Rosemont Ill. – The Chicago Sky found a way to hold off the Seattle Storm Friday night, 92-88, but not before giving the fans some excitement before the final buzzer.
Chicago held a ten-point lead to start the fourth quarter, and it looked like they were on their way to an easy victory before Seattle mounted a last-second comeback.
The Sky clung to a two-point lead with 4.8 seconds to go when Storm point guard Sue Bird threw up a shot, which bounded off the rim and sealed a Sky win.
“Bottom Line, a win’s a win”, Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “Despite how close the game got towards the end, there were so many good things that we were able to do against a Seattle team that plays a lot of small ball so it forces you to change your defensive scheme and we didn’t lose rhythm offensively.”
Chicago forward Tamera Young’s performance was definitely one of those good things, as she had a season-high 24 points and four rebounds. She attributed her performance to a very special new teammate, Taliyah Jackson.
Jackson, who has Mitochondrial Encephalitis and Ataxia signed a one-day contract with the Sky for Friday’s game and the Sky certainly gave her a memorable performance with four players scoring double figures.
“It started this morning having a new teammate,” Young said. “Her energy and inspiration just made me more loose. Normally I’m nervous before a lot of games and that just kind of loosened us up having her around.”
Elena Delle Donne notched 22 points for Chicago, and Cappie Pondexter and Courtney Vandersloot added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Bird attributed the loss to a poor performance early on.
“We had a little bit of a rough start, they came out pretty aggressive, obviously scored I want to say it was like 9-0 to start the game,” Bird said. “And I’m sure if you look at the stats, that right there could’ve been the game-changer. So getting off to a good start is always important, especially on the road, and we didn’t do that.”
“Our second half was much better. Not necessarily the start of the third quarter, but probably midway and on. Our coach told us some stats like we only had one turnover, we went to the free throw line well, and we gave ourselves a chance.”
Bird had 15 points and rookie Breanna Stewart had 13.