Late turnovers keep Sun in the game, spoil Vandersloot’s big night

Chicago was unable to hold on and knock off the Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun as they fell 79-78 in overtime at the Allstate Arena Friday.

After her team had trailed for the entirety of the contest, Kara Lawson tied the game in the fourth quarter knocking down a pair of free throws with 24.5 left in the game to force overtime.

Lawson struck again to put Connecticut up by three in the extra period, but a layup by Sylvia Fowles cut the lead to one and a shot-clock violation by the Sun gave Chicago the ball with 28.9 seconds left. Fowles was fouled inside and she knocked in both free throws to put the Sky back up 78-77 with 19.1 seconds left.

Allison Hightower retook the lead for the Sun, clanking in a layup with 8.9 seconds left. After the Sky failed to score on the ensuing possession, Allison knocked down a free throw for an 80-78 lead with 3.2 seconds left and Shay Murphy missed a shot that would’ve tied it again as time ran out.

Courtney Vandersloot’s career night led the Sky as the second year guard racked up 22 points while dishing eight rebounds. Fowles picked up 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while two other Sky players, Shay Murphy and Tamera Young, reached double digits.

Everything seemed to be falling for the Sky as they shot 47.2 percent from the floor, but it wasn’t enough as costly turnovers ended key possessions late in the game. Chicago finished the game with 19 giveaways total.

The Sky played well under the basket outscoring the Sun 40-38 in the paint despite losing the battle of the boards 44-37. Tina Charles led all scorers with 25 points and 13 rebounds, while Mistie Mims came up big in the clutch finishing with 19. Renee Montgomery provided a strong presence off the bench for the Sun with 15 points.

The Sky started the game on a 13-3 run, but the Sun rallied to cut the deficit to 15-13 by the end of the first quarter. Chicago rebuilt their lead in the second quarter heading into halftime up 35-26. Winning its first match against the Sky this season, the Sun is now 16-8 all-time against Chicago.