Rosemont Ill. – With four players scoring in double figures, The Sky notched their fourth consecutive win following the Olympic break as they defeated San Antonio, 97-73.
Elena Delle Donne lead the Sky with 35 points, but it was their defense that best epitomized the contest.
“I think it was a tale of two halves defensively for us”, Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “We weren’t dictating as much in the first half and allowed them to score 47 points. We made some adjustments at halftime. Players became a lot more aggressive and we gave up 26 in the second half.”
“I think offensively they’ve shown that they’re a pretty good team and can score the basketball, so we maintain our pace on that end of the floor.”
Both halves equated to defensive season-highs for Chicago. After allowing the Stars to shoot 60 percent from the field during the first half, they were able to hold San Antonio to only 22.8 percent shooting in the second half.
Not to be lost, however, is while most of the country is taking time off of work this weekend, Chicago is performing their best. Following the nearly month long Olympic break the Sky find themselves with their sights set solely on the playoffs.
“Off the break we’re trying to clinch the playoffs,” Delle Donne said. “It’s really exciting we’re able to get these wins, and especially now that we’re heading on the road, and we’ve got some tough travel ahead of us so we need that momentum to keep pushing forward.”
Delle Donne spoke highly of rookie Imani Boyette, who had 10 points in the win.
“One of my roles is being a scorer for this team…so I’m just trying to always be on attack. People like Imani are setting great screens, they’re clogging the paint so there can’t be too much help, so [I’m] attacking the basket, trying to get to the free-throw line,” Delle Donne said.
In her fourth season, Delle Donne now has 2,151 career points, second all-time in Sky franchise history.
San Antonio rookie guard Moriah Jefferson, who scored 18, noted that they needed to do a better job defending the reigning MVP.
“We were trying to do something to contain Elena Delle Donne,” Jefferson said. “She had an amazing game; when a player goes for 35 there’s not much you can do after that. We need to rebound a lot better, which was one of the things we talked about and we didn’t do that. Those two things really killed us.”
It has been a tough season for the Stars, who now sit at 6-22 on the season and were mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in the loss. Forward Monique Currie is trying to use the rest of the 2016 campaign to improve and look ahead to next season.
“Just to leave everything on the floor,” she said. “To take care of the little things and not just look at the season as a whole but kind of look toward the future and see how we can get better and how players individually can get better moving forward to next year.”