Chicago Sky edged out the win against the Minnesota Lynx 88-85, as Courtney Vandersloot hit the game winning 3-pointer. With Kahleah Cooper out due to back problems and head coach James wade out for personal reasons, last night’s win for the Chicago Sky marks there thirteenth win of the season boosting them to 13-5, number one in the Eastern Conference, and dropped Minnesota to 5-14 and put them in sixth place in the Western conference. Vandersloot stated, “The energy was different. Two of the most energetic people–coach Wade and Kahleah–are out. … It was a major difference. It’s a blessing that we could go out and pull off the win for both. We just have to trust the process.”
During the warmups, the Sky showed their appreciation to Sylvia Fowles as this will be her last year in the WNBA as she prepares for retirement. The Chicago Sky gifted their former player a recliner chair and her old Chicago Sky jersey while showing a tribute video of Fowles’ accomplishments over the years.
Fowles, who currently plays for Minnesota, has tied Cappie Pondexter, another Chicago Sky legend, for 16th on the all-time games started list. During the 8:53 mark in the first quarter, Fowles reached 700 career blocks. Fowles finished with 12 points and six rebounds in the loss for Minnesota.
While the Chicago Sky had six players that scored double digits (E. Meesseman, C. Vandersloot, A. Quigley, R. Gardner, J. Allemand) the player of the game was Vandersloot. She had 18 points, five rebounds and six assists. Vandersloot shot 7-13 with four of the seven shots being 3 pointer Vandersloot set a new season high with four threes hit in a single game.
Chicago had a 10-point lead leading into the fourth quarter and Minnesota held their offense to a standstill. Minesota’s Kayla McBride hit a three with 7.6 seconds left on the clock which tied the game 85-85. Eventually that wasn’t enough because the next play, seven seconds, was all the Sky needed as Vandersloot hit the game winning 3-pointer to seal the game against the Lynx. Vandersloot stated, “The play was broken, so at the time I was just thinking we need to get a shot up. When I passed the ball to Emma I went back to the three and she kicked it back to me, and I put up a decent shoot. It was all in a rush, so we had to act quickly.”
Minnesota top players were Kayla McBride who finished with 15 points and Jessica Shepard who added 15 more points with eight rebounds.
Chicago takes on Cincinnati Wednesday at 11am at the Wintrust arena.
By Christopher Lockridge