POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES powered by Chicago Sun-Times: DeShield’s Career-High in Rebounds, Season-High in Assists and Dolson’s 16 Points Push Sky Past Atlanta 87-75

 

TEAM HIGH POINTS | CHICAGO Dolson (16), ATLANTA Bentley (21)

HIGH ASSISTS | CHICAGO Vandersloot (9), ATLANTA Hayes (4)

HIGH REBOUNDS | CHICAGO DeShields (12), ATLANTA Breland (7)

 

KEY STATS

• Chicago assisted on 29 of its 34 field goals and out-assisted Atlanta 29 to 12

• The Sky shot 49.3% from the field, while the Dream shot just 34.7%

• Chicago converted 44.0% of its three-point field goals, while Atlanta cashed in on a mere 28.6%

• While the Dream received 37 points from their bench, the Sky kept up with a contribution of 30 points from their bench unit

• Chicago is now 9-5 when it loses the turnover battle in a game

KEY RUNS

• The Sky outscored the Dream 29-17 in the second quarter to take a 46-42 lead in the game

• After the first quarter, Chicago outscored Atlanta by 20 points CHICAGO NOTES

• Cheyenne Parker set a season high for rebounds in a half by snagging six over the game’s first two quarters

• After recording 14 first-half turnovers, the Sky committed just six turnovers in the second half

• All-Star guard Diamond DeShields set a career high with 12 rebounds. Her previous career high, which occurred last season, also came against the Dream

• DeShields also notched a season-high six assists Saturday night

• Kahleah Copper’s four assists tie her career high

• Astou Ndour tallied a season-high four rebounds

• Courtney Vandersloot has led the Sky in assists all but one of the team’s 21 games this season

ATLANTA NOTES

• Guard Alex Bentley established a season high in points with 21 points and tied her season high with 2 steals

• Former Sky forward Jessica Breland scored a season-high 18 points, draining two three-pointers, the most treys she’s converted in a game this season

• Starting forward Brittney Sykes was held scoreless for the first time this season and for only the third time in her three-year career

• With the loss, the Dream dropped their seventh-straight contest

 

POSTGAME QUOTES SKY GENERAL MANAGER & HEAD COACH JAMES WADE

On how they prepared offensively to play [Tiffany] Hayes and [Jessica] Breland:

“They’re a good team, we played against them the first game. It’s difficult, it’s difficult. We just tried to study as much film as possible, we worked on the things that their strong at and tried to put them in difficult situations but it’s tough because we know they’re a good team so you know we just prepared as much as we can.”

On how the team did in terms of coming together:

“I thought we did pretty good, I mean if you take away the first quarter because we started off not great at all, but the rest of the way we outscored them 20 points. You can’t play around with teams in this league, especially at home. The outcome it was good but we have to find solutions to the problem of how we started and that’s the challenging part. If we can start the way we finish, then I think we’ll be fine.”

 

SKY FORWARD CHEYENNE PARKER

On her season-high six rebounds in the first half, what she put into practice to get there:

“I’ve been putting in a little extra work, you know I’ve been struggling a little bit personally, so I’ve been putting in extra work. I’ve been working in the gym going to get it, doing some drills with my coach. I think just getting that extra work helps. Staying on my toes and focusing on going to get the ball.”

On the team’s dynamic:

“I think our team dynamic is great, we practice a lot and we play a lot together with each other. Just the groups that he puts in together, it helps us with our chemistry on the court once game time comes.”

On what they are taking away from tonight’s game to prepare for the next one:

“Just to have a better start, we want to make sure we put the team away early. The first quarter we played with them a little bit so I think we’re going to focus a lot on starting better next game.”

 

SKY GUARD DIAMOND DESHIELDS

On her career-high 12 rebounds:

“I mean the ball was just in a place for me to go get it, my shots weren’t falling tonight so just had to find other ways to be productive. Rebounding and defending was kind of the thing for me tonight.”

On the team’s performance:

“I think it was really good, I mean we got off to a slow start. Our bench came in and gave us really, really good minutes and then the starters came in and we finished the game off. Unfortunately, we needed a pick me up, that’s something we’re gonna work on moving forward, but I think the team dynamic was really good.”

On what they do to prepare for a team like Atlanta:

“We knew Atlanta was a team that went 15-2 after the All-Star break last year, so we came into it as if it were a playoff game. Very business-like, despite the record we knew that Atlanta is a really good team with really good players and so we prepared for it as if it were a playoff game, just very focused, staying in tune with each other and our defensive schemes and you know ended up getting a win.”

DREAM HEAD COACH NICKI COLLEN

On Chicago’s offense:

“I think Chicago is probably offensively, besides Washington, the best offensive team in this league. They can stretch the floor at all five positions a lot of the time. It wasn’t one person that beat us, it was kind of a collective roster. I thought it would take 80 to beat them. I thought the last time we played them, we were close – we were almost right on that mark. I thought we didn’t execute coming out. For us, we have to get paint touches. The first five possessions of the game we didn’t get a paint touch. But I thought we obviously recovered out of that and had a lead after the first quarter.”

On why Brittney Sykes only played 11 minutes:

“I just didn’t think she was flying around. I don’t think she was aggressive. She had three turnovers in 11 minutes. She got backcut by Diamond on a baseline out of bounds when I said to watch for the back cut. Sometimes it comes down to focus and energy and effort. Sometimes players don’t have it. Sometimes teams don’t have it. If you watch enough games in this league, there are days that players and teams are just off, and there’s no explanation for it because it’s not a rest situation. I just didn’t think she had it. I thought Nia was playing with more energy, I thought Nia [Coffey]handles the ball better, was defending better, you know.

DREAM FORWARD JESSICA BRELAND

On the difference from the first quarter and the rest of the game:

“Energy, right, energy. We started off really well, energy was high. A lot of that was Tiffany Hayes. You saw she got out and she stole the ball, she hit this crazy layup – all that gives us energy. We kind of lost it. When referees get in the game and stuff happens, we had that stretch when we were just standing around because Tiffany was down, that kind of took away some of our energy. Like Coach said, we just gotta go out there and run around and find it no matter what.”