Julie Allemand putting in work with Sky as she makes quick turnaround from France
In the two days she spent with her new team before the Sky’s 88-86 win over the Liberty on Sunday — sealed with Courtney Vandersloot’s three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left — Allemand completed workouts and studied film.
Julie Allemand played her final game in the Ligue Féminine de Basketball season with Lyon Asvel Feminin on June 4. Six days later, she was in Connecticut to play for the Sky.
In her debut, Allemand played only seven minutes but was able to grab two rebounds.
In the two days she spent with her new team before the Sky’s 88-86 win over the Liberty on Sunday in New York — sealed with Courtney Vandersloot’s three-pointer with 0.9 seconds left — she completed workouts and studied film but did not participate in a full practice.
“She’s been studying our plays for the last six to eight weeks, she just hasn’t been here,” Sky coach/general manager James Wade said. “She had just gotten off the plane for the Connecticut game. When we went to her in the second half of that game, I thought she ran us pretty well.”
In her first two games, Allemand has been playing behind Courtney Vandersloot, despite Wade insisting before Allemand arrived that he would use the two guards in tandem. Against the Liberty, Wade played Allemand when he typically would use Dana Evans.
Allemand’s speed was on full display, but she wasn’t effective beyond managing the offense. Wade said it will take some time to get her acclimated, but finally having his entire 11-player roster together is critical for the team’s development.
Allemand finished with two points, one assist and one rebound in 11 minutes.
“I’m just glad we have 11 players that can play,” Wade said. “You can’t play 11 players. Playing time isn’t part of our lingo. We’re going to do what’s best for the team. Everyone’s bought into that.”
Emma Meesseman and Vandersloot each scored 20 points as part of double-doubles.
Vandersloot added 10 assists and six rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Meesseman had 11 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Allie Quigley had 16 points, three assists and two rebounds. Kahleah Copper had 13 points.
“Making the extra pass, the right play [is something we emphasize],” Vandersloot said. “That’s our identity offensively.”
Defensively, the Sky struggled against the Liberty’s playmaking guards through three quarters, getting beat off the dribble with little help-side defense. Sabrina Ionescu had the fastest triple-double in WNBA history, accomplishing the feat by the end of the third quarter. She finished with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.
Trailing by six entering the fourth quarter, the Sky — who lead the league in fourth-quarter points — outscored the Liberty 29-21. Vandersloot had nine points and five assists in the fourth, including the game-winning basket.
“When you win games like this, you don’t feel great,” Wade said. “You feel good, but you feel like you have things to improve on. Those are the best lessons when you don’t have that sour taste of losing in your mouth, but you’re not satisfied because you know you could have won by more.”