A few days ago, Shay Murphy was playing beach volleyball and soaking up the bright California sun.
Little did she know that on Tuesday night against the Connecticut Sun, she'd be one of just a few bright spots for the Chicago Sky at Allstate Arena.
Murphy, a free agent forward who was acquired over the weekend after the Sky waived rookie guard Angie Bjorklund, scored 6 points, pulled down 5 rebounds and dished out 2 assists in her debut. She also got major hustle points on defense as well.
But while Murphy was shining, the Sky dulled up the game with turnover after turnover. The Sun scored 17 points off of the Sky's 20 turnovers en route to a 77-66 victory.
The loss drops the Sky to 8-10 on the season. The Sun, which entered the game just a half-game behind the Indiana Fever for first place in the Eastern Conference, improves to 10-5. In comparison, the Sun gave up just 8 points off of 11 turnovers.
"You end up negating some of the good things you do with the turnovers," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "Like, we shot 48 percent in the first half, but had10 first-half turnovers. We're digging ourselves a 10-foot hole and we have only a nine-foot ladder."
Speaking of holes, the Sky got down by as many as 13 points, and eventually cut the deficit to 6 points with 2:41 left in the game. But the Sun hit 8 straight free throws to ice the victory. Asjha Jones and Renee Montgomery each went 4-for-4 at the line down the stretch. Jones led Connecticut with 22 points and Montgomery added14 points, as did reserve Kara Lawson.
The Sun also got 21 points out of center Tina Charles, whose best contribution on the night might have been the way she defended Sky center Sylvia Fowles.
Charles fronted Fowles, pushed Fowles off the block and made life difficult from start to finish for the Sky's three-time all-star. Fowles finished with 14 points and 12 rebounds but never seemed to get into a rhythm offensively.
"It was a combination of everything going wrong at the right time," Fowles said. "For some reason, we just weren't getting me the ball where I needed to get it and that was a little bit of everything, balls being thrown too high (and Connecticut's defense).
"I could have also done some more work in the post to get some better shots."
The Sky, which shot better from the field than Connecticut (46.4 percent to 40.3 percent), also got double figures from Epiphanny Prince and Tamera Young. Prince led the Sky with 16 points, including a 3-for-5 clip from 3-point range, and Young added10 points.
"It's beyond frustration," Fowles said. "I really don't know what to say. We have everything that we need as a team. We just don't put it together when we need to."
• Patricia Babcock McGraw, who covers the WNBA for the Daily Herald, also provides color commentary for Chicago Sky broadcasts.