Sky Falls Short
ORLANDO – The Chicago Sky were defeated in their final game of the WNBA Preseason Tournament by the defending WNBA Champion Minnesota Lynx 76-69 on Sunday afternoon. The game was played inside of the sold out HP Fieldhouse at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World.
Elena Delle Donne and Maya Moore traded three-point buckets to start the game but Minnesota capitalized on early turnovers from the Chicago Sky to jump our to an 18-9 lead in the first seven minutes of play. At the end of the first quarter the Sky trailed 31-12 after struggling to slow down Minnesota’s fast break opportunities and points in the paint. Maya Moore delivered 13 points on 5-for-5 shooting in the first quarter. Defensive consistency was an issue for the Sky all afternoon.
“We were out of rhythm and it started with our defense,” said Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot. “It’s hard to get into a flow when we aren’t getting stops. We are the best in transition but it’s hard to get transition opportunities when we aren’t defending well.”
Delle Donne, who poured in 15 points in 15 minutes of play, ignited a Chicago Sky run midway through the second quarter when she knocked down a three-pointer at the top of the key and rallied her team. The Sky responded scoring 11 unanswered points during a four-minute stretch to close the gap to 35-24 before Minnesota continued their hot shooting. The Lynx shot 54% from field in the first half to maintain a 50-30 advantage going into the locker room.
Guard Aaryn Ellenberg helped the Sky outscore the Lynx 15-11 in the third quarter. Jessica Breland and Sasha Goodlett controlled the paint for the Sky contributing 17 points and 8 rebounds. Courtney Clements also delivered 8 second-half points.
Despite picking up their defensive intensity in the second half the Sky were unable to close the 20-point gap Minnesota created from Maya Moore’s hot shooting to start the game. The Lynx were led by Asia Taylor with 18 points and Moore who finished the game with 16 points.
“We have to worry about getting stops defensively. It starts with transition defense and rebounding,” said Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot. “Those are the two things we need to get better at heading into our next preseason game.”
The Sky head to Delaware to play their final preseason game where they will play host to the Washington Mystics. The game is at 6 p.m. CT on Tuesday, May 13 at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center. With the tremendous support of the Delaware faithful, Delle Donne and the Chicago Sky will look to closeout the preseason with a win and regain momentum heading into the regular season opener on Friday, May 16 at Allstate Arena.
For tickets to see the Sky play at Allstate Arena this summer call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET