They came in busloads, all sporting different colored T-shirts, but saluting the same thing.
It was "Skylar Diggins Day" at Allstate Arena on Sunday night.
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OK, OK. It wasn't exactly her day, but it was Diggins' Tulsa Shock taking on the Chicago Sky in another matchup of two of the most hyped rookies in WNBA history: Diggins and the Sky's Elena Delle Donne.
Diggins showed she still has quite a loyal following of fans from South Bend, including her former mentor, Notre Dame head coach Muffet McGraw. They all exited the busses happy and eager, wearing their favorite player's name across their backs or their chests, and they cheered loudly when Diggins opened with a quick driving layup for the first points of the game.
But the Notre Dame/Diggins contingent didn't leave quite as happy as they came because the Sky's players turned Diggins' day into their day.
The Sky stretched a 2-point halftime lead into a breezy 92-71 victory over Tulsa to run its record to 3-0 on the season. The Shock, which was missing 6-foot-8 center Liz Cambage (ankle), dropped to 0-4.
"Notre Dame has the greatest fan base in the country and they do a great job of traveling. They're like my family, so I wasn't surprised they came out like that," said Diggins, who shed some tears during the postgame question-and-answer session that she conducted with the fans from the busses. "They're always very supportive, no matter where I am. It was great to see my friends and family, and some familiar faces."
Diggins' game wasn't so great, at least not by her standards. She had just 8 points on 3-of-10 shooting, and 3 turnovers.
Said Diggins: "I still have a lot to work on: less turnovers, being more aggressive, making better reads off ball screens. I have to push the ball in transition better and get up in pressure defense without fouling."
Meanwhile, Delle Donne likely has her own rookie laundry list of things to work on. But she still has managed to put up solid numbers in her first three games.
With 15 points, including a 3-for-3 clip from 3-point range, Delle Donne was one of five Sky players to score in double figures. The Sky also got a game-high 19 points out of guard Epiphanny Prince, 16 points from reserve forward Tamera Young, 14 from forward Swin Cash and 10 from center Sylvia Fowles, who also blocked 5 shots and pulled down 13 rebounds for her second straight double-double.
"I just try to be ready at all times," Young said of her mentality coming off the bench. "My role is normally defense, but tonight, I had opportunities on offense. I got touches so I just tried to make the most of it."
Forward Glory Johnson led the Shock with 15 points while Riquna Williams added 10 points. They were the only double-figure scorers for Tulsa.