We were very happy to be back "On the Beat" at yesterday's Chicago Sky game, especially since they beat the Dallas Wings 90-84. The Sky has now won consecutive games, to bring their record to 5-12.
As always, I arrived early at the Allstate Arena. I like to soak in every minute of these experiences. As I drove to Rosemont, battling the downpour, I wondered what the attendance would be.
That question was quickly answered as I arrived at the arena. Ninety minutes before the game, there was a huge crowd waiting for the doors to open. The crowd eventually grew to over 14,000. Again, a large percentage of the crowd was youngsters, who were excited, loud and well-behaved.
The Sky and Wings were tied at the end of the first quarter, but the Sky fell behind 50-46 at halftime. This game was a battle.
The third quarter was owned by the Sky, as they outscored the Wings 32-13 to take the lead at 78-63. The Sky would never relinquish the lead, surviving a 21-12 comeback by the Wings in the fourth quarter.
Guard Allie Quigley topped all scorers with 22 points. As a team, the Sky shot 53% from the field, 48% from 3 point land and 57.1% from the free throw line. The Wings shot 39.2%, 29.6% and 90% respectively in those categories.
Forward Jessica Breland took the rebounding honors with 12. The Sky had 10 offensive rebounds and 30 defensive rebounds for a total of 40. The Wings had 10 and 17 for a total of 27.
In the post-game media session, Coach Amber Stocks praised her team for their effort, especially without the services of Cappie Pondexter, who sat out due to the concussion protocol. Coach Stocks talked about the big third quarter, the three point shooting and about Allie Quigley and Keisha Hampton, who flanked her at the session.
One reporter asked the players about their time at DePaul, since both came from that school. Coach Stocks expanded on their answers by praising the DePaul program and Coach Doug Bruno.
I'd say it was a very happy media session, but Coach Stocks always keeps things professional and positive. Her media sessions are interesting and refreshing. I admit I did not know much about Coach Stocks prior to this season, but I have to say how much respect I have for her. She is coaching the team during a transitional time. After losing Elena Delle Donne, the team took criticism for trading the face of the franchise and one of the league's best players. Prior to the start of this season, Stocks replaced former Head Coach Pokey Chatman, inheriting a lot of questions.
She has handled all gracefully. Despite a 5-12 record, there are a lot of positive signs. A little more consistency could have that record drastically improved. I can honestly say, I have never seen the Sky give up. They fight to the end.
Below is the post-game media session featuring Coach Stocks. I will share the rest of the media session in the next couple days.
Thank you to the Chicago Sky for their hospitality. Thank you to Coach Stocks for her time and consideration. I encourage everyone to join the fun at a future Sky game. Check out Sky.WNBA.com for all of the news, scheduling and other info.