By Evan Moore
In their playoff debut, the Chicago Sky went up against a team that has an immense amount of playoff experience. The Indiana Fever showed why they are the defending WNBA champions.
The Sky dropped Game 1 to the Fever 85-72 in the best-of-three first round series.
The story of the game was the outside shooting of the defending champions. The Fever hit 10 of 16 on 62.5 percent shooting from three point range. The Sky only hit 3 of 9 for 33 percent.
Fever guard Shavonte Zellous and Sky forward Elena Delle Donne led all scorers with 20 points apiece. The newly crowned Rookie of the Year only had four points in the second half.
Delle Donne believes the team was not able to catch up after falling behind early.
“I wouldn’t say they did much different. They were changing up players on me,” Delle Donne said. “We weren’t able to get into the flow."
She also dismissed any talk of rookie playoff jitters.
“Truthfully, I think the team didn’t have any jitters. We were really excited to come out for our first playoff game,” said continued. “I didn’t feel any jitters myself. We have great leaders on this team to keep our heads on straight.”
Epiphanny Prince also had 19 for the Sky on 5 of 14 shooting.
Even though the Fever was the smaller team, they outrebounded the Sky 32-21. Erlana Larkins had 10 rebounds for the Fever.
WNBA Defensive Player of year Sylvia Fowles spent a majority of the game in foul trouble despite scoring 16 points and grabbing ten rebounds.
Fever coach Lin Dunn says that the experience of her team, who made their ninth consecutive playoff appearance, was a key factor in stealing home court advantage from the Eastern Conference’s number one seed.
“Going all the way through the playoffs last season like we did really has helped this team through the season,” Dunn said. “I think our playoff experience and our veteran leadership was huge.”