Sky Slip Against Storm
Sky rookie Armintie Price played her best game as a pro, posting her first double-double. Price scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds, both season highs. Price also made good on 9 of 10 free throws. The Sky shot a season-high .737 from the charity stripe.
Seattle opened the game on a quick 5-0 run to take the early lead, but the Sky struck back quickly, going on a 12-0 run in the middle of the first quarter to jump out to an early 19-7 lead.
“We got off to a great start tonight, as usual,” said Sky Assistant Coach Steven Key. “We were in a solid rhythm early on, and that 12-0 run was fantastic.”
At the break, the Sky led the Storm 35-33. Chasity Melvin gave the Sky an 8-point lead with just 47.1 seconds remaining in the half, but the Storm’s Iziane Castro Marques hit two consecutive three pointers to bring the Storm within 2 points to close the half, stealing the Sky’s first-half momentum.
Lauren Jackson, the WNBA’s leading scorer and rebounder, was held to only 6 points and 3 rebounds in the first half, and it appeared that the skies in Chicago would remain calm for the remainder of the evening.
But Janell Burse exploded for the Storm in the third quarter, scoring 8 of her 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the floor to help the Storm outscore the Sky 26-15 in the third and take command of the ball game. Jackson also found her groove in the third, scoring 7 points in the frame. Jackson finished the ball game with a game-high 19 points.
“This is kind of the early tale of us. We’ll put three quarters together and lose focus for about ten minutes,” said Sky Head Coach Bo Overton. “A lot of that is the other team. These guys have great players. Gearlds comes in right when we’re hanging in there, and we’re knocking her down and she is still making shots.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, Seattle’s Betty Lennox took a cross-court pass from Sue Bird for a lay-in to give the Storm a 75-54 lead, icing the ball game. Bird finished the game with 13 points and 11 assists. The Sky was outscored 48-34 in the second half, shooting only 33% in the half.
“Our goal for every game is to finish,” said Price. “We always start well but we come out flat in the second half. The thing we talk about in the locker room is finish and we just weren’t able to do that tonight. We have to want it more.”
Candice Dupree scored 18 points, leading the Sky in scoring for the sixth time this season. Chasity Melvin put in a solid performance for the Sky in 30 minutes of play, scoring 11 points.
“I’m adjusting. I’m getting more and more familiar with my teammates every game,” said Melvin. “Tonight was a disappointing loss. I felt like we could have made a big boast in our confidence if we could have gotten the win, but we couldn’t make our shots in the third quarter and that killed us.”
The Sky will next take to the court at UIC Pavilion this Friday when they will square off against the New York Liberty at 7:30 pm. Overton noted, “We’re going to keep fighting and we’re going to come back Friday and keep playing hard.” The game will be broadcast on WTTW 11 and on WVON 1690 AM.