UNCASVILLE, CT – Lately, they’ve been good when it’s come to situations like the one they had on Tuesday night.
Coming into their Game 4 of the WNBA semifinals against the Sun, the Sky had won five-straight closeout games, which included single-elimination games along with series. They won one just a few weeks ago over the Liberty to advance to face Connecticut.
But that luck ran out quickly in this closeout chance, and their opponent had a lot to do with that.
Connecticut shot just under 57 percent from the floor and jumped on the Sky early at Mohegan Sun Arena, taking an eight-point lead after one and 17 by the half. They never let off the gas in a 104-80 victory that now forces a winner-take-all Game 5.
That will be on Thursday evening at 7 PM at Wintrust Arena, with the winner facing the Aces in the WNBA Finals.
It was a rare off night for the Sky this season, whose only two previous playoff losses were tight contests. It’s just their third loss by double digits during the 2022 season and easily their largets margin of defeat. The defending WNBA champions lost by 11 to the Storm on August 9th and to the Aces two days later in Las Vegas.
The 104 points allowed is the most by the Sky this season, having allowed 100 previously in an overtime win over the Dream on June 17th and in the loss to Seattle on August 9th.
“Just too many details that we missed,” said guard Allie Quigley of the effort. “We weren’t doing what we were supposed to do. We were supposed to do this scheme, we didn’t do that. We missed people behind us, we let them go back-door. We had too many moments when we just weren’t there and we weren’t ready.
“We just weren’t focused.”
It came at a bad time for a team so used to success in closeout games, and for a second time in the 2022 WNBA Playoffs, they’ve been forced to the brink in a series.