Sky defense breaks down in loss to Atlanta

Updated 5/23/2018 7:01 PM

It might be this kind of season for the Chicago Sky: up and down.

That's what happens sometimes with young teams.

The Sky, with four rookies, three of whom get major minutes, started out the season 2-0, and looked pretty good doing it.

On Wednesday afternoon, the opposite was true and the Sky got taken to task by the visiting Atlanta Dream. The Dream broke down the Sky's defense, got to the basket easily and held the Sky to 37 percent shooting to get a decisive 81-63 win at Wintrust Arena in the South Loop in front of 6,147 on Camp Day.

The Sky had been shooting nearly 50 percent from the field over their first two games. Now, the Sky is 2-1 on the season.

"That's what they do," Sky coach Amber Stocks said of Atlanta's ability to get to the rim. "That's the style of play that they have. They drive the ball to the basket. That's their game plan and it was well-executed."

The Dream, which got its first win of the season (1-1), came out strong in the first quarter and was up by 11 points (26-15) heading into the second. A close second quarter didn't change the margin much by halftime, but then a big third quarter by Atlanta blew the game open. The Dream was up 59-37 going into the final period.

Guard Tiffany Hayes went off on the Sky from long range and she finished with a game-high 22 points on 4-of-6 3-pointers while three other players finished in double-figures for Atlanta, including perennial all-star and Olympian Angel McCoughtry. McCoughtry had a relatively quiet game by her standards (10 points), but was still a load for rookie Diamond DeShields to guard.

"You always want to compete against the best players. Angel is one of the best in the world," said DeShields, the former Tennessee star who played overseas during what would have been her senior year for the Lady Vols. She was the Sky's top draft choice in the 2018 draft and No. 3 overall.

"It's a challenge I was willing and ready to accept," DeShields added. "It's something I'll learn from moving forward. I look forward to (similar) matchups."

DeShields had 8 points in 21 minutes for the Sky while fellow rookies Gabby Williams and Alaina Coates had 4 and 3 points in 20 and 19 minutes respectively.

As with the Sky's win over New York on Sunday, the minutes were spread evenly through a lot of players. Against the Dream, 10 Sky players logged at least 11 minutes or more.

Allie Quigley led the Sky with 13 points. She was the only Sky player to score in double figures.

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