The Chicago Sky (5-12) head to The World’s Most Famous Arena riding a two-game win streak to face the New York Liberty (8-8).
Chicago has seemingly found their footing after a back-and-forth beginning to their season. After dominating the league-leading Minnesota Lynx 100-76 on Saturday, the Sky followed up with back-to-back wins by besting the visiting Wings 90-84. Despite the close final score, the Sky led for a majority of the second half, taking the lead for good with 7:57 remaining in the third and building as much as a 21-point lead.
Courtney Vandersloot has been red-hot for the Sky, picking up a double-double in back-to-back games including a career-best 26 points against Minnesota. She added 11 points and 12 rebounds in Wednesday’s win. Jessica Breland also added a double-double, her third of the season, with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Allie Quigley however was the offensive force behind Wednesday’s win. After collecting 18 points in the first half, including starting the game 5-for-5 from three-point land, she would finish with 22 to lead the team for the seventh time this season. Quigley has been a consistent scoring presence for the Sky this season, scoring double-digit points in 13 of her 14 games this year.
The two-headed monster of Vandersloot and Quigley has been critical for the Sky’s recent success. They have not only clogged up the stat sheets, but they have led by example in the wake of veteran Cappie Pondexter undergoing concussion protocol. The former member of the Liberty team has missed the last two games after averaging 12 points and 5.9 assists a game through the first 15.
Chicago heads to New York on a hot-streak, but they’ll be met by Tina Charles and the Liberty looking to get back in the win column after an 81-69 loss at Phoenix on Sunday.
Charles leads the team with 20.8 points and 9.1 rebounds a game. Those totals are also good for second and third, respectively, in the league. With those numbers, it’s no shock that she finished second in fan voting for the East’s All-Star team frontcourt. Meanwhile, she finished first among votes from the media and players.
Epiphanny Prince has also been a big part of the Liberty’s success this season, currently sitting second with 13.7 points per game and fourth with 4.2 rebounds per game. Sugar Rodgers is the only other Liberty player in the top-five in each category, currently fourth in scoring and fifth in boards with 12.9 and 4.1 a game, respectively. Prince also leads with 4.0 assists per game.
The Liberty lost their last time out, but Charles scored 29 while nabbing eight rebounds. Rodgers added 14 points while Kiah Stokes collected 12 rebounds off the bench and Prince came away with nine boards.
This is the first of three matchups this season between the Sky and Liberty, with the first and last being held at Madison Square Garden. The Sky trail in the overall series by one game, 21-22, and are looking to improve on a 9-12 record away from home against New York.
Sky vs. Liberty tips off at 6:30 pm CDT Friday, July 14, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.