WNBA: Sky hold off Dream, Sun rout Fever

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at May 20 2021 10:56 AM

Kahleah Copper scored 23 points and Ruthy Hebard finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Chicago Sky to an 85-77 victory over the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday night in College Park, Ga.

The Sky (2-0) held off the Dream (0-2) after leading by 23 points in the first half. Chicago played without Candace Parker, who was out due to an ankle injury.

Astou Ndour-Fall finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sky, and Courtney Vandersloot had 12 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Diamond DeShields scored 11 points and dished out five assists.

Courtney Williams had 24 points and eight rebounds and Chennedy Carter added 21 points for the Sky.

Atlanta welcomed back veteran Tiffany Hayes, who opted out last season amid the COVID-19 pandemic and did not join the team until after the season-opening loss against Connecticut last week.

Hayes missed her first eight field-goal attempts before making a 3-pointer at the shot-clock buzzer with 5:18 left to cut Chicago's lead to 70-65. Hayes finished with five points on 1 of 10 shooting from the field.

Atlanta's Crystal Bradford hit another 3-pointer and Monique Billings sank one of two shots from the free-throw line to narrow the deficit to 70-69 with 3:51 left.

A three-point play and a jump shot by Ndour-Fall in consecutive possessions gave the Sky a 78-71 lead with 1:28 remaining.

After Williams made a jump shot with 1:18 to go, DeShields put Chicago ahead 80-73 on a jumper with 37.3 seconds left.

Copper, Hebard and Vandersloot were in double-figure scoring by halftime, when the Sky led 46-26.

The trio outscored Atlanta 35-26 at that point, shooting 14 of 27 from the field. The Dream made 11 of 35 (31.4 percent) from the field, 3 of 12 from the free-throw line and had 10 turnovers by halftime.

Atlanta was also outrebounded 27-19 by intermission and 47-35 in the game. The Dream were outrebounded 42-26 by the Connecticut Sun in last week's season-opening loss.

The Dream, who never led, were also deficient Wednesday at the free-throw line, making 12 of 24 overall.

The Sky barely finished with better field-goal success than the Dream, 40 percent to 39 percent. However, Chicago made 28 of 36 foul shots.

-- 17-0 run powers Sun to rout of Fever --

Natisha Hiedeman had 19 points, six assists and three steals and the Connecticut Sun reeled off 17 unanswered points while rolling to an 88-67 victory over the Indiana Fever at Uncasville, Conn. on Wednesday.

Jonquel Jones contributed 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Sun, who remain unbeaten after three games.

Brionna Jones supplied 16 points and five rebounds for Connecticut, and DeWanna Bonner added 13 points and seven rebounds. The Sun shot 55.2 percent from the field and made 10 of 21 3-point attempts.

Sun guard Briann January, who had five assists, left the game early in the second quarter with a lower leg injury.

Danielle Robinson amassed 12 points, four rebounds and three assists for the Fever, who are off to an 0-3 start. Tiffany Mitchell added 10 points, and Kelsey Mitchell tossed in nine points.

The Sun led 26-20 after one quarter. The gap was 31-26 before Connecticut erupted.

Thomas got it going with a 3-pointer. Following an Indiana shot-clock violation, Jonquel Jones drained a 3-pointer off a January feed.

Out of a timeout, Thomas made a layup off a Jonquel Jones bounce pass. After an offensive rebound by Bonner, Jonquel Jones scored off a Thomas pass.

The Fever called timeout, but it didn't stop the Sun's momentum. Hiedeman made a steal and converted a fastbreak layup. Brionna Jones stole the ball on Indiana's next possession and scored on a put-back.

Brionna Jones was fouled on the play and missed the free throw. However, Jonquel Jones got the ball back and fed it to Bonner, who punctuated the outburst with a 3-pointer for a 48-26 lead.

The Fever finished the half with a 7-2 spurt to cut Connecticut's advantage to 50-33 by halftime.

Hiedeman made another impressive defensive play early in the third quarter, stealing an inbounds pass. She went to the floor after a Fever player tried to steal it back and threw it to Bonner for a fastbreak bucket and a 54-35 lead.

A Jonquel Jones 3-pointer off a Heideman pass made it 59-37 midway through the period. Connecticut carried a 67-50 lead into the fourth, then scored the first 10 points of the final quarter.