A second onslaught from the Chicago Sky doomed the New York Liberty to their fourth loss in their last six.
A garish second quarter led to the New York Liberty’s downfall on Thursday night, as a four-point deficit ballooned to 28. The Chicago Sky were paced by 18 points from Diamond DeShields and Kahleah Copper while Candace Parker earned another double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in what became a 91-68 victory over New York (7-8). Chicago has now won seven in a row, the latter two coming at Barclays Center in a back-to-back, the first segment coming on Tuesday.
ESM has three silver linings from Thursday’s loss…
3rd Star: DiDi Richards
3 points, 2 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal (11 minutes)
As things became ridiculously dire for the Liberty…down a whopping 28 points after a brutal second quarter…Richards played the role of beautifier, invading the interior to generate some strong opportunities. Chalk it up to the lingering hockey season, but Richards’ impact was best demonstrated in her plus/minus. New York was a jaw-dropping +12 when she was on the floor.
2nd Star: Kylee Shook
6 points, 11 rebounds
It was easy for Shook’s interior antics to get lost in another defeat, especially with Candace Parker making yet another MVP case in relatively stifled minutes. But Shook hauled in an infantile career-best in rebounds and held Parker and Stefanie Dolson to relatively manageable numbers. The Liberty’s true sin on Thursday was letting Chicago’s deadly outside game get going, as DeShields and Allie Quigley sank three triples each.
1st Star: Michaela Onyenwere
16 points, 6 rebounds
Onyenwere made a valiant effort to penetrate the Chicago paint in the early stages of the game, but her efforts were rewarded with futility. She shot 1-of-10 in the first half, though she managed to clean things up by (along with Bec Allen) forcing Chicago into five quick fouls over the first four minutes of the second quarter, all of which produced free throws. Onyenwere found redemption in the second half, contributing to a relative surge (New York won the second half 41-36) by shooting 4-of-7 from the field.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffJMags