WNBA: Delle Donne’s Historic Game Lifts Sky Past Dream in OT

WNBA: Delle Donne’s Historic Game Lifts Sky Past Dream in OT

(2014 File photo)

CHICAGO- After five consecutive road games, the Chicago Sky (4-3) returned to the sold out Allstate Arena on Wednesday morning to host the Atlanta Dream (3-6) at 11:30 am CT in the first of two “Camp Day” games of the season. Led by 45 points and 11 rebounds from Elena Delle Donne, the Sky outlasted the Dream 100-96 in overtime.

This game marked the second matchup of the season between the Sky and Dream in 2015. The Sky fell to the Dream 73-74 in Atlanta on June 19th at the hands of Angel McCoughtry, who hit the game winning shot as time expired. Much like the previous matchup, Atlanta got off to a hot start, scoring many of their early points in transition. Elena Delle Donne kept Chicago in the contest in the first quarter, finishing the quarter with eight points and two blocks.

“We just wanted to win. At this point, being 3-3, we wanted to show that we could be consistent and put two wins together; so, that was the biggest focus,” said Delle Donne.

Chicago started the second quarter on a blistering 9-0 run, led by Cappie Pondexter, who hit two acrobatic lay-ups in transition and a free throw to convert a three-point play. McCoughtry kept the Dream in the contest, finishing the first half with 14 points. Delle Donne led the Sky with 19 first-half points as the Sky led 40-34 at intermission.

The Sky put on an offensive clinic in the third quarter, scoring 29 points and shooting 50% from the floor. Delle Donne continued to score at will, as she delivered 11 points in the third quarter. Allie Quigley played all ten minutes of the third quarter, adding six points to help lead Chicago.

The Sky led the Dream 69-57 to begin the fourth quarter but Atlanta battled back, gradually chipping into the Sky’s lead. Matee Ajavon‘s free throws with 3:16 remaining in the fourth quarter gave Atlanta a one point lead, the Dream’s first lead since the end of the first quarter. Atlanta went up by two with 2:18 to go but then Quigley’s jumper with 1:38 left tied the game at 84. Clarissa dos Santos and Pondexter both split a pair of free throws in the final minute giving the Sky an 86-84 lead with 26.2 seconds remaining. Atlanta once again went to McCoughtry, who hit a lay-up in traffic with eight seconds remaining to tie the game at 86 and force overtime as the Sky could not convert on their final offensive possession of regulation.

A Quigley jumper gave the Sky the lead with 4:19 to play in overtime and the Sky never looked back, outscoring the Dream 14-10 in the extra period. Chicago would go on to defeat Atlanta 100-96, improving to 4-3 on the season, evening out the season series with the Dream. Delle Donne scored a career-high 45 points, recorded a career-high six blocks and pulled down 11 rebounds, marking her third consecutive double-double. Chicago’s starting five of Delle Donne, Vandersloot, Pondexter, Quigley and Breland combined for 95 out of the team’s 100 total points.

The Sky will look to maintain momentum from two consecutive wins as they return to action on Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse against the Indiana Fever. Tip off is set for 6:00pm CT on The U Too.

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Denise J. Saul is the Founder/President of WSEN-Women's Sports & Entertainment Network.

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