09/26 18:44 CDT Vandersloot leads balanced Sky past Lynx 89-76
Vandersloot leads balanced Sky past Lynx 89-76
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) --- Courtney Vandersloot led a balanced offense with 19 points
and the sixth-seeded Chicago Sky raced past the third-seeded Minnesota Lynx
89-76 in the second-round, single elimination WNBA playoff game on Sunday night.
Chicago opens the best-of-five semifinals series at Connecticut on Tuesday. The
Sun closed the regular season with 14 straight wins but lost 2 of 3 to Chicago
in the regular season.
Vandersloot, a regular-season assist champion for five straight seasons, scored
15 points in the second half, eight in the fourth quarter, including two steals
and layups. She contributed five assists but said the scoring mentality was
"I (said) before the game I was gonna be aggressive," she said. "I just wanted
to get to that next round, it was all that was on mind so I just wanted to be
aggressive and hopefully make some shots today."
Kahleah Copper scored 16 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Sky, Azure
Stevens added 15 points, Diamond DeShields 14 and Ali Quigley 11.
The Sky, who lost four of six coming into the playoffs, won with a 22-6
advantage in fast break points fueled by 11 steals. They also dominated inside
with a 37-29 rebound margin and made 19 of 20 free throws, 10 more than the
Aerial Powers led Minnesota, which had won 9 of 10 to end the regular season,
with 24 points. Kayla McBride added 19 and Sylvia Fowles 17.
Fowles, who was announced as the WNBA's Defensive Player of the Year for the
fourth time in her career before the game, had 13 points at halftime and didn't
score in the fourth quarter.
"She was really dominant all season long (but) our post players did incredible
job," Vandersloot said. "It was a team effort tonight, trying to make things
difficult for her."
Chicago led 42-38 at the half with Copper scoring 11 points. Vandersloot had
seven points in the third quarter when Chicago led by as many as 10.
Up 62-56 entering the fourth quarter, a steal and layup by Vandersloot made it
75-61 with 6:07 to play. Minnesota's next five baskets were 3-pointers but
McBride's desperation 3-pointer that banked in from the top of the key only
pulled the Lynx with 82-76 with 1:51 to play.
No more shots fell for Minnesota and Chicago made 7 of 8 free throws.
"We've been working all season to be playing our best basketball right now so
we're feeling pretty good," Vandersloot said. "Obviously Connecticut has been
playing really good basketball ... but we're going to focus on us and try to
continue the momentum."
More AP women's basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and