Rosemont, IL -- The Chicago Sky (3-4) came off of an 86-78 win over the Washington Mystics (3-5) Wednesday night. Tonight they won back-to-back, improving their record to 4-4 for a .500 record-tying the Indiana Fever for second place, with a 98-72 victory over the Mystics.
"From the very beginning, we put together very firm defensive effort. We got out rebounded last game, and we corrected that this game," said Coach Chatman on her team's 37 rebounds in comparison to Mystic's 25.
Six minutes into the first quarter, with the shot clock running down, Cappie Pondexter had no one open to pass to. She created space from her defender, Taylor Hill, for a two-point buzzer beater, pushing the Sky lead to, 15-6. Pondexter's shot added to Chicago's 9-0 run. She finished the night with 16 points, 3 assists, and a steal.
Mystics' Kahleah Copper, came out of the timeout and ended the Sky's run with a wide open three from downtown, 19-9 Chicago.
In the first quarter alone, all but four Chicago Sky players (Tamera Young, Courtney Vandersloot, Betnijah Laney, and Cheyenne Parker) put points on the board. Yes, first quarter alone.
Seven minutes left in the first half, Young read Mystics Natasha Cloud's pass like a cornerback on a receiver. It was a great steal, with an even better finish getting her first basket of the night. However, Young walked into the locker room during the second quarter; luckily she returned late in the third quarter. Young ended the night with 10 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals.
I watched the Warriors last night, and tonight, the Sky reminded me of the Warriors as far as how they played great team ball. Chicago ended the night with 30 assists compared to the Warriors who finished with 29 last night. And what do you know, both teams won by more than 15 points.
Chatman was pleased with the amount of assists her team tallied up in tonight's victory. "I loved the way we were sharing the ball."
The ball movement was incredible; Chicago took the extra pass every time instead of rushing the shot. Jamierra Faulkner and Vandersloot moved the ball around like they were playing hot potato with beautiful no-look passes in the paint. Faulkner ended with nine assists and Vandersloot helped her teammates with five assists of her own.
Chicago's post players worked hard tonight, scoring 42 points in the paint alone. In comparison to the Mystics' 14 points in the paint. The Sky went into the locker room up, 60-36.
Coming out of the locker room, Chicago just outscored and outplayed Washington.The Sky faced four injuries to four key players before the start of the fourth quarter. Young (unknown), Betnijah Laney (ankle), Elena Delle Donne (bloody nose), and Vandersloot (thumb). However, Delle Donne, Vandersloot and Young were fortunate enough to return to the lineup. Unfortunately, Laney returned with crutches.
After four quarters of play, 10 players scored for the Sky and six scored in double digits.
"The biggest thing is we trusted one another," Delle Donne said on her team's exceptional performance. "That's exactly what we need -- everybody playing their best basketball, everyone elevating."
Chicago Sky hopes to claim second place in the Eastern Conference, as they take on the Indiana Fever next Friday. Tipoff is at 6 PM.