Chicago Sky forward Gabby Williams scored a game- and career-high 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the floor Friday night against the host Phoenix Mercury.
Although the Sky were unable to slow down the Mercury offense and dropped their fourth game of the season 96-79, the 26 points put up by Williams ties for the third most in franchise history, behind when Elena Delle Donne scored 32 as a rookie in 2013 and Jamierra Faulkner pouring in 27 in her first year in 2014.
MOST POINTS SCORED IN SINGLE GAME BY A SKY ROOKIE
|1||32||Elena Delle Donne (Aug. 11, 2013)|
|2||27||Jamierra Faulkner (July 1, 2014)|
|3 (T)||26||Elena Delle Donne (June 26, 2013)
Gabby Williams (June 8, 2018)
“She is a phenomenal utility player, and a smart, cerebral athlete,” Sky general manager and head coach Amber Stocks said. “She knows how to play to her strengths, and she plays within herself.”
Williams said she had to adjust her game offensively when going up against one of the league’s best in center Brittney Griner, who finished with 24 points and eight rebounds.
“It was just trying to stay out of the paint with Brittney Griner in there,” Williams said. “Just hit those mid-range jumpers and shots were falling. Attacking at full speed and getting to the rim.”
Williams’ accomplishments and her skills aren’t going unnoticed by her teammates, as guard Courtney Vandersloot said Williams always has an impact on the game even when she doesn’t put up big numbers.
“She’s a gamer,” Vandersloot said. “We knew from her UConn days that we can rely on her to put up numbers. She does so much more than that for us, and it’s not always going to show up in that stat sheet, but she can have nights like this. When she’s scoring like that, and we get other people to step up, we are going to be a lot better.”
Both teams had it going offensively in the game, as Phoenix shot just over 55 percent from the field and 45 percent from behind the 3-point line, compared to the Sky shooting just under 52 percent for the game.
“It was a good game.” Stocks said. “Phoenix really has done a great job of utilizing their strengths, and facilitating their offense around Brittney Griner, Diana Taurasi and DeWanna Bonner. We just could not quite find that rhythm offensively, and we really needed to find ways to get some points on the board early, and we just dug ourselves into a bit of a hole in that first quarter.”
The Sky fell behind 23-10 after the first quarter but played Phoenix almost even following the first frame. Five players scored in double figures for the Mercury.
The Sky welcomed back the services of guard Allie Quigley, who returned after missing the last two games to a strained hip adductor. She finished with nine points and four assists in 24 minutes.
The Sky will continue their West Coast trip as they travel to take on the Los Angeles Sparks Sunday. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. CST on at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.