Angel Reese ejected as Liberty's fourth-quarter surge results in Sky's second straight loss

After the game, an official said Reese’s ejection resulted from back-to-back technicals. The first tech was for “disrespectfully addressing” the official and the second, for waving her hand in dismissal of the first.

SHARE Angel Reese ejected as Liberty's fourth-quarter surge results in Sky's second straight loss
Angel Reese, wearing a Chicago Sky jersey, is flanked by two people wearing black as she walks off the basketball court.

Chicago Sky’s Angel Reese heads to the locker room after being ejected from the game against the New York Liberty on Tuesday at Wintrust Arena.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP

The Sky were in a position to win.

Heading into the fourth quarter against the Liberty, they had a one-point lead and momentum on their side. The opportunity for them to silence all the noise of the last three days with a win was theirs for the taking.

Then, the Liberty (8-2) decided they’d had enough.

They went on a 23-9 run in the fourth quarter. The dagger in the Sky’s 88-75 loss to the Liberty came with 2:31 left in the game when Sky rookie Angel Reese was ejected.

“I tried to get an explanation,” Sky coach Teresa Weatherspoon said. “I did not. I don’t know to this moment.”

Sky guard Marina Mabrey, who was on the court in the final minute, said Reese was slapped with a double technical, caused by something she said to a referee.

This was confirmed by lead official Maj Forsberg, who spoke to a pool reporter. Reese’s first tech was for “disrespectfully addressing” the official. The second was for waving her hand in dismissal of the first.

Reese’s exchange with official Charles Watson followed her fifth personal foul, which was drawn by Liberty forward Jonquel Jones.

Players on the court, including those from the Liberty, appeared bewildered by Reese’s ejection. Each technical comes with a $200 fine per league policy.

“Whatever he felt was the correct call, he made,” Mabrey said. “It’s more about composure for us in our young years in the WNBA. You have to get to know the refs and how they respond to things.”

After a weekend of heightened discourse surrounding one flagrant foul, Sky guard Chennedy Carter provided her loudest response Tuesday night.

When she came off the bench at the four-minute mark in the first quarter, fans at Wintrust Arena erupted. The sound of their cheers helped put a smile on Carter’s face as she knelt in front of the scorers’ table.

“It’s just good to know the Sky supports me,” Carter said. ‘“The fans got loud, and that ultimately got me going.”

What came next was her punctuation on the conversation that had consumed the WNBA since Saturday. Her team-high 16 points, three rebounds and two assists prompt the question of whether she belongs in the starting rotation.

Mabrey finished with 15 points, six rebounds and five assists. Reese had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Elizabeth Williams finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Kamilla Cardoso’s return to the lineup — which is fully healthy after a number of players shuffled on and off the injury report — has impacted Weatherspoon’s rotation considerably. Against the Liberty, three players didn’t see the court: Guard Kysre Gondrezick, forward Brianna Turner and guard Michaela Onyenwere.

Gondrezick has not played in six games this season. Turner, however, had earned minutes in every game this season before Saturday. Tuesday was Onyenwere’s first game on the bench.

“We’re doing what we need to do to put people on the floor at particular times with the matchups we have out there,” Weatherspoon said.

The Sky are 11th in the league in three-point percentage, shooting 31.5% per game. The Sky are 10th in the league in percentage of points scored (20%) at the three-point line.

They once again struggled Tuesday night, going 2-for-7 from deep. Meanwhile, the Liberty made 10 of 32 attempts.

Mabrey is the Sky’s best three-point shooter, with a 36.3% career percentage. What’s becoming increasingly clear is the Sky’s need to develop their game beyond the arc to keep up with the times.

“We have to get our reps up,” Weatherspoon said. “What we do in the execution of our offense, getting those open looks, catch and shoots that we’re very good at. We have some incredible shooters on this team.”

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