The Sky easily maintain their first place ranking in the Eastern Conference (12-4) after defeating the Liberty for the fourth time on July 20 at the Allstate Arena. The Washington Mystics (8-8), who lost their last three Eastern Conference games, are sitting third in the East.
The Sky look to build off of their last meeting against the Mystics as they enter the first of two straight meetings between the two teams. In the previous matchup, the Sky struggled late in the game but held on to win coming away with a four-point victory (89-85).
It was a heated game on July 10 between the Mystics and Sky with four technical fouls awarded. The Mystics Matee Ajavon was ejected after her two technical fouls. In the second quarter, teammate Michelle Snow of the Mystics also was called for a technical. Tamera Young from the Sky had a technical in the second quarter. As the best free throw shooting in the league (82.6%), the Sky used the fouls to their advantage, scoring 19 points off free throws. The two teams will look to eliminate these infractions and easy points from the charity stripe in game two.
Sky center Sylvia Fowles was the star of the court in the first of the five games in this series. She scored 26 points and took down a whopping 18 rebounds. Fowles was not alone in her impressive numbers, however. Four of the Skys five starters marked point totals in the double digits (Elena Delle Donne-18, Epiphanny Prince- 15, Swin Cash-13).
The Mystics Monique Currie was the teams leading scorer. She dropped 18 points, offered two assists and brought down eight rebounds. Ivory Latta was also a significant contributor for the Mystics, scoring 17 points and dishing out six assists.
As the Sky make their way into mid-point of the season it appears that they have found their rhythm. They put both offensive and defensive pressure on their competitors, making each game a challenge for the opposition. Week after week Epiphanny Prince and Elena Delle Donne are making plays and shots from the backcourt. The Sky is the second best three point shooting team in the league (34.6%). The Mystics must watch for the variety of outside shooters the Sky has starting and on the bench.
The Skys frontcourt benefits from Fowles rebounding skills and Delle Donnes ability to drive to the hoop. Fowles is the league leader in rebounds per game (11.9) helping the Sky stand as the Eastern Conferences top rebounding team (38.94 rpg). The Mystics rank fifth in the East with 34.75 rebounds per game and will attempt to constrain Fowles on both sides of the court.
The game will take place at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. on Wednesday, July 24 and fans can tune into WNBA LiveAccess as well as NBA TV at 10:30 a.m. CT for all of the live action.