ROSEMONT, IL — The Washington Mystics (8-5) completed its season sweep of the Chicago Sky (3-10) in its 97-63 win Sunday night.
Chicago and Washington are still very much adjusting to the mega-trade they completed just before the season.
While the Sky started the game off well — scoring 27 points in the first quarter — they quickly began missing shots and weren’t able to recover after their hot start.
Chicago managed just seven points in the second quarter.
“Tough outcome... The second quarter was a huge detriment to our progress during the game,” head coach Amber Stocks said. “Overall, the turnovers continue to plague us.”
The Sky committed 21 turnovers against the Mystics.
Washington managed to maintain its offensive output from the first quarter and blew the game open in the second quarter, leading 61-34 at the half.
The Mystics have had an easier time adjusting after the trade given they were the team acquiring the franchise-player in Elena Delle Donne.
Washington is currently in first-place in the Eastern Conference and is hoping to solidify itself as a real title contender come playoff time. The Mystics are also hoping to make their first-ever trip to the WNBA finals and capture the championship that alluded Delle Donne in Chicago.
Delle Donne scored just 11 points tonight, but also contributed: 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals before sitting most of the second half.
Mystic guards Tayler Hill, 17 points, and Kristi Toliver, 16 points, benefitted most from their team's unselfish play.
Thus far, Delle Donne is settling in nicely offensively for the Mystics. She’s scored 20 or more points seven times to start the season.
The Sky, on the other hand, are in the midst of a semi-rebuild.
Chicago has maintained the bulk of its roster, except for Delle Donne and former head coach Pokey Chatman, but are in search of an identity.
Current first-year head coach Amber Stocks is fresh off winning a WNBA championship with the Los Angeles Sparks. She has been tasked with building a new culture while trying to stay competitive.
“Looking at this game is one perspective, but then you look big picture.” Stocks said. “The big picture outlook for our team is very positive. You can see the areas we need improvement on are just the basketball fundamental areas. It’s not like we have to change and have some grandiose new defensive strategy.”
Veterans such as Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot are used to competing in the playoffs. This year, they may not get that opportunity.
Vandersloot has played in only five games this season due to missing time overseas.
In her absence, guard Allie Quigley has carried much of the scoring burden. Tonight, she finished with a team-high 18 points.
Quigley helped guide the Sky early offensively, but Washington proved to be too much and honed in on her defensively in the second half.
Chicago has yet to fully recover from its five-game losing streak earlier this month, and are currently in last place in the Eastern Conference.
It may not take Washington long to adjust to its new star and place in the WNBA hierarchy.
The same, however, cannot be said about Chicago.
The Sky hope to rebound Wednesday night against the Indiana Fever.
While Washington, will travel to face off against the Seattle Storm on Tuesday.