Sparks survive late push the Sky, win 77-67

Rosemont Ill. – The Sparks held off a fourth-quarter Sky surge to win 77-67 Wednesday, and go 19-1.

The hosts were outnumbered in every facet of the game. Los Angeles shot 55 percent and the Sky, 39 percent, and the Sparks had eight blocks to Chicago’s one.

Nneka Ogwumike led five Los Angeles players in double figures with 20 points and 11 rebounds – her ninth season double-double. Elena Delle Donne had 15 points for the Sky.

“I just go out there and I’m just as aggressive as I can,” Ogwumike said. “I think efficiency is a big part of my game. I know when to take a good shot and my teammates are always great at finding me, so I have a good time just playing out there and I’m having fun out there.”

Chicago coach Pokey Chatman gave props to the red-hot Sparks.

“Obviously LA is a very good team, and it’s not about trying to find moral victories”, she said. “It’s about finding momentum for the next game. Despite them shooting a high percentage from the field, I thought we were able to do some good things. I thought we were able to get some good looks for some very good players and sometimes that is lost when you lose a basketball game.”

“But the challenge is to string together more positive minutes, make sure we watch the video, take care of some technical things and get ready for our next game.”

It wasn’t all bad for Chicago, as they did have a glimmer of hope in the fourth quarter. Down by 15, they went on a 13-4 run to make it 72-66, with 2:17 left. But they missed on both their next two possessions, and then Los Angeles guard Kristi Toliver sunk a three-point dagger.

The Future is in Good Hands…With the Sky

The Sky hosted camp day for the match up, and with that Allstate Arena set a new single-game attendance record, with 16,444 fans in attendance. Delle Donne said players are trying to set a good example for the next generation.

“They’re impressionable, they’re young,” she said. “So if you can inspire a few of them out there, who knows what their dreams may be.  They get to see confident women who have been working years on this, and we’re in this great league.  So hopefully we were able to inspire some of them.  It’s always great to see them out there.  Sometimes they cheer for the other team though, we’re going to have to talk to them about that.”

Guard Allie Quigley is just happy these kids have professionals to look up to.

“It’s inspiring because [I] think back to when I was their age I was going to college games, high school games, and looking up to [those] athletes,” she said. “It’s great that they have a professional team here, and I would have loved it when I was their age if we had one to support so it’s great that we can be that for them.”