Post Game Notes and Quotes: Chicago Comes Back to Defeat Las Vegas in Thrilling Finish

KEY RUNS

  • Las Vegas went up 23-15 after going on an 8-0 run in the 1st quarter.
  • The Aces continued a strong first half, with a 12-1 run approx. halfway through the 2nd quarter.
  • Chicago ended the first half with a 10-0 run, cutting Las Vegas’ lead from 12 to two. Eight of the Sky’s 10 points were scored by Courtney Vandersloot.
  • Las Vegas began the second half on a 10-0 run, pushing its lead to 58-46.
  • After Allie Quigley tied the game at 71, the Aces went on a 9-2 run early in the fourth quarter.
  • Chicago closed out the game on an 11-0 run, proving as the final push for the win.

KEY STATS

  • The Sky forced 8 turnovers in the first half, recording 7 points from those takeaways.
  • Chicago’s bench outscored Las Vegas 32 to 25.
  • Las Vegas dominated in the paint, totaling 46 points to Chicago’s 26.
  • This was the third time in the last four meetings between the two teams where the final margin was three points or fewer.

CHICAGO NOTES

  • Kahleah Copper made her first start in the regular season since 2018, scoring a team-high 18 points. It was the second straight outing where Copper led the
  • Sky in scoring against the Aces (16 points on September 15, 2019).
  • Vandersloot became the Sky’s all-time leader in seasons played with the team, marking her 10th season with her appearance today, surpassing Tamera Young, now in 2nd at nine.
  • Stefanie Dolson registered the team’s first field goal of the season by drilling a 3-point field goal at the 8:46 mark of the first quarter.
  • Azurá Stevens scored her first basket as a member of the Chicago Sky at the 7:42 mark of the first quarter.
  • Stevens began the game by scoring seven of the Sky’s first 15 points. First-round 2020 draft pick
  • Ruthy Hebard made her WNBA debut, recording her first field goal early in the 3rd quarter, shortly after she checked in for the first time.

LAS VEGAS NOTES

  • Forward A’ja Wilson recorded the first field goal of the season for Las Vegas.
  • Angel McCoughtry appeared in her first game against the Sky since Aug 3, 2018. When McCoughtry last played against the Sky, she was the all-time leading opponent scorer. In 2019, Tina Charles passed her. Charles currently has 687 points against the Sky ion her career.
  • McCoughtry scored a team-leading 14 points in the first half. With the 25 total points today, McCoughtry has 667 in her career vs Sky. Her 19.8 career high against the Sky is the highest of any opponent. It was McCoughtry’s 20th game of 20+ points against the Sky- most of any opponent.
  • The Aces’ first 3-point field goal attempt came with less than one-minute left in the first half.
  • Eight players for Head Coach Bill Laimbeer’s side recorded at least 15 minutes of play.
  • Wilson and McCoughtry accounted for 47 of Las Vegas’ 86 points.

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

SKY GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD COACH JAMES WADE

On how he felt after today’s game:
“We have a lot of things to work on. We saw where we were weak. I think we fouled a little too much. We were just undisciplined in schemes. It’s a lot of stuff that we have to do. It’s good to get a win but we have a lot of holes to plug.
We have to fix a lot of things so I’m happy with the win, but I’m not happy with how we got there.”

On Diamond DeShields:
“She was a plus four for the game which is good. This is a compacted season. She had some knee issue in the preseason and we just want to take our time with her. She’s going to get back, but we don’t want to use her up and abuse her body when it’s not ready. We’ll be fine. We’ll be fine-she gave us some good minutes. We won the game by two but her minutes, she was plus four. And that’s what we needed so once she gets back you’ll see a lot of Diamond it’s just that we want to respect where she is and not put her in a situation where it’s harmful to her body and harmful to her health.”

On the irony of how the game ended:
“The pain from last year’s playoff loss is going to still be there. So, this doesn’t do anything for me. I mean, I’m happy we won. That says something that’s indescribable. Like how it feels, and how it’s just inside you. So, I mean it’s good to get this win. And it’s good to beat the team but I wouldn’t have cared who played tonight I just wanted to win.”

SKY GUARD KAHLEAH COPPER
On how she felt after reaching 2,000 career minutes with the Sky:
“I feel good. I just felt good to finally get out there and for us to all come together and play. I like the fact that we had to play from behind. We played from behind for maybe 35-plus minutes and to see us come together and really like stick it out and finish the game strong that makes me so happy.”

On team coming together late:
“I think we were all lifting each other up in those moments. Allie [Quigley] struggled in the beginning just a little bit, but we were just telling [her], especially it was just telling [her] like you’re still the best shooter in the league. No matter how many shots you miss, we still count on you at the end of the game to hit these shots and she came up big for us as she does all the time.”

On how she felt after reaching 2,000 career minutes with the Sky:
“Definitely a confidence booster just coming out being able to play hard and play strong and to get the results that I was looking for and the win on top of it.”

SKY FORWARD AZURÁ STEVENS
“Before we start, I just want to say it was awesome being out there with my team. We’re all fighting for justice this season for Breonna Taylor and still want those cops to be arrested. No justice, no peace. And so, I just wanted to start with that.”

On her experience from this game:
“I felt really good to just get out there with this team, we’ve been working really hard. And I’ve obviously been off the court for a really long time so it was a really kind of emotional day for me before the game just with all that I’ve been through coming back from this injury. But being able to get out here with the team and get a win was really special.”

On how she can build off this performance for the rest of the season:
“I mean I think the biggest thing for me is just taking it day by day. I can’t get too focused on what happens, what’s going to happen with the next opponent. I can’t get stuck in this game like today, we played. We’ll enjoy this, and then tomorrow is like flipping the switch and getting ready for LA. It’s just taking each day for what it is and really staying locked into that. And staying locked into each moment. That’s really what helped me with my injury coming back was staying focused on the present moment and not getting caught up on the past or the future. But just staying like rooted in the moment so that’s what I’m trying to do for this whole season and I think even for us as a team that’s what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to just take it game-by-game, practice-by-practice, recovery-by-recovery. Whatever we’re doing, we’re trying to stay focused on that one moment and build it up for us to win that championship at the end of the year.”

SKY GUARD ALLIE QUIGLEY

On the how she felt after hitting the eventual game-winning shot
“I felt a lot of emotions. Just relieved because I was having a pretty crappy game but just happy that we were able to get this win. It was an ugly game. We definitely did not play our best so to be able to steal that one at the last couple minutes was huge.”

On getting the continuity and rhythm back:
“I think it was good to just get some of the dust and rust off tonight. We felt really good in practices but the games are a whole other level so I think that every game we’ll improve and get a little bit better and better. A lot of us haven’t played obviously in four months, some people haven’t played in a year. Games are different than practices for sure.”

On how the final play was drawn up:
“It was a play that we worked on in practice the last week or two. So, we were really familiar with the look we wanted. That’s exactly what we wanted in the corner. Jackie Young got through the screen pretty well so I had to do a little shot fake and luckily it went in, and there were still 14 seconds on the clock.”