Shorthanded Sky fighting through wins and losses
The Chicago Sky (4-3) went 1-2 in the third week of the WNBA season and took some more losses with another injury.
Rebekah Gardner is out indefinitely as she underwent foot surgery after suffering an injury in the May 26 game against the Mystics. This qualifies the Sky to bring on another hardship exemption player which was granted by the WNBA.
The Sky will also be without Kristine Anigwe for a few weeks due to her overseas commitment to play for Great Britain in Eurobasket play. Whether or not Wade will add on another player before Tuesday’s home game against the Indiana Fever is still to be determined.
Tuesday at Atlanta
The Sky took on the Atlanta Dream on the road and got smacked in the mouth, 83-65. Anything and everything that could go wrong did go wrong, especially in the turnover front with 15. They put up a season-low 25 first half points.
The Sky had just nine players available in that game, but the team didn’t contribute having a smaller roster to the large loss.
“Mentality. We got to be tougher and we got to be better. Period. That’s it. No excuses,” Copper said at practice on Thursday.
Split with New York
The Sky had an interesting split of two games against the New York Liberty over three days: one at Wintrust Arena on Friday night and one at Barclays Center on Sunday afternoon.
Friday’s matchup was also Courtney Vandersloot’s homecoming trip to Chicago where she was welcomed with a tribute video and a round of applause from Sky fans before tip-off.
The Sky tried to spoil it and had the lead until the final seconds when Breanna Stewart knocked down a fader inside the lane to give the Liberty the 77-76 win. The Liberty outscored the Sky 42-33 in the second half, but it was a positive loss for the Sky.
“People hit big shots, and we can’t get our head down,” Alanna Smith said after the loss. “We didn’t get the win in that game, but I think we fought really, really hard the whole game.
“I’m really proud and we’re really proud of how hard we fought. The good thing is we get to play them again in two days. If I were them, I’d be worried to play us again, because we’re hungry for that win and we were so close.“
That’s exactly what the Sky did on Sunday, picking up a hard-fought 86-82 victory on the road against the Liberty. The Sky had just 8 available players due to a late scratch of Dana Evans and were down by as much as 19 points before clawing their way back to get the win.
“We already know what we can do. We know that we can play with any team,” Courtney Williams said after the win. “So we block out the noise, and we focus on us. I think when we win games like this, that’s for the people to start creating their own narrative. We know what we got and we know what we’re going to bring every night.”
Williams accounted for 19 of the Sky’s 30 fourth quarter points on Sunday, including the shot to give the Sky their first lead of the game. Copper put up 16 of her 27 total points in the third quarter, including 11 points in under two minutes.
Stats and notes
- Robyn Parks scored her first career points vs. Atlanta and finished with 5 points
- Marina Mabrey reached 300 career defensive rebounds vs. Atlanta
- Kahleah Copper reached 600 career defensive rebounds vs. New York (Fri)
- Copper scored a career-high 18 first half points vs. New York (Fri)
Tune in for a new episode of Chicago Sky: No Limits on Monday, June 12 at 6:30 p.m.