Prince takes charge in Sky’s win over AtlantaBy GEORGE HENRY, Associated Press Saturday, Jun 2, 2012
ATLANTA (AP)—With time running out, Epiphanny Prince just wanted to get a good look at the basket from outside the 3-point line.
Prince dribbled through the Atlanta defense and found just enough space to send the game to overtime.
“I just don’t like to lose and as long as there is time on the clock, we know we have a chance to win,” she said. “I’m just not afraid to take those shots. If I miss, I miss, but if I don’t take them, then I would never know.”
Angel McCoughtry went 17 of 17 from the free-throw line and finished with a season-high 33 points for Atlanta.
The Sky, who trailed by 22 in the first quarter and led by 10 early in the fourth, have won three straight.
Atlanta has lost two of three. The Dream were outrebounded 48-23.
Sylvia Fowles added 20 points with 19 rebounds for the Sky, who overcame 26 turnovers that resulted in 25 Atlanta points.
Fowles’ three-point play with 3:38 left in the third gave Chicago its first lead since early in the first.
She credited the Sky with playing better defense and cutting down on turnovers to erase the early deficit.
“It’s what Atlanta does,” Fowles said. “They get after you and they pressure you full-court and they make you have turnovers. We were just trying to adjust ourselves and get in the flow after that.”
Prince, who scored all of Chicago’s points in overtime on two 3s and a 17-footer, set her previous career high of 31 points in Friday’s two-point home win over Washington.
Fowles has finished with a double-double in each of Chicago’s five games.
The Sky led 69-59 on Prince’s 3-pointer at the 7:36 mark of the fourth, but McCoughtry, who played a game-high 43 minutes with a wrap on her left knee, hit a pair of free throws to put Atlanta up 83-78 with 31.4 seconds left in regulation.
The Dream was ahead 86-83 after Ketia Swanier’s two free throws at the 6-second mark, but Swanier and her teammates allowed Prince to weave through its defense and hit a 3 from the right wing to send the game to overtime.
“We let Epiphanny get some shots off,” Swanier said. “I know I had a bone-headed defensive play when she got her first 3 off (early in the fourth quarter), and that kind of got her going. But we can learn from it and get ready for New York on Tuesday.”
Atlanta led by 22 at the 1:58 mark of the first quarter after McCoughtry’s steal and ensuing layup, but the Sky went on a 28-8 run to pull within two at 37-35 on Prince’s 17-footer.
McCoughtry was injured in the second quarter of Thursday’s 17-point home win over Phoenix, scoring 10 points in just 18 minutes.
“I don’t think we contained her,” Fowles said. “I think we slowed her down a little bit. Angel is a great player. She likes to throw her body into you, and everybody knows her game, but you just have to be poised because you’re not going to stop her.”
The Sky had dropped three of four to the Dream, who struggled all night on the boards and may need to wait until the second half of the season for reinforcements. Atlanta’s starting center, Erika de Souza is working with the Brazilian Olympic team and will return to the Dream after the Summer Games in London.
“We have so many inexperienced post players right now that it’s really tough on them,” Atlanta coach Marynell Meadors said. “They play hard, but just didn’t rebound.”
With Chicago controlling the boards, Prince gave the Sky complemented their offense with steady shooting late in the game.
“Late in the game, I thought Epiphanny was clutch, coming off a (Friday night) game and getting off to a slow start (Saturday). It was nice to see someone step in there,” Chicago coach Pokey Chatman said.