All week, Sky coach and general manager James Wade talked about the importance of his team showing up with the right energy. Despite having all of the pieces and a bench deeper than most in the league, the Sky have lacked intensity and consistency since the Olympic break.
They started the season with a top-three defensive rating and have fallen to sixth. Offensively, they’ve remained in the middle of the pack.
On Friday at Wintrust Arena, the Sky suffered their worst loss of the season, falling to the Aces 103-70. Both teams shot over 50% in the first quarter, but the Sky went cold in second and trailed by 20 points. The Aces finished at 56.2% from the field and 50% from three. The Sky shot 8-for-30 from three.
“We were scoring in the first quarter, but we weren’t stopping them,” Wade said. “We never stopped them.”
The Sky were challenged fighting through screens, and the Aces’ guards had open looks all night. Riquna Williams had 12 points in the first half and finished with a game-high 22 to lead six Aces in double figures.
A’Ja Wilson and Kiah Stokes dominated the boards. Wilson had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. The Sky were outrebounded 47-19.
Aside from Candace Parker (20 points) and Kahleah Copper (18), the Sky’s starting five were ineffective. Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley and Azura Stevens combined for 13 points. Quigley had just one three-point attempt.
Stefanie Dolson sat out after bumping her knee in practice. Wade said she is day-to-day. He expects her back for the playoffs.
The Sky are locked into the No. 6 seed and will host the Dallas Wings in the first round. In two losses to the Wings this season, the Sky allowed them to shoot 50% from three.
The Sky still have one more regular-season game, Sunday against the Indiana Fever.
Forty-nine Athletes Unlimited players were in attendance. They’ve been in Rosemont for the last month competing in the league’s second season at Parkway Bank Sports Complex.