Guard Allie Quigley joined an exclusive club last week when she became the Sky’s all-time leading scorer with a 23-point performance.
It was an accomplishment she didn’t see coming.
“I wasn’t aware of it,” Quigley said in a phone interview this week. “Like a week before, Courtney [Vandersloot] was on Twitter and she was like, ‘Hey, did you know you’re like 30 points away from being the leading scorer?’ And I was like, ‘What? Are you kidding me?’ I just never thought that I was that close or had scored that many points.
“But what she didn’t tell me,” Quigley added, “was she’s like 100 points behind me, so I have to enjoy this while it lasts.”
Quigley passing Sylvia Fowles as the Sky’s all-time leading scorer, recording 3,036 points and counting, is just the latest feat in her unorthodox WNBA career.
After starting her WNBA journey as a borderline player — who played a combined 34 games on four teams in her first four seasons — Quigley has become one of the league’s top outside shooters, adding two Sixth Women of the Year awards and three All-Star berths to her resumé over the last six seasons.
This season, Quigley is averaging a team-high 15.4 points — her second highest mark in her career — while shooting 44.8% from the field and 34.6% from three-point range.
The secret to her longevity?
“She’s never content,” Vandersloot said. “I think that the reason she’s still as good as she is is because she’s working just as hard as she was when she wasn’t getting any minutes.”
The condensed WNBA season, in which teams are playing practically every other day, hasn’t allowed Quigley much time to soak in the achievement, which she described as “really cool” and “special.”
Still, Quigley said there’s one goal that remains at the top of her to-do list: Winning a WNBA title.
“All that stuff is cool, but they’re just individual awards,” Quigley said. “A true testament to how good of a player you are is if you can lead your team to a championship or be one of the pieces to help your team get a championship. So that’s definitely No. 1 on my list and we have a chance this year.”
The Sky’s 95-88 victory against the Wings on Friday marked the end of their condensed 22-game regular season. Bogged down by injuries and the departures of Azura Stevens (season-ending knee injury) and Diamond DeShields (personal reasons), the Sky unraveled during the stretch, losing four of their last five games.
“It’s difficult, at times, it’s hard,” said Vandersloot, who leads the league in assists for the fourth consecutive season. “You never want to go on a losing streak toward the end of the season, you want to be playing your best basketball, but at the end of the day, once playoffs start, it’s a new season, anything can happen, and I’m just trying to continue to keep reminding people that as much as it sucks right now, we’re still in a good place, we’re still a playoff team.”
Th Sky (12-10) secured a playoff spot last week with five games to spare. They finished sixth in the playoff standings and are set to play the seventh-seeded Connecticut Sun (10-12) Tuesday in a first-round, single-elimination game.
They have a chance to make a competitive run at the WNBA title, led by Quigley, Vandersloot and Kahleah Copper. A couple of mistakes, though, could lead to their demise.
“In the playoffs I think it’s just about making shots and stops,” Quigley said. “And we’ve just gotta get it done in the playoffs.”