NORMAN – A pair of former Oklahoma greats face off against each other on Thursday night as Courtney Paris' Dallas Wings take on Danielle Robinson's Phoenix Mercury on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. CT in Arlington, Texas.
With both teams stacked in the middle of the WNBA standings and fighting for playoff spots, Thursday's matchup could prove crucial down the stretch with both teams splitting the first two meetings. The top eight teams in the WNBA standings at the completion of the regular season make the playoffs, while the top four squads recieve a first-round bye.
"Given the season that's happening right now, every single team is close to each other," Robinson said. "It's really important."
In her first season with the Mercury, Robinson is averaging 7.8 points, 3.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game. Robinson's 6.3 assists per 40 minutes rank eighth in the league. As the Mercury's point guard, Robinson and the Mercury rank fifth in points per game with nine games remaining.
Paris and the Wings have been one of the league's most improved teams in 2017. The Wings rank third in the WNBA in points per game and after missing four weeks with a leg injury, Paris' presence in the middle has help solidfy their defense. The former four-time All-American and 2007 AP Player of the Year is averaging 4.8 points, 4.4 rebounds and 0.5 blocks per game with Dallas.
In the first matchup between Dallas and Phoenix on May 14, Robinson dished a season-high nine assists and added eight points, while Paris grabbed seven rebounds in 21 minutes as the Wings earned a 68-58 victory.
In the Mercury's 107-65 win over the Wings on May 27, Robinson recorded seven points and seven assists, while Paris missed the contest due to injury.
Thursday night's matchup will also be available on the WatchESPN app.