Sky look to be a recurring nightmare for Atlanta
Chicago and Atlanta went head-to-head in a memorable match on June 2 that will go down as one of the most exciting games in WNBA history. Led by Epiphanny Prince’s career-high 33 points and overtime-forcing buzzer-beater, Chicago erased a 22-point deficit to win, 94-92.
This time, the Sky host Atlanta without Prince and will have their hands full with the always dangerous Angel McCoughtry. McCoughtry had her own 33-point performance outshone by Prince in the last contest and she’ll no doubt be looking to take the spotlight in the encore. McCoughtery leads the WNBA in scoring with 22.6 points per game, so limiting her supporting cast will again be a big focal point for the Sky.
Dream forward Sancho Lyttle has complimented McCoughtry’s game in the frontcourt, leading the team offensively during McCoughtery’s brief two-game absence and averaging 13.7 points and eight rebounds per game.
Chicago will try to snap a four-game losing streak against the Dream and win their first game since June 16.
Against Atlanta, the Sky were lucky to dig themselves out of a big hole, surrendering a then franchise-worst 26 turnovers in regulation. Chicago will look to take care of the ball this time without the scoring luxury of Prince in the lineup.
The Sky will try to keep up the scoring pace with the Dream, who average better than 77 points per game. Chicago leads the WNBA in wins when scoring 70 or more points, sporting a record of 5-2 when reaching that plateau.
While Fowles’ efficiency in the paint will be key for the Sky’s offensive success, Swin Cash, Courtney Vandersloot and Shay Murphy have helped shoulder some of the scoring load.
Cash led the team with 16 points and five rebounds in Friday’s loss to the Mercury, while Murphy scored 15 big points off the bench including three clutch three-pointers. Vandersloot ran the point well with six assists and scoring 13 points.
Rookie Sonja Petrovic hit a big shot, cutting the Phoenix lead to one-point with 7.9 seconds left in the fourth quarter in her first career start. Petrovic broke out against the Dream earlier this season, going four for four from the field including two threes. Her perimeter scoring ability could pay big dividends for the Sky down the line and take more pressure off of Fowles in the middle.
The game, which starts at 5:00 p.m. will be broadcast on Comcast CN100 and online on WNBA LiveAccess.