Sky Stand Tall in New York

The Chicago Sky (2-0) spoiled the New York Liberty’s return to Madison Square Garden (MSG) using a late surge in the fourth quarter to run away with a 79-65 victory. The Liberty (1-1) retuned to MSG for the first time in three seasons, having played home games at the Prudential Center in Newark from 2011-2013.

Both teams seemed to shake off the fatigue of playing on back-to-back nights early on as the first quarter was paced by several runs between the two teams, including 8-0 runs by each teams. Elena Delle Donne for the Sky, and Tina Charles for the Liberty both got off to hot starts, each scoring six points in the first quarter. The Sky trailed 18-16 after the first 10 minutes of play.

Sky guard Allie Quigley drained a three-pointer from the left baseline to ignite a 13-4 Chicago run to start the second quarter. Quigley delivered nine second-quarter points and Elena Delle Donne erupted for 10 points in the second quarter to help the Sky end the first half on a 14-6 run and take a 43-35 lead into the break. Delle Donne scored 16 points in the first half.

Four early second half Chicago points stretched the lead to12 (47-35) causing New York Liberty Head Coach Bill Laimbeer to call a quick timeout. The Liberty responded with an 11-2 run to cut the lead to just three points with 5:21 left in the third. Once down 12 points, New York closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run to tie the game at 55 heading into the fourth quarter.

In the end, the Sky’s balanced scoring proved too much for the Liberty. When Elena Delle Donne saw the Liberty defenders focusing on her to start the quarter, the 6-foot- 5 forward was able to find open teammates around the perimeter, but it was the team defensive effort that held the Liberty to just 10 fourth quarter points that allowed the Sky to pull away to a 78-65 victory.

Delle Donne shined in her first opportunity playing in the World’s Most Famous Arena, leading all scorers in the game with 23 points. Breland recorded a double double for Chicago with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while Courtney Vandersloot contributed 12 points and 8 assists. Tina Charles paced the Liberty with 15 points and 12 rebounds. The Sky return to action on Wednesday, May 21 in Chicago against the Connecticut Sun. Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m. CT. The game will be the Sky’s inaugural School Field Trip game where students will experience a fun and educational day. All participating students will receive a workbook before the game to learn how basketball relates to subjects like math, science, language areas and social studies.

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