Sky out to shake Sun off undefeated perch

The Chicago Sky just handed the New York Liberty their first loss of the season.

Now they’ll try and do the same to the last undefeated team in the WNBA when they face the Connecticut Sun in Chicago’s home opener on Saturday night.

Marina Mabrey scored 21 points and rookie first-round draft choice Angel Reese had 13 points and nine rebounds to lead the Sky to their 90-81 victory Thursday night.

Mabrey called the victory a “confidence builder.”

“This league is so tough,” she said afterward. “We’re going to turn around and play Connecticut. Appreciate this tonight then tomorrow hits.”

Chicago won despite playing without three key players — forward Isabelle Harrison (knee), guard Diamond DeShields (foot) and center Kamilla Cardoso (shoulder), the third pick in the draft.

Even short-handed, the Sky have opened some eyes after being projected to finish near the bottom of the standings.

“Keep us at 12th (in the predictions),” Reese said. “We’re cool at 12. We’re going to keep working and surprise ourselves before we surprise others.”

The Sun stayed unbeaten when DeWanna Bonner made two free throws with 7.4 seconds left in overtime of an 83-82 victory against the visiting Minnesota Lynx on Thursday night.

Connecticut had a slow start for the third consecutive game, falling behind by as many as 13 points in the first quarter.

“I think our defense early — our energy on the defensive end, our execution on the defensive end, our sense of urgency on the defensive end — hasn’t been there,” Sun coach Stephanie White said. “You see a difference when we impose our will and we dictate versus when we react, and we were really reactive in that first quarter.”

Brionna Jones scored seven straight points as part of a 20-3 second-quarter run for Connecticut. Jones’ playing time is limited as she recovers from Achilles surgery last summer.

“I’m just trying to do everything I can for this team, and we talked about in close games and stuff like that that I might be out there for longer,” Jones said after playing a season-high 27 minutes. “I’m just trying to get my wind back every game, so it’s just steadily increasing the minutes, but I feel good.”

–Field Level Media