BRADENTON, Fla. — Sky guard Courtney Vandersloot set the WNBA record with 18 assists in a game, helping the team to a 100-77 victory against the Fever on Monday.
Vandersloot tied the record, held by Ticha Penicheiro, at 16 on a drive to the basket, drawing two defenders and finding Ruthy Hebard under the hoop for a 89-74 lead with 3:22 left.
“I thought this record was untouchable. Ticha set the bar very, very high,” Vandersloot said. “I don’t think this one will be touched very often. It’s tough to get 16 assists in a game.
“This one is really special. My teammates were knocking down shots. They were as happy as I was, and it makes it that much enjoyable for me.”
Vandersloot had gotten 15 assists three times and looked like she might have to settle for that again as she left the game with a few minutes left.
After a brief rest on the bench, Vandersloot found her wife, Allie Quigley, in the corner for a three-pointer to break the record. Two possessions later, she connected with Quigley again for a three-pointer and a 25-point lead.
“It puts a little cherry on top. I know she was happy for me,” Vandersloot said of her wife hitting the record shot. “She wanted to do that for me. It was initially for Ruthy, but the backup plan was always Allie. You can always count on Allie to knock down some late shots.”
Penicheiro, who reached 16 assists in 1998 and 2002, tweeted a congratulatory note to Vandersloot after the game. Vandersloot finished with 13 points and is averaging 9.3 assists this season, which would break her own mark of 9.1, set last year.
Gabby Williams and Kahleah Copper each scored 21 points for the Sky (11-6). Quigley added 19. Teaira McCowan had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Fever (5-11).
The Sky, who were down to nine players, signed 6-1 forward Alisia Jenkins to a seven-day contract before the game. She originally was signed by the Fever on Aug. 17, but they waived her 11 days later. Last winter, she averaged 22.4 points and 12.3 rebounds in Hungry.