Epiphanny Prince leads Sky to 77-61 road victory over Sun
ASSOCIATED PRESS August 9, 2013 11:16PM
Chicago Sky's Elena Delle Donne is guarded by Connecticut Sun's Allison Hightower, right, during the first half of a WNBA basketball game in Uncasville, Conn., Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Updated: August 10, 2013 12:40AM
UNCASVILLE, Conn. — There was no way the Sky was going to lose three in a row.
Epiphanny Prince scored 23 points and Elena Delle Donne had 19 to lead the Sky to a 77-61 victory against the Connecticut Sun on Friday night. Center Sylvia Fowles added 14 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks.
The Eastern Conference-leading Sky (14-7) had lost their previous two games, both to the Indiana Fever, scoring just 58 points in both losses.
“We want to stay at the top of the conference,” Prince said. “And we know that Atlanta is right behind us [at 11-6]. We came out. We were focused. We had a game plan and we executed it.”
“Sometimes you’re on, sometimes you’re off,” Fowles said of the previous two games. “We definitely were hungry after those last two losses, so we tried to come in and be more focused tonight.”
Allison Hightower scored 13 points for the Sun (6-14) and Kelsey Griffin had 12 points and six rebounds. Tina Charles, the reigning WNBA MVP, missed 16 of 18 shots and finished with five points and 10 rebounds.
The Sky had a four-point lead late in the second quarter when it began to blow out the hosts.
Prince began a 12-0 run with back-to-back three-pointers. Successive layups by Courtney Vandersloot (10 points and six rebounds) gave the Sky a 39-23 lead with less than two minutes left in the first half.
The Sun shot 32.1 percent from the floor.
“I’ve said this before, and they’ve heard this before, but when we don’t knock shots down, we lose our focus defensively,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “So you get Vandersloot into the lane when you’re not thinking about your defense. You’re not showing on a screen and Epiphanny Prince gets wide-open jump shots when you’re thinking about your own missed shot. That, really, that’s where it lies.”
Delle Donne, a 6-5 rookie forward, made three three-pointers in the third quarter.
“You’ve got to love her,” Fowles said. “You can’t really do nothing with her [defensively].”
Prince’s driving layup gave the Sky their biggest lead, 68-46, with over seven minutes left remaining in the game.
“This [game] was more about us and what we needed to do, especially on the defensive end of the floor,” Sky coach Pokey Chatman said. “We were really active with our hands and got a lot of deflections.”