Sky Soar Past Storm

  • Tonight’s game was the first of the WNBA pre-season. The rest of the league takes to the courts Thursday and this weekend.

  • The Chicago Sky and the Seattle Storm not only open the pre-season as opponents, but also the regular season. The two teams meet in Seattle on May 17 in the regular season opener. Seattle leads the all-time regular season series, 4-0.

  • Several key players on both teams missed tonight’s game due to overseas commitments. Sky players who were not at the game: Dominique Canty, Candice Dupree, Cathy Joens, Bernadette Ngoyisa and Jia Perkins. Missing for the Storm were Sue Bird, Janell Burse, Roneeka Hodges, Lauren Jackson, Doneeka Lewis, Kelly Santos and Tanisha Wright.

  • Brooke Wyckoff was present at tonight’s game but did not dress for the game. Wyckoff returned from Spain yesterday.

  • The Chicago Bulls’ Tyrus Thomas was at the game to watch his fellow LSU Tiger alums, rookies Sylvia Fowles and Quianna Chaney.

    KEY STATS

  • The number 2 overall pick in the 2008 WNBA Draft, Sylvia Fowles, made her professional debut with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter. The former All-American and National Defensive Player of the Year played only 10:54 minutes -- Sky Head Coach Steven Key said he limited her minutes because she is still jet-lagged from her trip with USA Basketball to China. She scored 6 points and had 6 rebounds.

  • Her sidekick at LSU and fellow rookie Quianna Chaney was the game’s leading scorer, with 11 points. She was 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.

  • Armintie Price, the reigning WNBA Rookie of the Year, scored 9 points and had 4 assists, but no rebounds.

  • Training camp invitee Brooke Queenan had 10 points and was perfect from the field: 4-for-4 field goals and 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.

  • The Sky had a big night from three point range, connecting on 8-of-17 for 47.1%. The team shot 46.2% from the field.

  • Key run: With 5:30 left in the first half and the Sky trailing 21-15, Carrie Moore’s three pointer sparked a 14-4 run that carried over into the 3rd quarter. The run included an impressive 3-point play by Armintie Price and finished with the Sky up 29-25.

  • The Storm only scored 7 points in the fourth quarter.

  • Veteran Yolanda Griffith, the long-time Sacramento Monarch forward, made her debut in a Storm uniform. She was the Storm’s leading scorer, with 9 points and 2 rebounds in nearly 14 minutes of play.

  • Veteran Sheryl Swoopes played for 18:38 minutes in her debut with the Storm, scoring 3 points and grabbing 2 rebounds.


    SKY QUOTES

    Head Coach Steven Key
    On his feelings about this first game:
    “With an exhibition game, you get to gauge where you are after a week’s worth of practice and get a chance to play against someone else for a change. I felt we shared the ball really well with 22 assists in the game and I felt we defended really well. Our players were in the right spot at the right time and we had good spacing. We’re headed in the right direction.”

    On who stood out:
    “Chasity Melvin really stood out. She is in great shape and is ready to go. The battle against Sylvia every day in practice will make them both better, and will make the whole team better.”

    “Quianna also did a great job of coming in and knocking down some big shots. She doesn’t hesitate. I was pleasantly surprised to see her play the way she did at this level.”

    #15 Quianna Chaney
    On playing in her first WNBA game:
    “I was scared and a little nervous to start with, but when the team came in at the half and Coach Key spoke with us, I felt a little more calm and was able to get in a groove.”

    #34 Sylvia Fowles
    On playing in her first WNBA game:
    “I kept telling myself before the game that I was not nervous, but when I got on the court I felt like my legs were not moving and I felt like I was not doing anything I was supposed to do. I told myself to calm down and stay focused and in the second half I was less nervous and able to play a lot better.”

    “I saw Yolanda and I wanted to ask her for her autograph. I am star struck.”

    On what she was most pleased with about her game tonight:
    “I’m happy to be here, but I was not happy with my game. I need to work on calling for the ball more and being stronger with the ball, crashing the boards.”

    On her thumb, which had to be taped in the first quarter:
    “I just scraped it, I’m alright.”

    STORM QUOTES

    Head Coach Brian Agler
    On the first preseason game:
    “I think we learned a lot about our team. I think we learned a lot about our personnel. I think we learned quite a bit about how physical the game needs to be played. Some of these people playing their first game learned some stuff.”

    On the additions of veterans Sheryl Swoopes and Yolanda Griffith:
    “I think they’re still working to get in shape a little bit, but obviously they have a presence in the game, they play with a lot of poise, they anticipate what can happen and obviously it’s a plus.”

    On playing the Sky in the regular season opener:
    “They are going to have a good team. Sylvia Fowles obviously is going to help them. It’ll be interesting to see who will make the rest of their squad. They’re going to be real solid, there is no question about it.”

    #13 Yolanda Griffith:
    On why she decided to sign with Seattle:
    “The experience they have. I’ve always wanted to play for Brian (Agler), he is a great coach and I still feel like I can learn more from him. You’ve got LJ (Lauren Jackson), who is a two-time MVP, you’ve got Sue Bird who I’ve won gold medals with, you’ve got Sheryl Swoopes, a veteran player. This was just an opportunity and I am pretty sure anyone given this opportunity would have taken it, too.”

    On playing the Sky:
    “They have a young team, they’re feisty and even when I was in Sacramento, we always had a hard time beating them. They’re an up-and-coming young team. They’re going to be good.”