Bonus hoops: WNBA exceeds last year's number of OT games

FILE - Seattle Storm head coach Dan Hughes looks toward the court in the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Las Vegas Aces in Everett, Wash., in this Saturday, May 15, 2021, file photo. Storm coach Dan Hughes abruptly announced his retirement on Sunday, May 30, 2021, saying the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA has taken a toll. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FILE - Seattle Storm head coach Dan Hughes looks toward the court in the first half of a WNBA basketball game against the Las Vegas Aces in Everett, Wash., in this Saturday, May 15, 2021, file photo. Storm coach Dan Hughes abruptly announced his retirement on Sunday, May 30, 2021, saying the rigors of being a head coach in the WNBA has taken a toll. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

NEW YORK – The WNBA season is only a few weeks old and there already have been five games that have been decided in overtime, including four in the past seven days.

The total has already surpassed the entire 2020 season and equals the 2019 mark, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. With 37 games played, that's 13.5% that have gone to an extra period. That would break the previous percentage record set in 2009 of 11.3% according to the league. That season 25 games went to OT.

Whether it's a sign of parity across the league or just a statistical oddity remains to be seen.

“It's exciting for the league,” Phoenix coach Sandy Brondello said. “Parity is good. It's the WNBA, the best players in the world. Every single game anyone could win. That's been shown. ... The CBA is part of it. That evened out the talent across the league."

The Storm, who moved back atop the AP power poll this week, have been involved in two of those OT games. Seattle made a change at head coach last week when Dan Hughes abruptly announced his retirement and the team promoted Noelle Quinn to the head spo t.

Quinn helped the Storm win a title as a player in 2018 before becoming a coach. She's the second current Black female head coach in the league and credited all those who have come before her.

“You talk about Pokey Chatman, Teresa Edwards, Jennifer Gillom, Carolyn Jenkins, Vickie Johnson, Trudi Lacey, Cynthia Cooper, Cheryl Miller, Carolyn Peck, Julie Rousseau, Amber Stocks, Karleen Thompson, Shell Dailey, Jessie Kenlaw, Cathy Parson, Taj McWilliams-Franklin, Denise Taylor and Penny Toler,” Quinn said. “They crawled, so I can walk. I sit on those shoulders.

“For me, it’s important that I’m not just a woman. I’m a Black woman. I sit with that every day. Sometimes that can be a negative. A double negative for me, to be a woman and to be Black. But I’m empowered in that. There’s value in that. My experience is in that. It shapes me. It has molded me. And that is who I am. I am super honored to hold this."