POSTGAME NOTES powered by Chicago Sun Times: Diamond DeShields’ Career-High 30 Points Leads Chicago to Overtime Victory vs. Connecticut

KEY RUNS

• The Sky went on an 11-2 run to take a 13-6 first-quarter lead

• Connecticut’s 11-2 run gave them a 71-63 advantage with 2:57 to play in the third quarter

• Chicago’s 8-0 run cut the Connecticut lead to two points at 85-83 with 5:11 remaining in the fourth quarter

• The Sky ended the game on a 12-6 run to win, 109-104

KEY STATS

• With 23 lead changes and 13 ties, the game marked the first time either team went to overtime this season

• Both teams combined to commit 37 turnovers

• The Sky scored a season-high 109 points

• Connecticut outscored Chicago by 18 points from beyond the 3-point line

• The Sky outscored the Sun by 5 points from the free-throw line and shot 87.5%, compared to Sky’s 72.7%

CHICAGO NOTES

• The victory marked the Sky’s first 20-win season since 2015

• It was the first time in team history that the Sky has recorded two consecutive 100+ point contests

• Diamond DeShields scored a career-high 30 points, with her 12 first-quarter points being most she’s poured in during a first quarter this season

• DeShields celebrated her 1,000th WNBA career point during the game’s first quarter, and also recorded her 23rd consecutive double-figure scoring game

• With Courtney Vandersloot’s first assist of the game she officially broke her WNBA record of 8.6 APG, which she set last season. She finished the game with a team high 11 assists.

• Vandersloot recorded her 45th double-digit assists game, placing her alone in second all-time behind Ticha Penicheiro who has 64

• Vandersloot picked up her team-leading sixth double-double of the season and her three steals match a season high

• Astou Ndour tied her season high in scoring with 18 points

• The Sky’s 34 first-quarter points are the second-most they’ve scored in any quarter this season

• Stefanie Dolson contributed nine rebounds, pushing her past 1,000 career rebounds, also matching a season high with six assists

• Gabby Williams’ seven rebounds were a season-high

CONNECTICUT NOTES

• The Sun’s defeat guarantees them the second seed in the playoffs

• The home loss was Connecticut’s second of the season, as it falls to 15-2 at home

• Courtney Williams tallied a career-high nine assists, to go with 25 points, nine rebounds and four steals

• It was the ninth time Williams led the Sun in scoring in a game this season

• Jasmine Thomas’ 13 points are the most she’s scored in a game since August 18, when she scored 16; her seven turnovers match a season worst

• Shekinna Stricklen made four 3s, the ninth time she has converted at least four 3s in a game this season

• Jonquel Jones failed to reach double figures in rebounding for the fourth consecutive game, finishing with nine

• The Sun shot 46.2% from beyond the arc in the game, draining 12 of their 26 attempts

• After shooting 47.7% from the field in the first half, the Sun shot 37.7% collectively in the second half and overtime

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

SKY GENERAL MANAGER AND HEAD COACH JAMES WADE

On his thoughts going into overtime:

“We just told them to just stay at it. We made it this far, no turning back now, as far as us playing and how we wanted to keep on pushing forward, keep on pushing forward. We didn’t want to be denied. So we look at it as, we welcome adversity and we have to win if we want to be a good team.”

On the win:

“I thought it was a hard grinding win because it’s a great team. It’s hard to win here, but like I told them before, we wanted the challenge of going to the top two teams and getting victories, because I think for us – for a young team like us – it’s good to see that we’ve turnt it around. And we just want to play to our potential. And to play to our potential you have to beat great teams and that’s what I thought we did tonight. So, I felt pleased, but we’re not satisfied. We’re gonna keep it going.”

On Diamond DeShields’ career-high 30 points:

“It was great. It was what we expect from her, it’s what we need from her. She has the potential to be a bigtime player, if she’s not already. So we expect her to do big-time things. For her to do that in the fashion that she did and to lead us to victory on a team that wanted to finish one, but we stopped that, and I thought that was a great thing. So she was big for us tonight, and I appreciate it.

SKY GUARD COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT

On looking ahead to the last game of the regular season before heading into postseason play:

“That was a really good win for us against the top team in the WNBA. We’re still playing for something – we’re still going for that four seed, so this was a huge one for us. We have a big one again in two days so, you know, that’s a team that doesn’t lose on their home floor, so for us to come in here gives us a lot of confidence going forward and getting ready for the playoffs.”

On her teammates:

“We had people step up. Astou was great. Diamond was unreal. Gabby came off and gave us a spark in overtime, which was just really huge and says a lot about our team. We still have a lot of work to do. We’re ready to focus on Washington.”

SKY GUARD DIAMOND DESHIELDS

On mindset heading into the competition against Connecticut:

“The mindset is just staying in attack mode. We want to be able to host in the playoffs and in the singleelimination games. And we want to be able to take that and play that game at home, and that’s really all that it’s about.”

On all 12 players on the Sky roster coming together to donate to Jonquel Jones’ hurricane disaster relief:

“I mean, I can only imagine if where I was from was completely destroyed. Can’t even begin to relate. But the WNBA does a good job of – we have a family here between all teams, and we just wanted to show Jonquel our support and let her know that we’re praying for her and her family back home.”

SUN HEAD COACH CURT MILLER

On the game:

“Well that was fun. That’s playoff environment, playoff basketball, two high level teams playing down the stretch. Disappointed that we couldn’t hold that fourth quarter lead but we made some big plays to get it into overtime. Made some big plays to give us a chance to stay in that game even late. So you know, proud of our grittiness and proud of what we did at home this year.”

SUN GUARD COURTNEY WILLIAMS

On the overtime loss to Chicago:

“We came up short. We were playing hard and making some plays and it’s always tough when you come up just a little bit short. But, it is what it is. We got out two spot so we have to keep looking forward.”

On losing even with solidifying the 2 seed in playoffs:

“We don’t like losing. Regardless of solidifying that two spot we don’t like losing. Especially at home, last home game, it was important to do it in front of our fans. But like I said, we just gotta keep pushing forward.”