Rosemont Ill. – The Sky were able to catch some falling Stars in their return to Allstate Arena Tuesday night, defeating San Antonio 81-75. It was a much-needed victory for the Sky, especially after going 1-4 on the recent road trip.
The contest started off rough for the reigning M.V.P. Elena Delle Donne, missing the first five shots she attempted. Her team, however would not let her down. Despite shooting just 36.8 percent in the first half, the were helped by a turnover less first quarter.
As the first half was winding down the Sky received another boost, the first basket of the game for Delle Donne. Although it took until the 3:48 mark in the second quarter, it gave the fans a preview of what the Sky forward was going to do during the second half when she would score 19 of her 23 points. Despite starting the game 0-5, she was not going to let that define her night
“I was getting really good looks, some of the shots just weren’t dropping, it felt in and out, some felt like there was a little contact, but I just had to stay focused and play through it and continue to attack,” Delle Donne said.
Undeterred by the Sky’s 10-point lead early in the fourth quarter, the Stars found a way to fight back, pulling to within two points with 1:25 remaining, thanks to a Jayne Appel-Marinelli jumper. However, a foul on an Imani Boyette-made layup would lead to a huge three-point play for the Sky, and end up being the dagger for San Antonio.
Stars coach Dan Hughes blamed his team’s inability to come back on their youth.
“We’re streaky, we’re really young…we have the ability to come back on you, we’ve done that a lot,” he said. “We also have the ability to not get consistency between our offense and our defensive play (when) things are getting kind of tough.”
Cappie Pondexter scored 15 points for the Sky, to go along with five rebounds. It was a good night for Pondexter off the court as well, as she received word that she was named to the WNBA Top 20at20 list
“It means a great deal. I never imagined coming into the WNBA, but I’ll be a part of history,” Pondexter said. “It’s overwhelming…just to be amongst that elite level of women, I feel blessed and today was just a great day for me.”
Rookie Moriah Jefferson scored a team-high 20 points for the Stars, who have now lost three straight, and being outscored 86-80 in the process.
The Sky will now go back on the road, visiting the New York Liberty Friday.