Sky 82, Sun 70
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP)
Epiphanny Prince scored 15 points and the short-handed Chicago Sky snapped a nine-game losing streak with an 82-70 victory over the Connecticut Sun on Sunday.
Olympic center Sylvia Fowles and forward Tamera Young missed the game because of personal reasons. Sky coach Pokey Chatman said Young had a death in the family.
''I have been on the other side when the other team is down, but you have those players that (have) positive energy and always ready for their opportunity,'' Chatman said. ''It was nice to see everyone step up, and we needed every single player out there since we were short-handed. So, yes it was a good win against the best team in the East.''
Reserve center Carolyn Swords started in Fowles' absence and had a career-high 14 points and added six rebounds for the Sky (9-14).
''We see (Swords) do that every day in practice, she goes against Sylvia every day, so there is no intimidation factor,'' Chatman said. ''She uses her size well and she is going to be in the right spot.''
Swin Cash had 14 points and six rebounds, and Courtney Vandersloot added 11 assists and four steals.
''This is huge,'' Cash said. ''We have been on a skid that none of us are familiar with, and today we were down Syl and down Tamera, and I thought that everyone came in and contributed.''
Allison Hightower had 17 points and five assists for the Eastern Conference-leading Sun (17-6). Connecticut played its fifth straight game without Olympic forward Asjha Jones, sidelined by a strained left Achilles tendon.
Kara Lawson had 16 points and six assists for Connecticut, and Tina Charles added 15 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
''We were just not sound defensively,'' Lawson said. ''We made so many defensive mistakes. Sometimes you'll have one defensive mistake on a play. We were having three or four on the same possession. We need to improve. We need to get a lot better defensively.''
The Sun could have clinched a playoff berth with a win and a New York Liberty loss Sunday night at the Seattle Storm.
''It's a disappointing loss for a lot of reasons,'' Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. ''We had a chance, with a little help, to clinch a playoff spot and we didn't do it. We just got outplayed in a lot of areas - outrebounded, our turnovers led to points. We shot the ball poorly for stretches, particularly in the second half. They out-hustled us for loose balls.''
Chicago outhustled and outplayed the Sun. Chicago made 10 3-pointers and shot 46.5-percent from the field. The Sky also had a 38-26 rebounding advantage.
Chicago trailed 50-41 with over 6 minutes left in the third quarter, then closed the period with a 20-5 run.
Cash made a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to four points late in the quarter. Le'Coe Willingham followed with a turnaround bank shot and a wide-open 3-pointer to put Chicago ahead.
A turnover led to Cash's layup. She closed the quarter with a wide-open 3-pointer from the top to give the Sky a 61-55 lead they never relinquished.