Touted rookie Skylar Diggins held in check as Sky improves to 3-0
BY SARAH TROTTO For Sun-Times Media June 2, 2013 10:28PM
Tulsa Shock v Chicago Sky
Updated: June 2, 2013 10:29PM
Former Notre Dame star Skylar Diggins received a warm welcome at Allstate Arena, as fans clad in green Irish apparel flocked to her first WNBA game there.
She didn’t get the outcome she desired.
The point guard finished with eight points, three assists and three turnovers as her Tulsa Shock fell 92-71 to the Sky on Sunday. Battling early foul trouble, she shot 3-for-10 from the field in 28 minutes.
“I’ve still got a lot to work on,” said Diggins, mentioning she wants to reduce turnovers, play more aggressively, make better reads on ball screens and push the ball better in transition.
Drafted third overall in April, Diggins was Notre Dame’s career leader in points and steals. The Shock fell to 0-4. The Sky (3-0) is off to a franchise-best start.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do still, but obviously four games in, it’s not like we’re in the middle of the season,” Diggins said. “We’ve got to stay positive at this point.”
Diggins spoke to a crowd of Notre Dame fans after the game. Irish coach Muffet McGraw also was in attendance.
“Notre Dame has the greatest fan base in the country, and they do a great job of traveling,” Diggins said. “They’re like my family, so I’m not surprised they came out like that.”
Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said Diggins still is learning.
“She’s a fiery competitor. She’s playing hard,” he said. “There’s a learning curve for any rookie, especially a point guard. You’re getting pressured every night.”
Sky coach Pokey Chatman said it takes time for a rookie point guard to find a rhythm.
“Skylar is offensively gifted as well, so we wanted to make sure she didn’t get comfortable with some easy looks,” Chatman said.
The Sky clung to a 40-38 halftime lead but went on to outscore the Shock 52-33. Epiphanny Prince led the Sky with 19 points. Tamera Young added 16. Elena Delle Donne, drafted ahead of Diggins at No. 2, had 15. Sylvia Fowles collected 10 points and 13 rebounds. The Sky shot 52.1 percent to the Shock’s 40.6 percent.