Courtney Vandersloot Sets WNBA Record and Hits Milestone - OurSports Central
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Courtney Vandersloot Sets WNBA Record and Hits Milestone

August 10, 2018 - Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) - Chicago Sky News Release

GAME HIGHLIGHTS:

In the first quarter, Courtney Vandersloot dished out three assists and became No. 10 on the WNBA All-Time Assist Leaderboard with 1,351. She was also the first player in WNBA history to record 20 points and 15 assists in a single game.

The Sky tied the WNBA record for assists in a game with 35. The last time a team recorded 35 assists was the Minnesota Lynx on Sept. 1, 2017, against the Sky.

The Sun's bench outscored the Sky's bench 31-21.

SKY NOTES:

WNBA steals leader Gabby Williams recorded three steals in the game. She came into the contest averaging 1.7 steals per game.

The Sky had six players in double digits: Diamond DeShields (12), Courtney Vandersloot (20), Allie Quigley (17), Stefanie Dolson (16), Kahleah Copper (10) and Gabby Williams (11).

Chicago shot 54.2 percent from the floor and held Connecticut to 43.1 percent.

The Sky led the entire game with the largest lead being 20 points.

SUN NOTES:

Chiney Ogwumike led her team with 18 points.

Shekinna Stricklen shot 57 percent from the three point line, and finished the game with 12 points.

The Sun cut the Sky's 20 point lead to seven points in the third quarter. It was the 15th time the Sun have scored 28 or more points in a quarter.

Connecticut had four players score in double digits: Chiney Ogwumike (18), Jasmine Thomas (14), Jonquel Jones (13), and Shekinna Stricklen (12).

The Sun shot 78.9 percent (15-for-19) from the free throw line.

The Sun out rebounded the Sky 36-33. The Sun also grabbed seven more offensive boards than the Sky, out rebounding them offensively 14-7.

POSTGAME QUOTES:

SKY GENERAL MANAGER AND HEAD COACH AMBER STOCKS

On the game:

"It was a great game. Connecticut is a very talented team and they are playing extremely well right now. Our team had to really go to a whole other level defensively. When you look at the stats, for three quarters they were really scoring the ball well. We started the game well and that's what helped really set the tone for our team was the way we started on defense. Gabby [Williams] and Diamond [DeShields] always do their thing defensively. The support, rotations and ball pressure from [Vandersloot], [Quigley] and [Dolson], along with everybody else on the bench was amazing. Our team defense today was outstanding. Connecticut is a hard team to play tough defense against because they're extremely well coached and move the ball really well with a lot of offensive threats."

On rebounding from a tough offensive game previously:

"The amount of anxiety [and] it's like a cloud hanging over your head when you go three quarters without scoring the basketball well, especially for our team. We're such a good offensive unit, and everybody has good court vision and awareness. [Williams] and [Dolson] have good ability to move the ball as forwards. To not score when we have such talented players is really rough, so this was a much needed offensive performance tonight."

On the key to containing the run by Connecticut:

"Defense. The fact that we were able to get stops is what fueled and ignited our offense. [Williams] got up and pressured the ball. Defense really ignited our offense."

On the importance of controlling the boards:

"Our tempo and our pace is with everybody. One thing that our defense has to do in order to come in and continue to have high-scoring outputs like this is we have to rebound. We did give up 14 offensive rebounds to Connecticut, so it's going to be important to clean that up. This is a tough league and this is a tough game."

SKY GUARD COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT

On the ball movement:

"That's when we're at our best when were really pushing the pace, getting good wide open shots and knocking them down. I think that's when you feel everything is going well. We scored 97 points [and] had six people score in double digits. When you move the ball and people are making shots, I think any team is hard to guard.

On the importance of pushing the pace:

"I think after last game, we needed to push the pace. We scored [64] points, and that's just not us. That was the mindset from the tip, to just get the ball and go. Like I've said 100 times, that's when we're at our best. We're really tough to guard. We have people who can score, people who can run [and] athleticism off the charts. That's how we're going to win games."

On becoming the No. 10 in WNBA history in total assists:

"It feels good. Especially to do it in a game like this when it seemed like every time I passed it, someone made the shot. I get joy off of that [and] it's fun to play that way. I'm happy for my teammates who are just making the shots. [Winning] the game is what's most important."

SKY FORWARD GABBY WILLIAMS

On her rookie season:

"Just trying to have a more aggressive mindset on offense. Trying to attack more, get more confidence in my shot, getting more reps off the court and just trying to build that confidence and be more versatile."

On her performance in the game:

"Coach was saying it kind of starts with my defense. When I'm up and able to pressure, it kind of gets me going offensively and I feel more aggressive on offense when I'm rebounding. I'm getting steals when I'm out there pressuring, so I think that's where it started for me."

SUN HEAD COACH AND GENERAL MANAGER CURT MILLER

On the game:

"We tried to keep the momentum going on the five-game win streak, we had been really good offensively. We missed a couple shots early, put us in a whole. They have such great movement, offensively they're a really dynamic team."

On the Sky:

"They're shockingly underachieving in the win-loss column, because they're so talented offensively that they're really, really hard to guard. We tried countless different approaches to get them out of rhythm. But again, they more athletic in most positions than us, and they're a more dynamic offensive team and they really hurt us."

On the Sun's performance:

"Some of the people who were scoring were struggling defending, some of the people that were defending aren't our prolific scorers. Trying to find that right combination tonight was really hard."

On playing with a playoff seed clinched:

"We're competitive, so we wanted to fight. We're playing for seeding purposes. We all know how important home-court advantage is. We're trying to stay six of higher, and not fall into the seven or eight hole is really, really important to us. We extended minutes tonight to try and fight for that. It didn't work out."

SUN GUARD LAYSHIA CLARENDON

On the game:

"We're not satisfied to be in the playoffs. Lesson learned, and Curt [Miller] talked about it being series so we get to turn around and play Chicago again, and soon we'll be in the playoffs."

On parity around the league:

"People are losing to people they shouldn't, or normally wouldn't lose to. I want to say the talent level is also rising, and that's helping. You're seeing some teams get older, you're seeing some teams start to reboot and have a lot of talent. The schedule's not helping the older teams."

On preparing for the Sky:

"[Vandersloot] is tough; she's leading the lead in assists. It's hard when you have a player who's so poised that can pick you apart, and Dolson is obviously hitting tonight in ways she hit last year. Obviously the game plan was get her more shots and she made them. They just executed tonight. They kind of cooled off in the second half, and we started to make our run. They just started off shooting ridiculous, and that happens in this league in any given night."

SUN FORWARD CHINEY OGWUMIKE

On the game:

"It's not just me, our team has multiple people that can contribute in double figures. I think for us it's not about what they do, it's about what we do. They came out swinging, and punching, and fighting in the first quarter, and I think we felt we had a very physical long game against Dallas on the road and we sort of felt that. Just getting back to ourselves, getting back home is gonna be very important for us to have that energy back. At this point of the season it's all about energy. We didn't have it on the road, and we know we have to have it at home."

On going back home and playoff seeding:

"Honestly it doesn't matter to me. I think that obviously we want to win each and every game. This season is so crazy that it's sort of out of your hands. We want to win out and put ourselves in the best position to be playing the best basketball. It's not about seeds. We were the highest seed playing at home last year and lost in the playoffs after the first round. For us, it's all about playing our best basketball [and] going into playoffs feeling confident. It doesn't matter what seed. Everyone can play with everyone this year, so being in the playoffs is great, but playing your best basketball when playoffs come is the No. 1 thing on our list."

On this season before playoffs:

"I would say teams can't separate this year because the schedule. Everyone is playing every other day, and its allowing so much parity because of that. Which means playoffs are going to be really fun because anybody has a chance."

On the young Chicago team:

"It's a make or miss league sometimes. They were making [shots] and we were missing early. We sort of dug ourselves in a hole. But our team, we're fighters. We've come back from 30 before. It's a learning experience. The good thing is we get to play them right away next."

On Layshia Clarendon:

"What we love about [Clarendon] is that she has a great high basketball IQ. [Jasmine Thomas] has been our true one and only point guard for so long. She plays so hard on both ends of the floor and she needs a break sometimes. To have another ball handler, someone that can organize the offense and keep us together, to me that was the biggest bonus to getting [Clarendon]."

NEXT UP: The Chicago Sky will face the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena this Sunday, August 12. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. CT.

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