The Sky defeated the Fever on the road Saturday night, 115-106. Courtney Vandersloot and Diamond DeShields co-led the Sky with 24 points each, while Candice Dupree led Indiana with a season-high 30 points. In fact, Vandersloot nearly had another triple-double by adding 10 assists and 9 rebounds to her already great totals.
In the game, the Fever threatened to upset the Sky in regulation. However, Vandersloot made free throws to keep the Sky alive into overtime. And in the closing seconds of the first overtime, Fever center Natalie Achonwa made a layup to keep things going to a second overtime. The Sky scored the first nine points of the second overtime to close out their 13th win of the season. These teams will play once more on Sunday in Chicago.
Here are three takeaways from Saturday’s game:
This could be a top-tier rivalry of the future
Both the Sky and Fever are in various rebuilding stages because past franchise stars either left (Sky) or retired (Fever). Sure, both teams have a ways to go before they are contending for championships once again. However, both teams have a stockpile of young talent who figure to be major parts of the WNBA’s future, including DeShields of the Sky and Kelsey Mitchell and Victoria Vivians, the Fever’s first-round picks from this year’s draft.
Diamond DeShields is a multiple time All-Star in the making!
DeShields is averaging 13.7 points per game this season, second among all rookies this season. If it weren’t for A’ja Wilson, DeShields would likely be the runaway winner of this year’s Rookie of the Year race.
Why is Pokey Chatman starting Cappie Pondexter over Kelsey Mitchell?
Rebuilding teams often shouldn’t be judged on the merit of their records, but rather how well the rookies and sophomores are playing. The Indiana Fever will finish with the WNBA’s worst record, but they are rebuilding for the future. With that in mind, why is Cappie Pondexter still starting ahead of Kelsey Mitchell? Pondexter was one of the WNBA’s top guards and a former Finals MVP back in 2007.
In Saturday’s game, Pondexter played 14 minutes, but Mitchell played just 11. Barring a locker room issue, there isn’t much of a rationale to start and play a veteran guard whose prime is behind her over a player whose ceiling is very high like Mitchell’s.