Breland’s layup lifts Chicago past Phoenix

Phoenix, Ariz. – With a mere 0.2 seconds remaining in the contest, Jessica Breland hit the shot of the game for the Sky. Her put back layup lifted the team over the Mercury, 79-77.

Elena Della Donne notched a team-high 18 points for Chicago, and Jamierra Faulkner had 14. Breland finished with nine points and seven rebounds, none proving more important than her final two.

Despite a 12-point Chicago advantage at the half, Phoenix was able to mount a third quarter comeback, this coming after the ejection of Brittney Griner for pushing Sky guard Cappie Pondexter. The play also resulted in Pondexter’s ejection.

“It was really gutsy”, Pondexter said of the win afterward. “I think when it seemed like we lost an emotional leader in myself and every call wasn’t going our way, we continued to push through, and in the end it came down to just one possession, one play, and I think just because we didn’t give up we were able to win.”

Delle Donne knew it was going to take a total team effort.

“They definitely came back with a huge run, and we kind of knew they would,” she said. “They’re a great team. But we were able to change up the lineup a bit, and also change up to a zone back to man and try to mess with their offensive flow. It was a team effort, it took every single person out there.”

DeWanna Bonner led Phoenix with 20 points and eight rebounds. Candice Dupree and Diana Taurasi were also in double figures with 18 and 13, respectively. For Taurasi, she just wants her team to improve upon their inconsistencies.

“It’s pretty much been the story of our season, inconsistent play and that hurts you against good teams,” she said. “And not only that, we really haven’t finished games very well, we lost a lot of one possession games and those are tough, those hurt. So we just have to find a way to fix that when we get back and all get on the same page and hopefully go from there.”

The Sky return home to take on the Connecticut Sun Friday at 7:30 pm.