• After going down 15-12, Chicago ended the first quarter on an 8-0 run to finish the first frame up 20-15.
• Washington ended the first half on a 5-0 run, which propelled to it to a slim lead of 37-35.
• The Mystics followed their strong finish to the first half with a 12-5 run to begin the third quarter.
• Chicago responded late in the third quarter with a 10-2 run that tied the game at 62 heading into the final frame.
• Sky shot 48% from the 3-PT line, significantly better than Thursday’s game vs. Minnesota (6-24, 25%).
• Chicago’s bench outscored the Mystics’ 28 to 8.
• The Sky produced 20 points off turnovers compared to Washington’s 14.
• Sky’s starting five of Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Kahleah Copper, Azurá Stevens and Cheyenne Parker opened the game for Chicago for the third time this season.
• The trio of Parker (8), Stevens (5) and Quigley (5) recorded 18 of the Sky’s first 20 points.
• Copper reached double-digit scoring in her third of four outings and shot better than 50% in every game this season.
• Chicago has had a minimum of seven players record at least 10 minutes of play in every game this season.
• Parker’s 16-point effort tonight gave her a double-digit scoring total for the third consecutive game. It was also the second straight game that she led or tied for the team lead in points with 16.
• Gabby Williams recorded a career-high in three-point field goals, hitting four of five shots (80%) from beyond the arc while shooting 60% from the floor. Her 16 total points tied for the team-lead with Cheyenne Parker.
• Chicago made a season-high 12 shots from the three-point line and also shot a season-best 48% from beyond the arc.
• Mystics came into tonight’s game as the only undefeated team remaining in the WNBA (3-0).
• Aerial Powers (6), Myisha Hines-Allen (5) and Ariel Atkins (5) accounted for 16 of Washington’s first 20 points.
• This was the first game of the season where the Mystics were held to under 45 points in the first half.
• Washington’s 86 points was its lowest of the season so far.
SKY GM & HEAD COACH JAMES WADE
On what this win means:
“They’re [Washington] championship team. No matter who they put on the floor, in part because they have a championship coaching staff and they have a championship culture. So you just have to be ready to play. We challenged each other just to have more energy coming into the game and I think we did from beginning to the end. And we didn’t expect it to be easy so it came down to the final seconds and we were able to execute one more play more than them.”
On Gabby Williams’ shot:
“I mean that’s something that she worked on for the last 12 months. She’s worked on it really hard and we’re happy that when she gets separation it opens up even more space for driving lanes and it opens up more space for post-ups. And the fact that she’s so multifaceted that she can play one through four positions. It kind of gives us a different look. I think the most interesting thing is that we scripted plays. We have to put her a little bit everywhere so she can understand. But no, it’s really good her being able to stretch the floor and being another threat. That kind of threat from her, we were not having last year and having that as it was big. Now we just have to clean up the turnovers that she had tonight.”
On being in the bubble together as a team:
“If you saw us last year, that was the main thing. When we came in we took over the team and we said this is how we’re going to operate. And they bought in right away. And it doesn’t matter if we’re in Chicago, or if we’re in the ‘wubble’, they’re going to be together all the time just like the All-Star game last year in Las Vegas. Six players that weren’t in the game traveled there on their weekend off, on their four-day weekend off, to be with their teammates. We were the only team to have that. We had more players in Las Vegas than Las Vegas [Aces] did. So, like they’re gonna be around each other. They’re going to like each other. We’re a family and that’s the main thing I preach. We preach sacrifice and being selfless and genuine like and in accepting each other’s differences. I think that’s the biggest thing, like we understand all of us are different, but we’re going to accept it just like a family.”
SKY FORWARD GABBY WILLIAMS
“Thank you so much for asking. Sky Takes Action is our initiative that we’re doing this year, so us as players are pledging $10 a point, hundred dollars a win, fifty dollars a loss to five local Chicago nonprofits. Actually, a couple of them aren’t in Chicago but all minority-led, black-led that are aligned with what we want to accomplish and we just want to challenge the fans to match our donations and we’re challenging our sponsors and donors and everyone just to match us.”
On the development of her shot:
“I feel like it was the biggest missing piece to my game. When I was overseas, my biggest thing was I was always just afraid to miss so I never shot the ball. Overseas, James [Wade] put me in touch with Nico Perez who I worked with in Montpellier, and they put me back here with Emre [Vantansever] and Olaf [Lange] and James as well. I’ve just found my confidence and I’ve been OK with missing. Last game I was o-for-six but it’s just I got to get to mentally [say] just keep shooting.”
On fighting for social justice:
“For any of us it’s traumatizing. It’s exhausting to see people who look like you, people who do the same things as you, be murdered in cold blood and then people turn back and tell you that your life just doesn’t matter. Or they try to distract you and say all lives matter or whatever it is, and like I said earlier, the fact that we have to fight to exist is exhausting. And we’re just exhausted and we’re sick and tired of it. We’re tired of seeing these images of people who look like us, look like our brothers, look like my little brother. I worry about everything that he does so it’s not hard for it to not distract me from basketball because I’m a person before I’m a basketball player and I think that’s how we all feel.”
SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER
On the eventual game-winning shot:
“The last play, it did not go as planned actually. It was just recognition that [Courtney] [Vander]Sloot wasn’t open on the handoff. I was supposed to hand it off to Sloot actually but she obviously was being denied and pressured. So, I attacked the rim, and kicked out to the corner. Diamond [DeShields] drove-in, pocket-pass, layup. It was not planned at all, it’s, just us playing basketball and doing what we do, moving without the ball, cutting, passing. Something that we work on a lot called beautiful basketball I think that’s what helped us get that done.”
On continuing to be the vocal leader:
“The most important thing is keeping that energy. So, I just made sure I continued to remind the team, ‘Keep that energy up! I sensed from the beginning that their energy was very low. So, I just kept reminding us every time, keep that energy up, keep that energy up y’all, the energy is just going to bring it out of us. It’s going to bring out what we need out of us and I think that helps. Coach emphasized that our energy is important on the bench and on the court so I think we all did a much better job today as compared to [the] last game with our energy.”
On how difficult it is to guard the Sky:
“That’s what makes us the championship team that we’re going to be. Just the threat is one through eight, nine, whatever we have right now. The list goes on with the players that aren’t even playing right now that we miss. We were just saying just imagine if we had Jantel [Lavender] here, just imagine if we had [Stefanie] Dolson playing tonight. So, the talent is endless. Like I said, our offense, we may have times [where] we struggle to score but our offense is usually very effortless just because of all the talent. And so it makes it hard for other teams to defend. The biggest thing for us is making sure that we defend and it’s a dub.”
SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER
On the level of play from the team in the first 4 games:
“I can’t even really speak on my play. It’s really just been all about them. Obviously, I’ve been battling some inflammation and to be a part of a team where you can get picked up by one through 11. I mean, the rest of our team right, the rest of my teammates are playing really well, and I’m just super grateful for them, super proud of their effort, coach’s efforts. Putting everybody in positions to be successful and I stand on what I said, that [a championship] is our ultimate goal, and that’s what we’re chasing.”
On #SkyTakesAction being her motivation:
“It’s everything. It’s literally the reason why I put my jersey, it’s the reason why I came out here. There was no way I was going to come out here and just dismiss myself from what’s going on in the world right now. So, to have partnered up with Athletes For Justice and my teammates and everybody else, our sponsors to be on board with this, it’s all the motivation that any of us needs on game days. To know that we’re raising money for these nonprofits and working towards improving our community, our home in Chicago.”
On how it came to be:
“It was really divine, honestly. I mean Sam [Acho] and I got connected a few weeks before I came out here, and it was just me. I was the only female athlete that was involved in Athletes For Justice. When we got out here to Bradenton, we had a team meeting just to talk about what we were going to do. There’s a lot of symbolism, there’s a lot of I don’t want to call it empty,, but we wanted to make sure that we were being active in our approach and making sure that we were actually doing something. And so I kind of just brought it up in a team meeting, like, ‘Hey you guys this is something that I’ve been a part of. I think it would be really cool for us.’ Everybody was like, ‘Yeah, absolutely that sounds like a great idea.’ So I got with Gabby [Williams] obviously who’s one of our player reps and very passionate about Civil Rights and African American rights and we just got the ball rolling that way.”