Atlanta, GA -- The Sky was unable to snap their two-game losing streak, as the Atlanta Dream finished on top in overtime, 101-97. Chicago fell (5-7), and Atlanta moved to (8-3).
Coming into tonight's game, we knew it was going to be a game of rebounds. The Atlanta Dream leads the league in rebounds, and the Chicago Sky are second. However, the Dream's Sancho Lyttle -- their leading rebounder -- was inactive tonight, as she is playing for Spain's National team.
The Dream didn't necessarily need Lyttle's contribution, as they were able to end the game tied with the Sky in rebounds, at 36 each.
"Rebounding was huge. They’re big on the boards. I think the last few possessions, was one of our guards who boxed out and got the rebounds, so we just knew the whole game we had to stop letting them get second-chance opportunities," shared Layshia Clarendon on her team's rebounding.
Chicago came out with more energy and accuracy than Atlanta to start the game. In just the first quarter, Chicago shot 79%, whereas the Dream shot 57%.
With just under five minutes in the first quarter, Erika De Souza grabbed an offensive rebound, then kicked it out to Allie Quigley, who unselfishly swung the ball over to Courtney Vandersloot, who drilled the three from downtown, giving the sky the lead,15-13.
The Dream's Angel McCoughtry, (10pts) and Tiffany Hayes (6 pts) took the game into their own hands to get back in the game in the second quarter. Both had great drives and even better finishes. McCoughtry ended the night with 22 points and five rebounds. Hayes helped her teammates by adding, 14 points and five rebounds.
With two minutes left in the first half, McCoughtry took the lead with a pull-up jumper for the Dream, pushing the score to 51-48. However, Vandersloot only let them enjoy that lead for 16 seconds, as she banked a three from the corner to tie it back up at, 51-51.
The game then turned into a tennis match with each team trading buckets. McCoughtry hit a nice floater to break another tie with only eight seconds left in the half. Once again, only a few seconds later, Vandersloot would answer with a nice shot, as the ball took a lap around the rim before wanting to go in. The two teams headed to the locker room knotted up at 55.
The fourth quarter was just as exciting as the second quarter. With five minutes left in the fourth, the league's leading blocker, Elizabeth
Williams, added another block to her resume, as she knocked Jamierra Faulkner's shot all the way into the second row of the stands.
The game was tied at 87 with less than a minute to go. After Chicago's timeout, rookie Imani Boyette, got called for an illegal screen. On the other end, Cappie Pondexter got called for her fifth foul on the reach in, sending Hayes to the line; Hayes split the free throws only making one.
Elena Delle Donne tied the game for the 20th time with 19 seconds left, 89-89. McCoughtry took one last shot, however, would miss sending the game into overtime.
Overtime turned into a very physical game. Reigning MVP Delle Donne and Pondexter, started huge for the Sky in overtime. Pondexter only made one basket tonight, but that basket was good for three, to take the lead in overtime, 93-91.
"I think it's always great when you get a win. Overall, I'm happy with how we played and stayed composed even throughout the ups and downs. They went on a run as well so we just wanted to stay composed," said Matee Ajavon on her team's overall performance in overtime.
Delle Donne later had a block and great move down low, but it wasn't enough, as McCountry made both free throws ending the game,101-97.
Four of the Chicago Sky players were in double figures tonight: Delle Donne (26), Vandersloot (16), Young (15), and Quigley (12).
For the Dream, McCoughtry had 22 points, Hayes and Layisha Claredon added 14 and 19 points, respectfully. Williams was a rebound away from a double-double, with 20 points, nine rebounds, and two huge blocks.
Chicago's MVP had nothing but respect for Williams, "Williams is extremely dominant on the inside. Not only that but, when guards drive, it opens up post play or the kick to the outside. It's tough defending their dribble penetration and also their bigs."