Depth playing a major role as Sky continue on record-setting stretch
The Sky’s depth continued to shine as the bench led the way by putting up 43 total points, pushing Chicago to pick up the 80-68 win over the Los Angeles Sparks.
“I think that’s one of our biggest strengths is our bench and our depth,” Azurá Stevens said after the game. “I don’t think a lot of other teams have that in the league. Any extra experience some of the newer players can get is really important and will help us down the stretch.”
Chicago spread the ball around with four players in double-digits. Rebekah Gardner led the way off the bench, putting up her first career double-double with a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. Stevens followed suit with 14 points.
“I think [Rebekah] should be up for Rookie of the Year and all defensive-team,” head coach James Wade said. “She’s doing this on a first place team, and she’s really affecting winning. She’s a special talent. She should be in those discussions, and I think she showed why tonight.”
Kahleah Copper and Allie Quigley were the two starters in double-digits. Copper finished with 12 points while Quigley put up 11. Candace Parker didn’t score a single point but helped crash the boards, leading the team with 11 rebounds.
Both teams struggled early in the first quarter, combining for 14 turnovers and shooting just over 40% from the field. However, a 25-9 run in the second quarter lifted Chicago to a lead, and it never looked back.
Chicago did suffer a critical loss around the 3-minute mark of the third quarter. Courtney Vandersloot drove to the basket and took some hard contact to the back of the head. She stayed down on the floor for a possession before she walked off the court under her own power.
“We evaluated her. I think she’ll be ok,” Wade said. “I talked to her a little bit [on the bench] and she’ll be fine.”
Chicago has now won 15 of their last 20 games, a first in team history. They continue their road trip when they head down to Dallas to take on the Wings on Saturday, July 16th. Tip time is set for 7 p.m. on Marquee Sports Network.