UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Like a great maestro, Courtney Vandersloot orchestrated one of the best games in WNBA playoff history.
Vandersloot hit only the second triple-double in the postseason with 12 points, a league playoff-record 18 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Chicago Sky to a 101-95 double-overtime victory over the Connecticut Sun on Tuesday night in the opener of their best-of-five series.
“She’s amazing,” Chicago coach James Wade said of Vandersloot, a former three-time West Coast Conference Player of the Year while at Gonzaga. “Look at the stat sheet and the way she controlled the game. She was able to control the game from the beginning to the end. She had a special game. One of the best point guard games in playoff history. I’m not surprised because this is what she does.”
Vandersloot had no idea that she was close to the historic stats. She was just focused on trying to get the Sky the huge victory.
“It’s really special. I didn’t know I had the triple-double until the end,” Vandersloot said.
Sheryl Swoopes had the only other triple-double in WNBA playoff history, which she did in 2005.
“She’s elite. To be with that company, that’s obviously special,” Vandersloot said. “To do it in the playoffs, I needed 50 minutes to do it.”
With the game tied at 93, Candace Parker scored on a layup off a neat pass for Vandersloot’s record-breaking assist. Vandersloot, who broke Sue Bird’s mark of 16 set last postseason, then threw a beautiful pass to Stefanie Dolson to give the Sky a four-point lead with 1:29 left.
Connecticut couldn’t recover, scoring only its second basket of the second OT on Brionna Jones’ jumper with 13.7 seconds left that made it 98-95. Vandersloot got her 10th rebound with 7.9 seconds remaining.
“She orchestrates everything out there,” Connecticut coach Curt Miller said. “She’s so good with the basketball. Huge game for her. We have to look at different ways to disrupt her. That’s Slooty. That’s what we think about her each and every night, she has the ability to just orchestrate everything.”
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