UNCASVILLE, CT – When it comes to thrilling playoff games, there’s little the Chicago Sky could do to top their performance on Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.
That’s because the team had to go two overtimes while getting a historic performance from a veteran guard to grab home floor advantage in the WNBA semifinals.
Courtney Vandersloot’s triple-double – just the second in WNBA history – and a league playoff record 18 assists helped the Sky to a 97-93 victory that took two extra sessions to decide. They also handed the top-seeded Connecticut team just their second loss in their last 16 games on the same day they had members of the team win MVP, Most Improved, and Coach of the Year awards.
It was a momentous day for a Sky team that has now won three-straight playoff games as they seem to be hitting their stride after an up-and-down regular season in which the team dealt with plenty of injuries. Now they can grab control of the series on Thursday night as they face the Sun for Game 2 of the best-of-five semifinals at Mohegan Sun Arena.
A few fans around the league might have been surprised by the Sky’s ability to pull off a win in Connecticut, but the team hardly views themselves as upstarts as they chase the franchise’s first WNBA title.
“We don’t really see ourselves as underdogs. I think everyone else maybe does,” said forward Stefanie Dolson. “For us, we had an up-and-down season, it’s been an Olympic season, we’ve had injuries. It’s been a while since we’ve had our entire team together. The last few months is the first time that we had that, and so we finally we’re able to kinda build that chemistry and that trust and that identity that we have now.
“Although to the outside world we may seem as underdogs, to us, we came in with the same fighting chance.”
Should they win again, they’d have the shot to clinch just their second WNBA Finals appearance when the series shifts to Chicago for Game 3 at Noon Sunday at Wintrust Arena.