Perkins Explodes, Leads Sky in Double OT Win Over Monarchs

The Sky avenged a heartbreaking 2-point loss to Sacramento two weeks ago with a double overtime win over the Monarchs on Friday night, 92-84. Veteran Jia Perkins, starting for injured guard Dominique Canty, exploded for a franchise and career-high 39 points, the most points scored by a player in a WNBA game so far this season. Her 10 assists tied franchise and career records, and she became the first player in WNBA history with 30+ points and 10 assists in a single game. Perkins' five 3-pointers were a franchise record and tied her career high. She also tied the league record with her 17 field goals made, a record which is shared by Lauren Jackson of the Seattle Storm and Diana Taurasi of the Phoenix Mercury. Coming into the game, Perkins was averaging 5.9 points and 1.2 assists per game.

"If you hit your first couple of shots in the clutch, then Coach [Overton] starts to look to you to take over," said Perkins. "Tonight was my night and I think Coach was looking to give me the ball at the end. I hit some good shots and tonight I had to take over a little bit."

With 12 lead changes and 15 ties, the game was up for grabs up until the last seconds ticked off the clock. The Sky went in at the half on top, leading the Monarchs 41-37. At the beginning of the third quarter, the Monarchs took the lead back, until Perkins and Claire Coggins each sank two three pointers each.

The game was physical in the second half, and Candice Dupree picked up her first technical foul of the season, frustrated with the officials and an earlier missed call where she took a hit to the face that caused a nosebleed.

Brooke Wyckoff's three-point play with six minutes left in the fourth put the Sky up 69-65. The Monarchs came back on a three-pointer to take the lead with three minutes left. The Sky trailed 74-71 with six seconds left, when Perkins hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 74-74. Ticha Penicheiro missed a desperation jump shot with 3 seconds left.

Both teams scored six points in overtime, forcing a second, the first double overtime game in Sky history. The Monarchs took a quick two-point lead in the second OT, but a driving finger roll by Perkins tied it up at 82. After Price was fouled by Williams with two minutes to go, the Sky never looked back. Price sank three free throws in the second OT, after going 3-of-10 from the charity stripe in regulation. The Sky nearly lost the game at the free-throw line, going 10 of 22.

Both Armintie Price and Candice Dupree scored 16 points for the Sky, followed by Stacey Dales with nine points.

The Western Conference-leading Monarchs (10-6) had four players scoring in double figures, with 16 points from Adrian Williams, 15 points from Nicole Powell, 14 from Kara Lawson and 12 from Rebekkah Brunson (12).

"It's a painful loss. With this being our fifth game in seven nights and with Yo [Griffith] down, I thought we showed a lot of heart," said Sacramento Head Coach Jenny Boucek. "I felt that we played hard and played well enough to win it. They had some huge shots and Jia Perkins put on a show. They played really well and we just didn't have enough to go two overtimes."

The Sky takes a 7-8 record to Los Angeles where they will take on the Sparks at 8:30pm CDT on Sunday, July 1. The game can be heard live on WVON 1690AM or streaming at wnba.com.