Sky vs. Silver Stars preview

The Chicago Sky (8-7) will attempt to bounce back from Saturday’s loss when the San Antonio Silver Stars visit Allstate Arena Wednesday for a morning matinee slated for 11:30 a.m. The Sky will look to pounce on the Stars (10-5), who are playing their sixth game in just 11 days. That won’t be an easy task, however, with the Stars playing strong of late, having won seven straight and knocking off reigning champions Minnesota Lynx last Sunday.

The two teams met for the first time this season, May 30, at San Antonio – a 77-63 win for the Sky. It was one of Chicago’s best performances of the season in which four players scored in double-digits, including 23 from Sylvia Fowles and 22 from Epiphanny Prince. Point guard Courtney Vandersloot dished seven of the team’s 17 assists while Chicago committed only 13 turnovers. San Antonio’s Becky Hammon led the Stars with 21 points, including 4-of-6 from downtown.

In her 14th season in the Association, Hammon continues to drive one of the league’s highest-scoring offenses and reminding everyone why she’s one of the WNBA’s Top 15 of All Time. Hammon is averaging 16.4 points per game and a league-leading 5.7 assists per game. The Stars are fourth in the league, averaging 82.1 points per game behind leading scorer Sophia Young’s 16.7 points a clip. Forward Danielle Adams (12.1 points) and guard Jia Perkins (10.3) round out a foursome averaging double digits for the Stars, who rank second when it comes to sharing the ball (18.6 assists per game).

The Stars are not afraid to launch from beyond the arc as the league’s second-best 3-point shooting team, averaging eight treys and 21 attempts per game. Hammon and 6-foot-2 forward Shameka Christon are the team’s resident bombers, connecting on 49 percent and 36 percent, respectively. Fortunately, the Sky have an answer in Shay Murphy, who has emerged as a perimeter threat, sinking 10-17 from outside in the past six games since the Sky’s top 3-point shooter, Epiphanny Prince, went down to injury.

Murphy has stepped up her game and helped replace some of Prince’s offensive production by averaging nearly nine points during that stretch. She’s become part of Chicago’s bench mob, which includes Sonja Petrovic, Le’coe Willingham and the Sky’s own member of the WNBA’s Top 15, Ticha Penicheiro. That foursome has combined to score 24, 35 and 37 points in three of the last four games.

Sky center Sylvia Fowles has scored in double figures for 83 games and counting. The Olympian is within striking distance of breaking Cynthia Cooper’s record of 92 in a row and could do so on Sept. 1 at Indiana. The Sky’s other Olympian, Swin Cash, is nearing a milestone of her own. She needs just 43 rebounds before reaching 2,000 – something only 12 players have achieved in WNBA history.

After San Antonio, the Sky host Connecticut on Friday before taking a month-long hiatus for the Olympics. They’ll return to action on August 17 in a home game against Atlanta with tip-off at 7:30pm.