Sky canít shake off Fever

The Sky looked to extend their six-game heading into Indiana on Saturday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN.

In a back-and-forth battle, the Sky could not pull out a victory as they lost 84-70 to the Fever.

The Sky came out firing in the first quarter draining their first 11 shots from the field to take a 28-20 lead at the end of the quarter while holding the Fever to 33% shooting from the field. The 92%, 12-13, from the field in the quarter was the best the Sky have ever shot in a single quarter. The previous high was 76.9% set against Washington in 2006.

Fowles was a huge part of that dominant first quarter as she poured in 11 points, including a perfect 5-5 from the field while Prince chipped in with seven points.

The second quarter was all Indiana however, as they outscored Chicago 22-10 to take a 42-38 lead heading into the half. Douglas, who hurt the Sky in the first meeting with 21 points on 8-11 shooting, was held scoreless throughout most of the first half before catching fire late in the quarter.

Trailing 37-29 with three minutes left in the half, the Fever ended on a 13-1 run, fueled by 3 three-pointers by Douglas. Fowles led all scorers with 16 points at the half while Douglas led the hosts with nine.

After not being able to miss in the first, the Sky struggled in the second as they made only four of their 15 attempted field goals, good for 27%. Turnovers plagued the Sky in the quarter as they committed seven in the quarter. Chicago was still shooting 57% at half despite trailing at the half.

The Sky came out to play early in the third quarter as they scored the first 11 of 15 points to take the lead thanks in large part to ten points by Vandersloot in the quarter. The Fever struggled all night from the field but still hung around to take a 64-59 lead heading into the final ten minutes of the game. The Sky were shooting 55% compared to 47% for the Fever through three quarters.

Fowles was up to her usual tricks in the fourth as she scored four early points to cut the lead to 66-63 with 7:45 left. The Serbian Superstar Sonja Petrovic cut the lead to one, 66-65, off a nifty reverse layup with 7:46 left in the game before Jeanette Pohlen hit a dagger three-pointer to extend the lead back to four. The Fever used an 18-3 run midway through the quarter to pull away and snap their three-game losing streak.

Sylvia Fowles did everything she could to propel Chicago to victory but was unsuccessful. She finished the game with 26 points and six rebounds. Her streak of eight consecutive double-doubles in a single season, and ten straight over a span of two seasons, came to an abrupt end in the loss.

Swin Cash and Courtney Vandersloot chipped in with 15 and 12 points, respectively but the loss of Prince, who sat out the second half with a foot injury made the mountain a little higher to climb for the Sky and they never quite got there.

Jessica Davenport led the Fever with 19 points on 9-9 shooting from the field, while guards Katie Douglas (15) and Briann January (14) combined for 29 points. After having her way against the Sky in their first meeting, reigning MVP Tamika Catchings struggled and finished with 12 points on 3-12 shooting.

Despite the loss, the Sky shot 51% from the field while the Fever were at 48%. Foul trouble plagued the Sky for the second straight meeting, they had 25 in the first contest, and were called for 21 fouls in this match-up.

The Fever forced 21 Chicago turnovers while only committing 12 as they used a late second quarter surge to run past the Sky.

Chicagoís next game will be on Saturday, June 23 as they travel to Minnesota to clash with the defending WNBA Champions, Lynx, at 11:30 AM Central Time. The Sky (7-2) and Lynx (10-0) will be nationally televised on ESPN in a battle of East and West conference leaders.