ROSEMONT, IL — The Chicago Sky were determined to extend their win streak against the reigning WNBA-champions. Chicago had every opportunity to upset the Los Angeles Sparks tonight but faltered late in its 115-106 loss in double-overtime.
The Sky have clawed their way back from a poor start to the season, but still, have a ways to go before rejoining the WNBA elite.
"Even the energy, when we were down 10, (everyone) was like ‘OK, we got this.’ We can get [back in the game],’” Chicago's guard Allie Quigley said. "It was really positive and good to see that no matter what the score is, we are not going to get down [on ourselves] and keep playing."
The Los Angeles Sparks – the reigning WNBA-champions – fought their way back into the game during the second half and kept their composure as the Sky came back from a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
Chicago came into tonight’s game having won three games in a row. A far cry from earlier in the season, when the team was trying to find its identity amidst so much change.
Stefanie Dolson was in the middle of that change and came up huge last. She hit back-to-back three's at the end of regulation to force overtime.
"We're fortunate enough to have a 5 that can shoot three's," Courtney Vandersloot said. "When [Dolson's] setting a screen for Allie, it's almost unguardable. She hit really big shots tonight and I'll continue to look for her."
Dolson finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Head coach Amber Stocks has done a great job in allowing the team’s offense to grow naturally. While Stocks is still trying to find the perfect starting-lineup, she doesn’t have to worry about her team’s pace.
Vandersloot is one of the best in the league at pushing the ball and creating for others. She’s currently averaging 7.9 assists per game.
The seven-year vet finished tonight's game with 22 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds.
Even though the Sky don’t have the record they hoped for at this point in the season, they’ve found a way to be in the mix for one of the last two playoff spots.
"We gave it 100% effort [last night]," Stocks said. "[The team] does a great job of staying ready and staying engaged and Vandersloot does a fabulous job of finding open teammates."
Led by veterans such as Vandersloot and Quigley, Chicago has continued to remain competitive each and every game.
Quigley, the nine-year veteran and former Sixth Woman of the Year, is having a career-season year for Chicago.
She’s currently leading the team in scoring with 17 points per game and is shooting 47% from three -- the best in the WNBA.
Quigley finished the game with a team-high 26 points.
Chicago has a chance of sneaking into the playoffs, even with last night's loss, however, they must find ways to finish games.
"We just can't take steps backward now," Quigley said. "If we play like that the rest of the season, then we'll go 6-0."
While the Sky is building towards the future, there's still hope that this season can end with a playoff-run.