Courtney Vanderslott Lindsay Wallen passes WNBA assists list in Sky’s OT win over Sun

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – There’s just something about the extra basketball in Connecticut. Those extra five minutes bring out something special at Sky and Courtney Vandersloot.

In his first semifinal match last year against the Connecticut Sun, Vanderslot earned his second triple-double in WNBA playoff history in a Sky’s OT win at the Mohegan Sun Arena. On Sunday, she overtook Lindsay Wallen (2,348) to finish third on the league’s assists list (2350) with 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds. Her 2349th assist came on Emma Meissmann’s pass in overtime.

“Lindsey is one of my favorite players of all time as well,” Vanderslot said. “It is special to be mentioned among these players. I always say, I play with a group of bucket-holders.”

Allie Quigley came off the bench less than three minutes into overtime to score five fast points and lead Sky Surge en route to a 95-92 win over the Sun. Cooper’s locality scored its highest level in the match, 27 points. Azura Stevens scored 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Sun had kept his opponents at 33.4 points in the paint, but by the half, they had surrendered 34 to the sky. In the third quarter, they adjusted, allowing only eight and carrying copper with no points. Cooper’s blast in the fourth quarter (13 points) helped Sky outperform Sun with a score of 62-56 in the paint.

“We just kept persevering in what we wanted to do,” said coach/general manager James Wade. “The fact that we were able to get the ball off the floor, and change sides of the floor helped us.”

Candice Parker missed her second game in a row due to an illness unrelated to COVID. When asked about Parker’s symptoms, Wade simply said she’s under the weather. He said her absence was an attempt to ensure she was ready for the game against the Dallas Wings on Tuesday at Winterst Arena.

For Sky and Sun, who have already settled playoff berths, these late sea games are all about defending their rankings. The Las Vegas Aces, Seattle Storm and Washington Mystics also held playoffs. Fifth-placed Mystics are four games behind Sky (23-7), who have the best record in the league.

“Honestly, we don’t care [the playoff race]Vanderslot said Friday. “We focus on us, and we make sure we get better. We have a lot of things to improve.”

One of those areas are transitions.

The sky gave up 26 points of its turnover. The Sun erased Sky’s advantage by 17 points and led by one point with less than a minute to play in the half.

A layup by Cooper put the sky back on top in the break. Cooper was holding her right hip after her second drive to the ledge and was on the ground for a minute after the second quarter time expired. She was able to walk back to the locker room.

In his press conference after Sky’s 89-81 win on Friday against New York Liberty, Wade said Copper “literally had to be killed” to get the wrong call. On Sunday, she received a repeat call in the paint and didn’t go to the fowl line until the fourth quarter.

Wade said Cooper was hit hard but she expects she will be ready for the home game against the wings. The Sky is 12-2 at Wintrust Arena. Their 10-game winning streak at home is the best in franchise history.

They play four consecutive home games before concluding the regular season on the road against aces and Phoenix Mercury.