Often a fixture at Chicago Sky games with courtside seats at half-court of Allstate Arena, Doug Bruno was a rare miss for Wednesday's day game.
"I think he was out recruiting a big AAU tournament," said Sky guard Allie Quigley, who played for Bruno at DePaul.
Bruno, the women's basketball coach at DePaul for 30-plus years, would have loved this particular Sky game. He would have been beaming with DePaul pride.
Two former DePaul players, Quigley and Keisha Hampton, came up big in leading the Sky to its second straight victory. Behind a game-high 22 points from Quigley and a season-high 12 points from Hampton off the bench, the Sky edged the Dallas Wings 90-84 in front of a sellout crowd of 14,102 on camp day.
The Sky, which upset league-leading Minnesota last weekend, is now 5-12 on the season and has been playing strong team basketball. Of the Sky's 35 made field goals against the Wings, 31 were assisted.
Dallas, which was down by as many as 21 points but cut the deficit quickly in the fourth quarter by forcing the Sky into 7 of its 22 turnovers, drops to 9-11.
"I'm very excited about the way our team played across the board," Sky coach Amber Stocks said. "We've done a great job in practice of playing together. We've mixed up the lineups a little bit in practice and it was nice to see everyone jell and play well together."
The DePaul connection was certainly strong.
Quigley carried the day in the first half, scoring 18 of her points mostly on laser-precise shooting from 3-point range. She hit 5-of-6 3-pointers, including her first five straight.
Hampton came alive in the third quarter, scoring 9 points all on 3-pointers. She had also hit a 3-pointer in the second quarter to tally four 3-pointers on the game.
"Keisha has a great work ethic and a great basketball mind," Quigley said of Hampton, who missed playing with the older Quigley at DePaul by one year. "She's always ready to come in and shoot. Hard work has paid off for her."
Hard work has paid off for both Quigley and Hampton.
Both have had similar, meandering paths to the WNBA.
Quigley played with four WNBA teams in four years before settling with the Sky in 2013. Since then, she has been named the WNBA's Sixth Woman of the Year twice and is now a starter for the Sky.
Hampton suffered a serious knee injury her senior year at DePaul and spent four years working her way back into shape in the leagues overseas, trying year after year to make it into the WNBA. She is slowly but surely getting comfortable with the Sky.
"You've just got to stick with it," Hampton said of her sometimes frustrating journey to the WNBA. "I could have easily given up two years after not making it, three years after not making it, four years after not making it. But you've just got to work hard and believe in yourself. It was knowing that I'm good enough to play in this league."
The Sky got double-figures from six players. In addition to Quigley and Hampton, center Stefanie Dolson added 13 points, forward Jessica Breland had 12 points and 12 rebounds, point guard Courtney Vandersloot had 11 points and 12 assists and Tamera Young had 10 points.
Dallas also put six players in double-figures, with a team-high 20 points from former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins-Smith. Allisha Gray added 18 points, Kayla Thornton and Kaela Davis had 14 and 11 points respectively off the bench and Glory Johnson and Karima Christmas-Kelly each scored 10 points.