Sky Fight Off Fever

Chicago scored first on a short jump shot from Tamera Young just 30 seconds into the game to gain the early 2-0 lead. After trading baskets, the Fever took advantage of five Chicago turnovers to go on an 11-0 run and build a 14-4 lead. Jessica Breland led first quarter scoring with 5 points against her former team.

Behind Breland’s nine points, three steals and four blocked shots in the first half the Sky pulled within ten points (46-36) heading into the break.

After trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, Chicago picked up the defensive intensity to start the third quarter and cut Indiana’s lead to three points. Four straight Fever layups put the visitors back up by 11, but the Sky rallied and pulled within five to end the quarter.

Jamierra Faulkner provided a spark off the bench to start the fourth quarter delivering an assist, scoring on a three-point play and driving to the basket for a layup at 6:28 to play, giving the Sky their first lead (65-63) since early in the game. Down two, Breland was fouled and headed to the line for a 1-and-1 opportunity and connected on both free throws. A technical foul on Indiana’s Erlana Larkins gave the Sky a one-point lead with just over 30 seconds remaining. Two defensive stops by the Sky forced Indiana to foul with 11.1 seconds remaining and Sasha Goodlett knocked down both free throws giving the Sky a three-point lead. Indiana missed its final attempt to end the game.

“I thought Faulkner changed the rhythm of the game on the defensive end,” said Sky Head Coach Pokey Chatman. “She got the steal in front of me and saved it and ignited something within the team that carried throughout the rest of the game.” Faulkner finished her Sky debut with 7 points (3-of-4). Delle Donne led the Sky with 23 points and 5 rebounds, while Breland grabbed 9 boards along with her 13 points and 6 blocks in the game.

Natasha Howard led Indiana with 16 points, 10 rebounds and 6 blocked shots. Shavonte Zellous finished with 14 points.

The Chicago Sky will play their second game of a back-to-back as they head to New York to visit the Liberty on Saturday night . This game see’s the Liberty return home to Madison Square Garden after being away for the past three seasons. Tip-off is set for 7pm CT and will be broadcast nationally on ESPN2.