POSTGAME NOTES & QUOTES: Sky drop home game vs. Fever

SKY NOTES:

● Courtney Vandersloot’s seven first quarter points are the most she’s scored in any first quarter so far this season.

● Gabby Williams recorded 3 steals, a season-high.

● The Sky grabbed 25 rebounds, their lowest rebound total of the season.

● Allie Quigley did not score until three minutes into the third quarter, only the second time this season she did not score in the first half.

● This is the Sky’s first home loss of the season.

 

FEVER NOTES:

● Fever head coach Pokey Chatman is now 4-4 against the Chicago Sky, whom she coached from 2011-2016.

● Coming off of a career-high 15 rebounds in her last game, rookie center Teaira McCowan secured 13 rebounds.

● The Fever’s 10 first-half turnovers are the most they’ve had in the first half of any game this season.

● The Fever shot 60% from three-point range in the first half, 6-10, and 47% for the game overall.

● Erica Wheeler recorded a new season high for points with 28.

● Candice Dupree picked up her third double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

 

POSTGAME QUOTES

SKY HEAD COACH/GM JAMES WADE

On the difference between the Fever in this game and Wednesday:

“I think they were hungrier. This is a good team. We lost to them twice and when you coach somewhere and you beat them on their home floor, they take it personal. They came out with energy and they put us on our heels in the beginning. It took us a while to get back in the game and by the time we got back in the game, it was too much of a mountain to climb.”

 

On what he told his team when down 20 points:

“I apologized. I felt like I let the [referees] get to me early in the game and when you do that, it takes the focus away from what we need to be doing. Life isn’t fair and it’s more pressing things than referees going on in the world. I gotta be able to control myself, even when I know that stuff isn’t fair or stuff isn’t right. I need to focus on the game. Being a rookie coach, I can’t let that get to me and it won’t happen again.”

 

SKY GUARD DIAMOND DESHIELDS

On putting together two strong halves:

“It’s more than just saying, ‘We’re ready to play.’ It’s really approaching the game from the jump. Not just saying, ‘We want to focus,’ but knowing that it’s going to take a little extra effort. Especially in games like this.”

On moving on to Sunday’s game:

“Just do it. Can’t dwell on this, that’s for sure. If we do that, we’re already defeated in my eyes. That’s a good team coming in here, we have a good record here at home and we want to defend our home court. You’ve gotta move on, you’ve gotta forget about it. Just come with a new attitude tomorrow and be ready to work and take on a good team Sunday.”

 

SKY FORWARD JANTEL LAVENDER

On Coach Wade’s honesty:

“It’s refreshing. I think that our team has really taken to [Wade] well. He’s creating a culture here that we feel how disappointed he is in losses like this. Knowing someone cares, having a coach that shows emotions, honestly you can’t do anything better than that…I think we all take it personal when we let him down in games like this.”

On the Sky’s bench:

“I think that this is a professional league. I don’t really consider it a bench, I think everybody is good. Everybody brings something different to the table and we all challenge each other…We’re all professionals and I think everybody is good.”

 

FEVER HEAD COACH POKEY CHATMAN

On Erica Wheeler:

“Well you know, we have been talking to her the last few games about taking shots that are available to her, we tell them all the time, ‘that if you don’t take a shot, that’s like someone taking a bad shot.’ I think teams have been going under her on screens and I just appealed to her ego and say, ‘it’s disrespectful because you shoot really well,’ and she answered the call today, but she also had 8 assists, so she had a nice combination of things.”

On the Sky’s fourth-quarter run:

“Listen, we were up 20 and it vanished in a nanosecond, because they’re a high-powered offensive team. We knew the run was coming, it did, but thankfully we were able to win the game with our defense despite that, but that doesn’t surprise me, they’re a g ood-ass team.

On snapping a two-game losing streak:

“You always wanna protect home and steal a few on the road and we have respect for every team in this league and I think Chicago is one of the hottest teams so it should give them some momentum. I think the beauty of this league is you can’t get too high or too low, you’re like a strained calf away from a starter being down because the schedule is so tight so we’ll just regroup and probably enjoy this for another hour or so before we travel to Seattle.”

On Candice Dupree’s 40-minute performance and double-double:

“She played 40 minutes against a team that runs the ball a lot and she’s so efficient with her movement, she knows when to dive she knows when to fill but she’s also a leader in those moments when you have to call timeout because they’re going on a run. I mean I called one timeout to rest her, that’s just how much we trust her.”

 

FEVER GUARD ERICA WHEELER

On snapping the two-game losing streak:

“It feels good. We’ve been losing close games, and they were on a four, five-game losing streak and they hadn’t lost at home, so for us to come in here and get this win, it means a lot and gives us some juice.”

On her performance, including a season-high 28 points:

“I was just out of my head, just playing my game, taking the shots they were giving me, just running the team and making the right passes.”

On how the Fever held off the Sky:

“They’re going to make their runs. Chicago’s a great team. We got down, but we didn’t shake. We stayed poised, and we closed it out.”

 

FEVER FORWARD CANDICE DUPREE

On her third double-double of the season

” It felt pretty good, I think we started off the game really well, we put them in a 20-point hole, unfortunately we weren’t able to close it out and end up by 20, so we need to do a better job on capitalizing on that, but I think we held our composure and closed out with a win.”

On the Fever’s strengths Friday :

“I think definitely our defense. We did a much better job this time around of executing our game plan, taking away what their strengths are, especially with player personnel, I thought we did a very good job. I think [Allie] Quigley had zero points in the first half. Overall, I thought we did a really good job defensively.”

On Erica Wheeler:

“Just being aggressive. The last four games, she’s been a little passive, passing up shots. So we’ve been in her ear saying if you pass up shots, the chances are we’re gonna get a bad shot out of it. So she was aggressive. They went under screens, and she made some shots for us, knocked down free throws at the end. She played really well.”

 

NEXT UP

The Sky are next scheduled to take on the Connecticut Sun (9-1) on June 23 at Wintrust Arena.

Tip-off is slated for 5 p.m. CST and the game will be broadcast on WCIU Chicago and NBA TV.