The Chicago Sky (1-5) will try to break a three game skid when they play host to the Phoenix Mercury (3-2) Thursday at Allstate Arena. This will be the first of three meetings between the teams this season, with both games being played in Rosemont.
The Sky are coming off a game that saw a plethora of career milestones and season-high marks, despite the loss. Cappie Pondexter moved into 15th all-time in WNBA history for minutes played, Tamera Young made her 750th career field goal, and Jessica Breland came down with her 750th board of her career.
Chicago also welcomed season-high marks from Cheyenne Parker (11 points, 4 field goals made), Keisha Hampton (5 points), Breland (6 blocks), and Young (2 blocks).
Despite the strong individual efforts, the Sky could not overcome a history book-worthy performance from Jonquel Jones who recorded the WNBA’s 16th 20-20 game with 23 points and 21 rebounds. Although Young recorded 17 points, giving her 10 or more points in each of the Sky’s six games this season, Chicago fell to Connecticut 97-79.
Pondexter has led the Sky this season and had to take on a bulk of offensive responsibility with fellow guards Allie Quigley and Courtney Vandersloot gone for the first three and four games, respectively. The 12th-year veteran leads the team with 8.3 assists per game and is second with 14.7 points per game. Her assists per game mark also leads the league. Pondexter, who was drafted with the second overall pick in the 2006 draft by the Phoenix Mercury, averages 15.6 points a game in 14 matchups against her former team.
Quigley, who spent the first two years of her career with the Mercury, has played in three games this season and is third on the team with 14.3 points per game.
The Mercury are coming off a dominant 107-65 win over the Dallas Wings on Saturday. Phoenix had six players score 10 or more points, led by Leilani Mitchell who scored 19 off the bench while also adding 4 assists, 3 steals and 3 rebounds.
While Brittney Griner leads the team with 101 points and 37 rebounds through five games, the sky will need to keep veteran guard Diana Taurasi in check. While she is third on the team this season averaging 12.75 points a game, she averages more than 20 points a game in her career against the Sky and has never scored less than 13 against Chicago in 21 games. She has scored 30 or more points against the Sky three times.
The Sky won last year’s series 2-1 thanks to back-to-back wins after dropping the first outing of the season. All three games were close, with the Mercury winning the first game of the season by 6 and then the Sky winning by 5 and 2. Chicago has found recent success
against Phoenix, winning three of their previous four matchups despite being behind in the all-time series 7-19.
While Pondexter used to play for the Mercury, Phoenix guard Shay Murphy spent three and a half seasons with the Sky from 2010-13. She played primarily off the bench, starting three of 84 games with Chicago, adding 6.0 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.
The Sky-Mercury matchup tips off at 7:00 CDT on Thursday, June 1 and then travel to take on the reigning WNBA Champion Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday, June 6.
Tickets start as low as $18. Call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET to purchase tickets today. You can also watch the Sky on The U Too or WNBA League Pass. For live updates, download the Sky mobile app from the App Store or on Google Play.
Stats accurate as of end of Sky game on May 28.