Sky battles back for hard-fought win

Posted7/2/2016 1:00 AM

The way Courtney Vandersloot hit her final shot, bobbling the ball on the way up and falling back on her release, fit in perfectly with the theme of the evening.

It certainly wasn't Vandersloot's prettiest shot ever. But it went in, and while it wasn't the Sky's prettiest win, it was a win nonetheless.

Vandersloot's 14-foot jumper from the wing with 4.6 seconds left lifted the Sky to an unlikely 86-84 overtime win over the Washington Mystics Friday night at Allstate Arena.

At one point, the Sky was down by as many as 14 points, 10 at halftime.

"I just wanted to be aggressive," said Vandersloot, who finished with 14 points and 5 assists. "I bobbled it a little but I was in rhythm and it just felt good. It felt right."

It also felt like a relief. The Sky (7-9) had lost five of its previous six games and was on a two-game losing streak.

"It was a hard-fought win," Vandersloot said. "And there was a point in the second half where we made a run (and cut down Washington's lead) and there was this energy from the bench. They all met us at half-court (when a timeout was called) and it was the best feeling.

"That feeling was way better than the game winner. Our team was connected and I knew right then that we were going to win this game."

The Sky had let up 50 first-half points to the Mystics and was down 50-40 at the break. But a lockdown in the third quarter got the Sky back into the game.

The Sky held Washington to 11 third-quarter points and took a 65-61 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Elena Delle Donne was key for the Sky, with 28 points and 11 rebounds and some big plays down the stretch. But it was veteran center Erika de Souza who sealed the victory. She came up with a blocked shot on the Mystics' final attempt with a second remaining in overtime.

"Erika talked to me yesterday after practice about how she needs to do better for this team, with rebounding and defense," Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. "That's a true pro who understands an area where she can help this team and then she followed that up with a big block at the end after sitting for a long time."

The Sky also got double figures from Tamera Young and Allie Quigley, both of whom finished with 10 points.

Washington (9-9) was led by Tayler Hill with 25 points and Kia Vaughn with 20 points.

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