The Chicago Sky will go for back-to-back wins when they host the Atlanta Dream on Wednesday afternoon at Wintrust Arena.
Chicago (4-9) is coming off one of its best performances of the season with a 97-88 win over the Phoenix Mercury. The victory snapped a six-game losing streak for the Sky, who also marked a season high in points.
How much did the group need that win?
“Bad,” Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot said to the Chicago Daily Herald. “We were all in a good mind space. We felt that if we put a complete game together that this would happen. We weren’t jumping ship, but let’s be honest, we needed a win. And we worked hard for it. We earned it.”
Two days later, another challenge awaits.
Atlanta (7-6) also is seeking back-to-back victories after holding on for a 75-70 win over the Connecticut Sun in its last game. The victory propped the Dream back over .500 as they jockey for playoff positioning in a crowded field.
Guard-forward Angel McCoughtry has been a big part of Atlanta’s success. The 31-year-old veteran recently was named as the WNBA’s Eastern Conference Player of the Week after averaging 32 points per game in her past two contests. She scored a career-high 39 points against the New York Liberty and followed that up with 25 points in the win over Connecticut.
A busy midseason schedule has forced Dream guard Renee Montgomery and her teammates to quickly refocus.
“At this point in the season, it’s hard to get a lot of scouting in, and it’s hard to get a lot of anything in,” Montgomery said to the team’s official website. “… So basically you just have to be focused when you come into the game about sets that everyone runs and just legs. Once it gets to a point in the season where we’re traveling a lot, you come back and you play a high-octane offense, it’s really about recovery.”
This is the second meeting between the teams this season. On May 23, Atlanta cruised to an 81-63 win thanks in large part to a team-high 22 points from guard Tiffany Hayes, as well as 13 points from Brittney Sykes off the bench. McCoughtry added 10 points and seven rebounds.
Sky guard Allie Quigley scored 13 points to lead her team in the first matchup against the Dream. Center Stefanie Dolson contributed nine points and six rebounds, while rookie Diamond DeShields added eight points and a pair of boards.
Chicago is 3-4 at home this season. Atlanta carries an identical 3-4 record on the road.