• Chicago shot 57.5% from the floor in the first half, while New York shot 31.6%.
• The game only saw two lead changes throughout, with the Sky never relinquishing their lead from 5:12 left in the second quarter and onward.
• The Sky recorded season-highs in points, field-goal percentage, assists, and free-throw attempts.
• Both teams combined for 38 fouls in the game.
• Trailing the Liberty 33-27 with 7:24 remaining in the second quarter, the Sky went on a 28-2 run to close out the first half.
• Chicago outscored New York in each of the first three quarters.
• The Sky’s win was the team’s 200th in franchise history.
• Chicago’s victory pulls them into a tie with the Liberty in their all-time head-to-head series at 26 wins apiece.
• Stefanie Dolson secured a season-high 9 rebounds in the contest. Her 13 career-high rebounds on July 9, 2015, also came against the Liberty.
• Courtney Vandersloot recorded her second double-double of the season as she scored 17 points and matched her season high with 12 assists.
• In her season debut, Jamierra Faulkner recorded two points, a rebound and an assist in nearly seven minutes.
• Astou Ndour saw game action for the first time since June 1, logging 12 minutes.
NEW YORK NOTES
• Recently named a 2019 WNBA All-Star, Kia Nurse scored 11 first-quarter points and was a perfect 5-of-5 from the free throw line.
• Tina Charles was limited to just two rebounds in the game, her second-lowest total this season.
• Charles and Nurse combined for 18 first-quarter points, but the pair only scored 13 more the rest of the way.
• New York is now 0-6 on the road when they trail heading into the second half.
• Rookie Marine Johannes played in her first career WNBA game, scoring 10 points and three assists in 16 minutes.
SKY GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD COACH JAMES WADE
On what it means for the Sky to reach its 200th win:
“I’ve only been here for a small percentage of the wins. I’ll tell you what — for this organization it’s a special moment because we have a great ownership and great fans, loyal fans. For them I feel so ecstatic to be a part of it. Having 200 wins, it shows that they’ve been consistent, having great players here because you win with great players. I’m very proud to be a part of the organization and proud to represent. Hopefully we can keep on adding onto that and building something special.”
On why there were fewer attempts behind the three-point line:
“We wanted to punch them in the face. Sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I mean we wanted to punch them first. We respect them, but we wanted to come out and be aggressive. And part of being aggressive is putting a team on their heels. Now shots can go in and you can shoot shots. That’s fine, we have great shooters on our team — I know that. But I didn’t want us to start out with a settling mentality. Even though they were open shots, I wanted us to attack them. I felt that that was a part of punching them, to say it nicely. Respectfully, seriously, that’s what we want to do. I think the 3-point total was because were able to get to the rim. And so we’re [going to] keep on doing that until the team responds and forces us to do something else. But I felt like we had to have an aggressive mentality of getting to the lane. And I thought we did. We had 46 points in the paint. And that’s a lot for us. We bought into the game plan and they did it and they executed it well.”
On the aggressive mentality leading to more transition opportunities:
“[Vander]Sloot plays on another level. Like Jantel says, she’s our engine. So she’s [going to] draw attention because she makes good decisions and she’s [going to] get other players open shots. So if you collapse the defense and you get the ball out, it’s [going to] be amazing. We were able to get multiple assists, hockey assists, from a lot of people on our team. Just to sum it up, we had 30 assists on 38 baskets. That is a lot. That is a lot. And that just goes to show you our team, when we’re playing that aggressive and we’re playing that fast, we’re really good. And that just goes to show you how much they are sacrificing for each other to get the best shot possible.”
SKY GUARD COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT
On a “punch first” mentality this time out:
“I think we had a different mentality starting this game. James [Wade] challenged us and we came out and really showed what we can do come the tip. Which hasn’t been the story in the last several games.”
On what led to the double-double performance:
“I was just aggressive from the start. Looking to score a little bit more. It felt like things were open, things were flowing. Everybody was in rhythm, which is really important. We play really well when we are all in a good rhythm. So this was just how the night turned out, I guess.”
On what it would mean to be an All-Star selection for the Sky:
“I don’t know. I hate the All-Star conversation to be honest. I really do. If it happens, it happens. It would be a huge honor. But I’ve said from the beginning [that] I’m focused on being an All-Star for this team.”
SKY FORWARD JANTEL LAVENDER
On Courtney Vandersloot as an All-Star selection:
“I’ve always told her how amazing of a point guard [that] I think she is. I’ve had the privilege to play with her on a couple of teams in Europe. It’s just fun to play with her. She sees everything on the floor, and if you’re in the right spot, you’re [going to] get the ball. It’s just that simple. I think her aggressiveness as a shooter and scoring and getting to the rim is not nearly as highlighted because she’s such a great passer. But she can pretty much do everything. I think she’s the engine to our team. So when she’s playing well — she’s playing hard like she said, coming out aggressive, I think our team is a lot better.”
LIBERTY HEAD COACH KATIE SMITH
On the Liberty’s energy after the first quarter:
“Well the first quarter we just kind of hung, I wasn’t particularly pleased with it. The second quarter was just terrible, 28-10, and that’s where we basically lost the game. You know, we came out in the third quarter and it still wasn’t great, and obviously end of the third into the fourth, the game was pretty much out of reach for us at that point. Not pleased with the intensity on the defensive end, we knew that was [going to] be the dictating force, but still we’ve gotta hit shots. At the end of the day, we’ve gotta slow them down and we talked about that, but we’ve gotta figure out how to get it done.”
On their second matchup with the Sky and the problems they create:
“They can score. I mean they’ve got a great point guard — one of the best in the world. They’ve got shooters who can flat out score and DeShields and Copper — I think Copper’s having an awesome year for them off the bench. Then down low they’ve got Dolson, Parker, Lavender so they’ve got players all over the floor and they put a lot of pressure on you, they push tempo and really force a lot of mistakes. They fly around a little bit better on defense, you know they take you out of your comfort zone a little bit so I think they really are talented. James [Wade] has done a nice job to battle a little bit harder on that end and offensively they’re a lot like Washington in that they can put points on the board and they can shoot it well.
On Tina Charles’ and Kia Nurse’s performances:
“Tina, it took a second to get her going but I thought she continued to attack as the game went. Nurse had a couple of looks, I thought she was solid and aggressive, but I think it was one of those games where we just dug ourselves a hole and we play again really quickly this Sunday so it was one of those days where we could get others players in but it was also nice to have Becca [Allen] had her first game back from a broken hand, we got [Marine] Johannes in there getting her some reps. So in some ways it was nice to get some people some playing time, but we also tried to save some folks as we fly out west.”
LIBERTY FORWARD KIA NURSE
On today’s game:
“Proud of the way we continued to battle. Tough from the start. Obviously, they’re a good team, but we didn’t execute the way we wanted to.”
On Nurse’s offensive performance Friday:
“I think we did a good job of running plays to put people in places where they can be successful. My teammates do a great job of screening if the play is for me, and if it’s for someone else, we do a great job of screening for them, and that gave me a lot of open shots. I just didn’t knock down some of them.”
On being named a WNBA All-Star starter:
“The world is a crazy place. I’m very excited about that. It’s hard to put words to it, and emotions, but so thankful for everyone who voted. Being able to represent the Liberty and Canada and my family there is going to be absolutely incredible.”
LIBERTY GUARD BRIA HARTLEY
On her ability to get to the free-throw line:
“I think it’s a surprise. Something I’ve been working on is taking contact better and drawing a foul better. I wouldn’t say in my career I’ve done a good job at that especially a night like tonight when I’m not really making shots, just finding other ways to make an impact on the floor.”
On having five days off from their last game and its impact:
“I guess for us it has an impact but we’ve been trying to stay in the flow and practice is a good way of making sure of that. Most of us play year-round so I don’t know if we get that rusty ever to be honest.”
On the challenge of facing Chicago on the road:
“It’s tough, playing any team on the road is difficult. We want to come in and try and disrupt their flow which I didn’t think we did tonight. They’re a team that can really score so, if we don’t step up defensively their gonna get out and shoot and run and they’ve done a really good job of that so far this year.”