It’s playoff time at the Mohegan Sun Arena, and WNBA fans prepare for game one. The Chicago Sky looked great in earning a double-overtime 1-0 lead in Connecticut to kick off the playoff season. Beginning with half one, the Chicago Sky lead the Connecticut Suns 24-21. Coached by James Wade, Chicago held the Suns to 38 percent shooting from the floor. The team collectively moved the ball throughout the game, allowing them to score from deep with an impressive twenty-four points in the first quarter.
The Chicago Sky continue to show their ability to run up and down the floor and compete. Candace Parker and Courtney Vandersloot shared four assists in the first half. In fact, Vadersloot’s 18 assists were a WNBA playoff record and part of a triple-double for the Sky point guard! The league’s MVP, Jonquel Jones, initiated the game by being aggressive on both floor ends. In the first half, she had 13 points, three assists, and six rebounds. Jones has not only did her part scoring, but did a terrific job moving the ball and creating opportunities for her teammates.
Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, the Connecticut Sun took on an 8-1 lead; however, it’s was not quite enough to hold off their opponents. The Chicago Sky took the lead at the end of the first half, 47-46, primarily due to an exceptional flow on offense. Courtney Vandersloot, who led the league in assists, continued to read the floor as she racks up assists in the first half.
The Chicago Sky moved the ball to start the 4th quarter, with Vandersloot resting on the bench. With just three minutes left in the 4th, Alyssa Thomas was fouled, forcing her to shoot two free throws. Brianna January then took the defender off the dribble to score while drawing the foul with two minutes to go. That got her team to within 2 points. The Sun continue to move the ball to Jonquel Jones, allowing her to draw a foul as she ties the game 82-82. Brianna Jones puts her team up by two as she grabs an offensive rebound finishing the play with 24 seconds left.
Moving towards the end of the game, Chicago holds off Connecticut with their solid defense forcing the game into overtime.
Kahleah Copper was fouled at the three-point line giving her a chance to take the lead for the Sky. Copper missed the first free throw with pressure at the foul lane but was able to make the last two. That tied the game at 84-84. Chicago held off their opponents in the second overtime, winning 101- 95 in Connecticut.
Setting the tone from start to finish played an integral part in their win. Courtney Vandersloot’s 18 assist triple-double was the second in WNBA history joining former WNBA star Sheryl Swoops.
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