Delle Donne Hits Game Winner

Elena Delle Donne hit the game winning shot with no time left on the clock to help the Sky beat the Phoenix Mercury 70-68 on Wednesday night. The Sky finish the season 2-0 against the Mercury and improve their record to 23-9.

After the Sky’s opening night rout of the Mercury back on May 27, the Sky had to know the Mercury would be a much improved team come this time of the year. The Sky saw that in the first quarter, even without All-Star Diana Taurasi in the lineup who was serving a one game suspension for her ninth technical this season.

Phoenix came out with a balanced offensive attack with six different players scoring in the first quarter. The “Three To See’s” top pick Britney Griner made her defensive presence felt immediately by swatting away two of Courtney Vandersloot driving layups in the quarter. The Sky had strong first quarter performances from Epiphanny Prince and Elena Delle Donne but trailed 18-21 going into the second quarter.

The second quarter was very much a back and forth battle. The Mercury went up ten points just below the halfway mark, but the Sky chipped away at the lead. The Sky trailed by four at halftime.

The Mercury started the second half on a 9-4 run to put them ahead 49-40. Phoenix and Chicago battled back and forth before Griner picked up her fourth foul with two minutes to go in the quarter and headed to the bench with the Sky down seven. Tamera Young came off the bench and hit two straight field goals to bring the Sky within in three points. A Mercury field goal in the late seconds gave the visitors a 60-55 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Sky found themselves down seven with five minutes to play and ready to stage a comeback. Griner committed her fifth foul and went back to the bench. The Sky took advantage again earning their points from the stripe. Down three with Sylvia Fowles at the line and the momentum swinging the Sky’s way, The Mercury called a timeout. Fowles hit one out of two to cut the deficit to two.

Prince tied the game at 66 with 2:11 remaining and the Sky took the lead at :33 on a Prince free throw. With the Sky up two, after Courtney Vandersloot went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe, and only 5.8 seconds to go Mercury’s Jasmine James knocked down a jumper to tie the game. The Sky called a timeout to draw up one last play. Delle Donne ended up with the ball in the closing seconds, spun around in traffic and drained the pull-up jumper to win the game while the Allstate Arena crowd erupted into cheers.

Delle Donne finished the game with 18 points and six rebounds. Prince led the Sky with 21 points while Fowles had her 14th double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.

Candice Dupree led the Mercury with 15 points and six rebounds. Griner finished the game with six points and four blocks.

The Sky will be back at Allstate Arena on Friday, September 13 to take on the Atlanta Dream on Fan Appreciation Night. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm CT and all the action can be seen on The U Too or WNBA LiveAccess.