June 12, 2019 – Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA)Chicago Sky News Release

SKY NOTES

Courtney Vandersloot passed Shannon Johnson for eighth on the all-time WNBA assists list – Vandersloot had six assists in the first half and finished the game with eight total, the most assists of the game.

The Sky made 52.2% of their 3-pointers (12-for-23).

The Sky made five straight 3-pointers to start the second half.

Diamond DeShields made four 3s in the third quarter, one shy of the WNBA record for converted 3s in a quarter.

The Sky are now 3-0 at home this season.

The Sky’s 14 turnovers are their lowest total of the season.

MERCURY NOTES

DeWanna Bonner — the WNBA’s leading scorer this season — scored 13 of her game-high 28 points in the first quarter.

Bonner’s 28 points marked her third straight 20+ point game and her 19th consecutive game scoring double figures.

Center Brittney Griner recorded zero first-half rebounds, but finished with six rebounds to go with 16 points.

Bonner finished four assists shy of recording the first triple-double in the league this season and the eighth in WNBA regular season history.

The Mercury attempted twenty free throws, making 80%, compared to the Sky’s six attempts.

The Mercury made 29.4% of their 3-pointers, 5-for-17.

POSTGAME QUOTES

SKY HEAD COACH/GM JAMES WADE

On spreading the 3-point shots around:

“Everybody can shoot, even the coach. No, but I think what helps that out is we have willing passers and a lot of movement. We have players that attack closeouts, but with an open mind to look for the next player. We’ve had over 20 assists every game. When you do that, the floor opens up. I just credit them with ball movement and playing together and liking to play together.”

On defending Brittney Griner:

“We saw her every day. I’ve coached her for the last two years, and I’ve coached against her since she’s been in the league. It definitely helps being around somebody and knowing their tendencies. She’s a great player, so we had to really prepare for her. I think Stef [Dolson] and Cheyenne [Parker] did a good job for the player that [Griner] is. She had a good game, but just holding her in check, I think we did a good job.”

On the Sky’s identity:

“We talked about who we want to be today. We want to be a team that’s hard to play against. We want to be known as a winning team. When you come in our house, we want to represent that. We also talked about buy-in today. The players are so eager to buy in, it’s great working with them every day and them working together, but we want to have fun. The players, they work so hard every day, and they play this game because they love it. I just want to help them love it as much as they can.

On Katie Lou Samuleson’s injury:

“In the first game, she took a charge and came down on her wrist. What we initially thought was a sprain. It has a still fracture in there too. It won’t need surgery. It’ll heal on its own, so she’s in a cast for three weeks. After that, we’ll see. We expect her back some time after three weeks when she gets her range of motion and things of that nature.”

DIAMOND DESHIELDS

On how she feels after her collision with Brittney Griner:

“I feel fine. I’m good. She has high shoulders, so any time she screens you and you don’t see it, it’s gonna hit you high on your body. I’m good though.”

On limiting turnovers (the Sky committed a season-low 14) :

“He won’t let us forget that we have 20 turnovers every game, so with that, I feel like it’s embarrassing. I feel like we all feel that way. We don’t want to be known as that team. Hearing it each and every day, you can’t help but focus on it in the game. Tonight, we were a lot more careful. We still want to cut it. But 14 is progress.”

On how she feels about her 3-point shooting:”I feel good. I spend so much time on it, being that I didn’t go overseas. Literally, every day I was shooting, trying to perfect my form. Hopefully, we can normalize that behavior to the point where you guys don’t have to even bring it up in the postgame, and it’s normal.”

COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT

On how long it’ll take her to pass Tamika Catchings for seventh on WNBA assists list:

“If Diamond [DeShields] keeps making five catch-and-shoots a game, maybe a couple, I don’t know. I’m not really worried about that. If you look at my assists, there are a lot of just passing it to [DeShields] or ‘Stef’ [Stefanie Dolson]. They just knock down shots. I’m not out there doing anything special. My teammates are making shots, so I’m going to keep climbing on that list.”

On how she was able to contort her body around Brittney Griner and score:

“I’m thinking I don’t want to get blocked. I spent a lot of time playing against Brittney [Griner] in practice this past season, so I know that trying to draw her away from the basket, that’s when it opens stuff up for other teams. This one, the clock was going down, so I kind of had to find a way.”

MERCURY HEAD COACH SANDY BRONDELLO

On falling short on the road:

“Well I mean we’ve gotta give credit to Chicago, I thought they brought way more energy and they play really well at home. We didn’t come out and left way too many people open and they just shot the ball especially DeShields, I thought she played extremely well and I thought Vandersloot controlled the game and they were the better team tonight.”

On leaning heavily on starters and attempting to manage workloads:

“It’s tough to say, but the others just weren’t giving us what we needed to so I had to keep them out there since that was the only way we could get good rhythm and score, but we’ve gotta try and get some rest cause the games will start coming around much quicker than they usually do.”

On what to improve going forward:

“Everything. Defense, offense we’ve just gotta get better and find a way to finish games like the one tonight.”

DEWANNA BONNER

On 25-12-6 performance tonight:

“We lost. None of that matters since we didn’t win the game. I was just trying to be aggressive when I can but everytime we scored they just went out and hit a bigger bucket so we’ll go back and watch film but we lost the game.”

On playing 38 minutes in the loss:

“We’re not tired, I don’t think anybodys tired right now. It’s the beginning of the season, we just didn’t bring the appropriate energy from the beginning tonight and they play very very well at home, they play together and they’ve been playing together for a long time so it wasn’t being tired it was just not bringing the appropriate energy.”

On the Sky’s backcourt tonight

“Sloots a great point guard, she finds the open player she can make shots she gets people where they need to be and Quigley can shoot the heck out of the ball so it’s hard to keep up sometimes and they play well together. They’ve played together for a long time and it was shown tonight.”

BRITTNEY GRINER

On getting the Sky into foul trouble:

“It really didn’t make a difference tonight, we lost so in the end it didn’t end up mattering.”

On early rebounding struggles:”I’ve gotta crash harder. I’ve gotta get rebounds, I can’t have f*****’ zero rebounds at halftime so when I do that I’m not helping out my team so I’ve gotta do a better job on getting on the glass.”

On improving after 2-3 start:

“We’ve just gotta regroup, watch this film and come out way hungrier from myself down to the last player we’ve just gotta come out with more of a fight like we did against Las Vegas.”

NEXT UP

The Sky will next face the Indiana Fever on Saturday, June 15 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. and the game will be broadcasted on WCIU.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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