Chicago Sky guard Elena Delle Donne got back in her usual rhythm Sunday evening against the Stars to lead her team with 29 points, 13 rebounds, and 4 blocks, marking her ninth double-double for the season.
Delle Donne leads the league with 24 points per game, but has been in a mini-slump in the past three games, shooting at just 36.8% and averaging 12 points. Shooting at 18% from behind the arch, Delle Donne turned things around sinking three of five 3-pointers against San Antonio.
"I just felt more in an attack mode today after getting rebounds," Delle Donne stated. "I was just pushing it and trying to attack and getting them a different look. That's something I'm going to continue to try and do."
The Chicago Sky entered the game with a chip on their shoulder after their devastating loss against the Minnesota Lynx Friday evening. The Lynx, missing their star player Seimone Augustus due to injury, manage to defeat Chicago 84-66. Minnesota held them at 35% shooting and ended their four-game winning streak.
Chicago, who did not want a repeat from that night, came out the gates scoring back to back inside shots by Courtney Vandersloot and Clarissa Dos Santos.
Dos Santos, impressive performances earned her a starting spot on the Sky's lineup. Vandersloot, ending the game with 14 points, six of which were in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, hit four of the team's first nine points.
The Stars did not get their first field goal until the last six minutes of the first quarter, scored by Dearica Hamby. Quigley comes off the bench at the end of the first and hits three consecutive jumpers in just under 2 minutes, and Chicago takes a 12-point lead.
"The slow start obviously affected the game negatively because we lost," Stars forward Sophia Young-Malcolm stated. "I don't think we were ready for the game's tempo, and they came out aggressive and we were playing back on our heels. With a team like this, we need to be focused because we know that they run a lot and score."
Chicago kept up the momentum in the second quarter shooting 56% from the floor and 50% from behind the arch. They went into halftime with their largest lead of 15 points, and Delle Donne had already secured her ninth double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
By the third quarter, San Antonio began to pick up the pace and go on a 9-4 run in the first three minutes, shortening the lead to eight. The Stars were able to play a better offensive game with guard McBride running the outside and Young-Malcolm and Danielle Adams on the inside.
Adams led the Stars with 20 points coming off the bench, shooting 3 of 5 from the 3-point line and 50% from the floor. Things did not run so smoothly for Chicago in the 3rd quarter, as starting forward Jessica Breland suffered an ankle injury as she is fouled on her four-point play. They end the third quarter up by 14.
The Sky, who lead the league in points per game, held off San Antonio in the fourth and set back into their strong offensive game. Vandersloot and Quigley became a dynamic duo in the fourth, as they assisted each other to score a total of 10 points by the end of the quarter.
San Antonio has been devastated by injuries, two of which have taken out key players in McBride and guard Jia Perkins from the last five games. McBride looked almost 100% against the Sky after suffering a foot injury, but there's no word on when Perkins is set to return.
"We're coming off injury, so it was good to see [Kayla] McBride play," San Antonio head coach and general manager Dan Hughes stated. "She hasn't even had a practice with us yet, so it was great to get her on the court. Second, we have to rely on our ability to defend, and we had a hard time doing that today with Chicago."
This was Chicago's second victory over the Stars, defeating them in overtime 95-87 late last month. The Sky move on to face the Atlanta Dream, who are 6th in the Eastern Conference, Tuesday night at home. And the Stars, who have yet to win a road game, travel back to San Antonio to take on the Indiana Fever, who rank 4th in the Eastern Conference.