Sky eclipses Sun finally
The postgame locker room was quiet. Really, really quiet.
Any player who was being interviewed was practically whispering. Those who weren't said almost nothing at all.
If you didn't know any better, you'd have thought the Sky lost their game to the Connecticut Sun on Thursday night. The vibe was that solemn.
But what seemed like sadness was actually exhaustion. Sheer and utter exhaustion.
"We just all need to get a good meal and go home and sleep," Sky forward Tamera Young said with a smile, but quietly of course. "We're too tired (to celebrate)."
Yep, the Sky actually did have reason to celebrate. But who could muster the energy?
It took every last ounce of effort the Sky could find to outlast the visiting Sun in double overtime 107-101 in a game that lasted nearly three hours.
It was the Sky's third game in five days, and the only one at Allstate Arena.
As taxing as it was, the win was welcomed by the Sky, which stopped a two-game skid and improved to 4-3.
The Sky, which got double-figures from five players, including a team-high 25 points from Epiphanny Prince, 24 points from Sylvia Fowles and 18 points from Young off the bench, is now tied for second place in the East Conference with the Indiana Fever. Connecticut remains in first place with a 4-2 record.
"This shows so much growth, that we're listening, that we're executing," said forward Michelle Snow, who was a monster in the paint with 12 points and a game-high 17 rebounds. "We showed that we're buying into what coach (Pokey Chatman) is saying and we showed that we're getting better.
"We showed resolve. When our backs were against the wall, we stuck with it."
The Sky faced plenty of trying situations, starting with the amazing 3-pointer that Sun guard Renee Montgomery hit at the end of regulation. The Sky had an 84-81 lead with 9.2 seconds left but Montgomery came up big yet again to tie the game. She finished with a game-high 33 points, 30 of which came in the second half.
The second rough spot for the Sky came at the end of the first overtime. Connecticut was up 92-90 with 6.9 seconds left, but Fowles hit a turnaround jumper with 3.9 seconds remaining to force the second extra session.
The Sky quickly fell behind by as many as 4 points in the second overtime but climbed back in on a few big jumpers by Prince and took a lead with 2:39 left that it would never relinquish.
"We grew up tonight," Chatman said. "You have to fight for it and it's not just a physical fight it's a mental fight and I saw that a lot."
• Patricia Babcock McGraw, who covers the WNBA for the Daily Herald, also provides color commentary for Chicago Sky broadcasts.