It sure didn't take long for Seattle forward Breanna Stewart to make an impact in the WNBA.
The three-time college national player of the year at Connecticut is coming off the third-highest scoring performance by a rookie in league history as she leads the Seattle Storm into Thursday's home contest against the Dallas Wings.
Stewart scored 38 points on 12-of-16 shooting in Tuesday's 84-81 victory over the Atlanta Dream. Only Candace Parker (40 in 2008) and Odyssey Sims (39 in 2014) have tallied more as a rookie.
The point total was also the second most in Storm history behind Lauren Jackson's 47-point performance in 2007.
Stewart has topped 20 points in each of the last four games and is averaging 29.3 points during the stretch. She suddenly ranks fifth in the league in scoring (18.9) as well as second in rebounding (9.4).
“She's adapting,” Storm coach Jenny Boucek said after Tuesday's victory. “We have players on this team that are willing and able to create for not only themselves, but for others as well. And that's what we want.
“Right now Stewie is getting hers, but it could be different on another night. Stewie has shown that she's willing to be a facilitator if that's what the defense is giving her. That's one of my favorite things about our team, including Stewie.”
Seattle (6-9) is building with Stewart and second-year guard Jewell Loyd, who ranks ninth in the league at 16.6 points. Veteran point guard Sue Bird is averaging 13.8 points and 5.5 assists.
Dallas (7-9) has lost consecutive games and saw a 19-point halftime lead slip away during Tuesday's 89-84 road loss against the Los Angeles Sparks.
The Wings scored a season-best 53 first-half points but were dominated in the second half while being outscored 55-31.
“We have to put together a 40-minute game,” Dallas guard Skylar Diggins said after the loss. “I thought we let little things add up such as outside defense. We haven't been able to do that this whole season.
“There are no excuses. We just have to look at film and make the adjustments and get ready for Seattle, who is another tough team.”
Diggins scored a season-high 29 points on 12-of-17 shooting in the loss and ranks third on the team in scoring at 14.1 points per game. Sims, a guard, averages a team-best 15.7 and forward Karima Christmas is at 14.4.
Sims and forward Glory Johnson didn't start against Los Angeles due to unspecified rules violations.