The Chicago Sky staged a ring ceremony Tuesday night at Allstate Arena.
No, not that kind of ring ceremony -- although star center Sylvia Fowles sure ended up making a case for a team celebration.
Prior to tip-off against the Washington Mystics, she was presented with the ring she earned as a part of the U.S. national team that won the FIBA World Championships last October.
Fowles then went out and played like she was determined to get her and her teammates sized for WNBA championship rings at the end of this season.
Dominant in the paint from start to finish, Fowles had her best game of the season in leading the Sky to a convincing 78-65 victory over the Washington Mystics. She rolled up a game-high 34 points, 1 point off of her career high, as well as 16 rebounds.
She was super efficient with the ball, hitting 10-of-16 field goals and knocking down 14 of her 17 free throw attempts.
"I had to redeem myself," Fowles said. "After the last few games, the last few losses, I felt I wasn't playing to my potential. And I wasn't doing the things I should have been doing and I felt like I was letting the team down.
"I just wanted to go out and get the job done."
The victory snaps a three-game losing streak for the Sky, which improves to 5-6 on the season. The Mystics, down its starting backcourt (guards Monique Currie and Alana Beard) and leading scorer (forward Crystal Langhorne) to injury, drops to 2-7. They got a team-high 14 points from forward Marissa Coleman.
"It feels good to be back on the winning side," Fowles said. "We didn't want to continue this slump and get our heads real down and think negative."
The Sky saw positive returns right from the start, jumping out to an early 6-point lead and extending that to as many as 11 points by halftime. The lead continued to grow in the second half, swelling to as many as 17 points in the third quarter.
Unlike its previous three games -- two losses to the Phoenix Mercury and one loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars -- the Sky didn't fizzle after the break and allow big leads to be erased.
"We opened it and closed it," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "We've talked about empty minutes. We've been trying to eliminate some of that negative game flow and I thought we did tonight."
With 14 points and 5 steals, Epiphanny Prince also came big for the Sky, which could be solidly back on track in no time.
Over its next four games, the Sky plays only one team with a .500 record or better. The Liberty, which the Sky faces on Sunday in New York, is 5-5.
"Every game at this point is a must-win," Sky guard Erin Thorn said. "We don't want to famously get down to the last five games of the season and have to win or count on other people to lose. We want to control our own destiny. These games in this next stretch are very important."