Delle Donne Shines in Delaware Homecoming

The Chicago Sky defeated the Washington Mystics 76-69 inside the sold out Bob Carpenter Center at the University of Delaware on Tuesday night. From the moment the ball was tipped the crowd was electric and the Sky were in attack mode.

Chicago grabbed the lead scoring the first basket of the game and never trailed the remainder of the first half. Former Colonial Athletic Association standouts Elena Delle and Tamera Young started the game feeling right at home at the University of Delaware's Bob Carpenter Center (Bob). Elena Delle Donne, who has played at the "Bob" since eight grade, scored seven points early on, including the first two points of the game, to help the Sky jump out to a 17-6 lead in the first six minutes of play. Tamera Young, who played at the "Bob" frequently when she was at James Madison University was able to deliver a quick four points as well.

At one point early in the second quarter the Sky led by as many as 16 points. The Mystics simply could not figure out a way to stop the Sky's balance scoring. After struggling from the field against the Lynx on Sunday afternoon in Orlando, Chicago was more assertive on the offensive end. In the first half the Sky scored 22 points in the paint and did not attempt a single shot beyond the three-point arch.

"I think we really wanted to focus on our start because we struggled in the first quarter of the last game," said Chicago Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot. "I think just attacking and getting to the free throw line really gave us a good boost and set the tone for the rest of the game."

Courtney Vandersloot had started the game with an attack mentality and turned in an early eight points and five assists to help the Sky stretch the lead to 31-18 midway through the second quarter. With the Sky's offense clicking on all cylinders the Mystics were unable to find any kind of rhythm in the first half. The Sky had eight assists in the first half to take the lead 41-33 going into the locker room.

Vandersloot and Delle Donne showed off their offensive chemistry to start the third quarter.

"She (Delle Donne) is a point guard's dream," said Vandersloot. "You can give her the ball at any time and she's going to be successful."

Vandeerlsoot opened the quarter with a thread the needle pass to set up Delle Donne in stride to score in transition. On the ensuing possession the dynamic duo used a series of passes back-and-forth to freeze the Mystic defenders allowing Vandersloot to knock in a wide-open shot on the right wing. Vandersloot finished the game with a career-high 11 assists and 15 points to record her first double double of the year.

Washington's veteran backcourt of Ivory Latta and Kara Lawson slowly plugged away at the Sky's lead in the third quarter. With three minutes left in the third quarter Latta had 15 points and Monique Currie hit a three-pointer at the top of the key to tie the game 49-49. With 1:36 left in the third quarter the Mystics took their first lead of the game. The two teams battle back and forth to close the quarter with eight lead changes before Delle Donne knocked down a fade-away jumper as time expired on the clock to regain the lead 57-56 heading into the fourth.

Sky forward Jessica Breland had a breakthrough performance and stepped up at key moments to help the Sky close the game. She finished the game with 14 points, 9 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. The game was kept within four points through an exciting fourth quarter before Delle Donne sank a shot inside the lane to put the Sky up five with 31.9 seconds remaining.

Washington called a timeout and Kayla Thornton answered with a two point basket to pull the Mystics back to within three points. Chicago inbounded the ball to Vandersloot who was immediately fouled and knocked down two free throws. The Mystics hurried down the court to try for a quick two but Delle Donne met Tierra Ruffin-Pratt at the rim to defend her home court and the secure a Chicago Sky victory in front of the Delaware faithful. Delle Donne finished the game with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 3 blocked shots.

"It was nice to see us get a lead, lose it, get a lead, lose it and respond to some things," said Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman. "For us the biggest thing I liked was the fact that we were plus 16 on the boards."

The Sky outrebounded the Mystics 46-28. The Chicago Sky will look to continue their dominance on the boards and momentum from tonight's victory as they begin their ninth season as a member of the WNBA's Eastern Conference on Friday, May 16, 2014 against the Indiana Fever. The game features a rematch of last year's playoff series and one of the most-storied Eastern Conference rivalries. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Allstate Arena. The game will broadcast on The U Too.

For tickets to see the Sky play at Allstate Arena this summer call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET