Epiphanny Prince claims she’s still rounding into form in her abbreviated season. Judging by her performance in helping the Chicago Sky to a badly needed victory in their last game, the Indiana Fever will probably want to guard her as if she already has.
Coming off a 30-point effort that allowed the Sky to end a four-game losing streak, Prince leads Chicago into its second matchup of the season with visiting Indiana on Friday night.
Prince posted a season-high point total and added seven assists – also a season best – to power the Sky to a 105-100 overtime victory over New York on Wednesday. The guard has averaged 18.0 points in four games since returning after several weeks playing overseas on a personal leave.
”I’m happy with the way I performed, but I don’t think I’m in the best game shape,” said Prince, who went 11 for 11 from the free-throw line. ”I wasn’t really tired, and I think I’m getting closer and closer every game I play.”
Jessica Breland scored a season-high 22 points, Courtney Vandersloot and Markeisha Gatling added 17, and Tamera Young had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Sky (6-5), who finally managed to overcome the absence of Elena Delle Donne.
The star forward missed her third straight game due to a flare up of Lyme disease. Second in the WNBA with 22.3 points a game, Delle Donne’s return remains uncertain.
Her continued absence would mean the Sky could need another big effort from Prince, who wasn’t with the team when Chicago broke a five-game losing streak to the Fever, including playoffs, with a 74-71 win May 16. Delle Donne scored a team-best 23 points in that contest.
Prince, however, struggled at times during that skid last season. Though she recorded a pair of 19-point games, she shot 36.1 percent and averaged 13.2 points in the five contests.
Indiana (5-5) will be looking to get back on track after opening a three-game road trip with an 89-67 loss to Connecticut on Tuesday. The Fever allowed the Sun to go on a 22-2 run to build a 25-point lead in the third period, during which Connecticut scored 34 points.
During the run, Indiana coach Lin Dunn was whistled for a technical foul. Not long after, Fever guard Shavonte Zellous was hit with two technicals and ejected for arguing with the officials.
”You have to learn to keep your composure,” said Dunn, whose team has lost two of three since a four-game win streak. ”I was very disappointed in Zellous. We need her. We count on her.”
Zellous scored nine points and went 4 for 6 from the field for Indiana, which shot 38.2 percent. Lynetta Kizer had 13 points and 10 rebounds, both team highs.