Chicago, IL -- Chicago has arguably the best player in the league this year in MVP-candidate Elena Delle Donne. With Friday's night game a must-win, the Sky didn't call on their best player to win the game. Instead, it would be Allie Quigley giving Chicago an 87-85 win over the Washington Mystics.
"You look at Allie Quigley, we got some good looks that didn't fall earlier in the quarter, Sky head coach Pokey Chatman said. "But when it counted the confidence was there. The trust was there and we nailed it."
Chicago used the pick-and-roll to set up Quigley for her game-winning three-point shot with two seconds left in regulation. The guard from DePaul finished the game with 20 points off the bench and helped relieve Delle Donne.
Chicago and Washington are currently battling to make the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Sky started the game with the aggression necessary to overtake the third-place team in the Eastern Conference.
"We know we have the ability to score," Chatman said. "But we have to get stops and our transition defense. That's an area where they got more chances than we would've liked."
The Sky started the game on a 6-0 run, but would fade quickly. The Mystics responded with an 8-0 run to regain the lead early in the first quarter. From that point on there would be 18 lead changes.
Guard Elena Delle Donne struggled to find her stroke, shooting just 10-22 but finishing with a game-high 22 points. The all-star leads the league in scoring, yet the reason Chicago is so talented is their depth. Courtney Vandersloot - who finished with nine points and 10 assists -- continually pushes the pace for the Sky.
Washington though, never seemed fazed by Chicago's up and down play. The Mystics trailed 45-43 at the half, while just seemingly playing through the motions. Washington kept pace with Chicago by shooting 50% from the field.
"Right now is obvious our weakness is defense," Pondexter said. "Its something we stressed throughout the year. At the end of the day, if we want to win the title its something we have to do."
The Mystics never find themselves out of a game because they have defensive stalwart Stefanie Dolson and the unheralded Emma Meesseman anchoring their defense. Dolson finished the night with 14 points and Meesseman had a team-high 20 points.
With a 72-72 tie early in the fourth quarter, both teams had a chance to get the win. Without the heroics of Quigley, the Sky might've had a different outcome tonight.
Chicago will look to build on this win when they travel to Washington on Sunday. While, Washington will look to rebound at home.