On Friday night the defending Eastern Conference Champion Chicago Sky made their 2015 preseason debut at the Bob Carpenter Center hosting the New York Liberty in a game presented by the Delaware Lottery. Fueled by 16 points from Elena Delle Donne and the tremendous support of the Delaware faithful the Sky defeated the Liberty 83-55.
“It was a great win,” said Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Done. ”Obviously there is a ton of work to do, but it was a great first game.”
As the Sky took the court in Newark once again all eyes were on Delaware native and University of Delaware alum, Elena Delle Donne. Despite just three points from Delle Donne in first quarter, the WNBA’s 2014 Sixth Woman of the Year Allie Quigley picked up where she left off last season, by scoring four points in her first two minutes of action off the bench to keep the Sky within striking distance after one, 16-14.
A steal and layup by forward Tamera Young sparked a 16-0 Chicago Sky run midway through the second quarter as the Sky took a commanding 14-point lead and never looked back. The run featured back-to-back jump shots from Delle Donne and five points from guard Jacki Gemelos off the bench. The Sky outscored the Liberty 26-12 in the second quarter to carry a 12-point advantage into the half, 40-28.
Chicago carried its hot shooting into the second half, starting the third quarter on an 8-2 run as Courtney Vandersloot connected on a pair of three pointers. A timeout with just under four minutes in the quarter ignited an 8-0 Sky run that included rookie Cheyenne Parker’s first two points. At the end of three, the Sky led 61-43.
Chicago outscored New York 22-12 in the final quarter, and pulled away for an 83-55 victory. Delle Donne led all scorers in the game with 16 points and eight rebounds while Gemelos finished with 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Cappie Pondexter finished with five points and two rebounds in her Chicago Sky debut and first time playing alongside teammate Elena Delle Donne.
“I think we’re a good balance for each other,” said Pondexter. “We will take a lot of the pressure off each other.”
Chicago rounds out preseason play with a two-day tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The Sky will play the Los Angeles Sparks at 4:00 p.m. on May 27th and the Chinese Olympic Team at 5:00 p.m. on the 28th. The team’s roster will be finalized to 12 by June 4, prior to the Sky opening its 10th season on June 5 at Allstate Arena against the Indiana Fever. To purchase tickets call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET.