0.8 seconds remaining, coming out of a timeout, Stephanie Talbot inbounded the ball to Jewell Loyd, who had just enough time to launch a high-arching go-ahead shot from 25 feet at the buzzer, and it fell perfectly in the net.
Loyd lives for moments like these.
“It felt like it took forever for the ball to actually get in the hoop, but in the moment you see the ball go I just looked at my teammates and I saw Stewie right away. That was the moment,” Loyd said postgame. “It was a great play and I'm glad I was able to execute.
Loyd finished the game with 25 points as she hit 8 of 11 from the floor and 4 of 6 from three-point range as the Storm outlasted the Wings 105-102 in overtime.
But it wasn’t the first time the Storm guard has pulled off such late-game heroics. Last year inside the WNBA’s “Wubble,” Loyd downed the game-winning three over the Los Angeles Sparks to come away with the 90-87 win on Sept. 4.
Her teammate Breanna Stewart, who finished with 23 points in Friday’s win, has grown accustomed to Loyd’s improbable game winners.
“You hear it all the time about people who have the clutch gene, and I think she embraces those moments,” Stewart said. “She embraces the big shot and trusts that it's going to go in. And I think that when you shoot those shots you have to have the confidence that it's going to go in, but also [have] peace with yourself if it doesn't go in. And I think obviously she has that. I mean, it seems to me like she makes them all the time.”
In Loyd’s impressive outing vs. Dallas, she also dished out seven assists and made a game-tying layup with just 38.7 left in the game. But Storm coach Noelle Quinn isn’t surprised by Loyd’s innate ability to take over the game when her team needs it. It’s just part of who she is.
“She has the DNA to hit those shots and she doesn't mind taking them. But she puts the work in,” Quinn said. “It's, not a surprise that she's able to do that. She has been so good this year. I mean, coming off last season, even just her consistency in both the offense and defensive end, I think you're just continuing to see her blossom and taking on the ownership of being steady for us night in and night out.”
The Storm are now 7-1 on the season and 5-0 in games counted toward the Commissioner’s Cup. Seattle will host Dallas in a rematch on Sunday at Angel of the Winds Arena at 4:00 p.m. PT