UNCASVILLE, Conn. – There’s something about overtime basketball in Connecticut. Those five extra minutes bring something special to Sky and Courtney Vandersloot.
In last year’s semifinal game against the Connecticut Sun, Vandersloot had the second triple-double in WNBA playoff history in a Sky OT victory at Mohegan Sun Arena. On Sunday, Lindsay Wallen (2,348) moved into third on the league’s all-time assists list (2,350) with 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Her 2,349th assist came on her overtime goal for Emma Mieseman.
“Lindsay is one of my all-time favorite players,” Vandersloot said. It is special to be mentioned among these players. I always say, I play with a bunch of bucket-getters.
Ally Quigley came off the bench to score 5 quick points with less than three minutes left in overtime to lead the Suns to a 95-92 victory on Sky Sports. Kahleh Copper had a game-high 27 points. Azura Stevens had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
The Suns are holding opponents to 33.4 points in the paint, but at the half, they’ve given up 34 to the Sky. They settled down in the third quarter, allowing just eight and holding the Copper scoreless. A fourth quarter outburst from Copper (13 points) helped the Sky outscore the Suns 62-56.
“We stuck to what we wanted to do,” coach/general manager James Wade said. “Being able to get the ball outside and get up there helped us change the floor.”
Candace Parker missed her second straight game with a covid-related illness. When asked what symptoms Vad Parker was experiencing, she said she was under the weather. He said her absence was an attempt to ensure she would be ready to go for Tuesday’s game against the Dallas Wings at Wintrust Arena.
For the Sky and Sun, who have already made the playoffs, these games of the season are all about defending their seed. The Las Vegas Aces, Seattle Hurricanes and Washington Mystics also earned playoff spots. The fifth-place Mystics are 4œ games behind the Sky (23-7), who have the league’s best record.
“To be honest, we don’t pay attention. [the playoff race]” Vandersloot said Friday. “We’re focused on us, making sure we’re improving. We have many things to improve.
One of these areas is routing.
Sky spent 26 points down. The Sun erased the Sky’s 17-point lead and took a one-point lead with less than a minute left in the period.
Two layers of copper brought the sky back to rest. Copper clutched her right hip to the rim after the second drive and stayed on the floor for about a minute after the second quarter ended. She was able to return to the locker room.
Wade said in a news conference after the Sky’s 89-81 win over the New York Liberty that Copper “literally had to be killed” for a bad call. She made frequent contact in the paint on Sunday and didn’t go to the foul line until the fourth quarter.
Wade said Copper is broken but expects to be ready to play at home against the Wings. The Sky are 12-2 at Wintrust Arena. Their 10-game home winning streak is the best in franchise history.
They will play four consecutive home games before finishing the regular season on the road against the Aces and Phoenix Mercury.