Criticism of the Chicago Sky usually centers around the idea that the team relies too heavily on Elena Delle Donne for scoring, that other players need to step up for the Sky to have any sustainable success. Last night's game showed that even when Delle Donne is not at her best, Chicago still has enough firepower to pull out a victory.
Allie Quigley's clutch performance led Chicago to a win over the Connecticut Sun, who have lost two in a row after winning their previous seven games. Quigley scored seven of the team's first nine points to start the game, and seven of their last nine to end it, in a game where the Sky's defense led them to victory after their defensive effort had been the cause of the team's previous two losses.
Chicago held the Sun to a nine-point fourth quarter. Connecticut shot 3-12 in the final quarter and turned the ball over six times, giving the Sky the ammunition they needed to spark a comeback.
The Sky took a 16-9 lead to start the game before a Connecticut timeout helped the Sun regroup; Alex Bentley's three-point play with 2:06 to go in the first gave Connecticut a lead they wouldn't give up until the final stanza, save for 11 seconds in the third, where the Sky briefly held a one-point advantage.
Alex Bentley would finish the game with 25 points, the game's high scorer. That honor is usually held by Delle Donne by the final buzzer, but Chicago coach Pokey Chatman did not mind the break from normalcy, especially because of how aggressively the entire team came out on offense.
"The quick start was there because we don't care where the scoring comes from," said Chatman. "Sometimes it's to Elena, through Elena, or off of Elena. Anytime you can use her as a screener away from the ball, whoever is coming off the screen is going to see daylight, and it's a matter of them knocking down the shots."
The Sky entered the fourth down by 7, but Betnijah Laney almost single-handedly kept Chicago close on the offensive end of the court, scoring all six Sky points in the first four minutes of the quarter.
However, in the end, it was the defense that sealed the victory. Delle Donne commented on the significance of the Sky's defensive performance, saying, "It was huge. It was by far the best defense that we have played the entire year, and I'm just hoping that it gives us confidence and we will continue playing that way because we can."
The Sun have a ten-day break before their next game, a rematch against the Sky. Chicago will play the Minnesota Lynx on the 10th before having Connecticut back at Allstate Arena two days later.