ATLANTA – Alex Bentley led the Dream in scoring off the bench with 21 points for the first time this season Saturday night in Atlanta’s 75-87 loss to Chicago at State Farm Arena.
An explosive first quarter brought the Dream to a quick 25-17 lead at the end of the first behind 13 points from Bentley and nine from Tiffany Hayes. However, the Sky reciprocated in the second quarter with 29 points and they regained the lead, 46-42, at halftime.
The momentum of the game shifted after Hayes was taken out of the game as a hit to the face second quarter ruled her out for the remainder of the game. “You take Tiffany Hayes out of the lineup and she puts pressure on the D, she puts foul pressure on the D, she collapses people she gets people more open shots than we sometimes get,” said head coach Nicki Collen on Hayes’ absence. According to Jessica Breland, Hayes brought a lot of energy to the team early and when she went down, the team lost some of that spark.
Recent signee Alaina Coates scored her first points with the Dream in the third quarter. Breland was not far behind Bentley in scoring with 18 points on the game. “I thought Bentley was aggressive,” Collen said. “Breland really shot it well and tried to keep us in the game for a while. But it’s those stretches where we don’t either get good shots or we don’t make open shots or turn it over.”
Atlanta’s 37 bench points against Chicago ties a 2019 season high off of Bentley’s 21, Maite Cazorla’s eight, Nia Coffey’s six and Coates’ two.
Though the Dream scored more in the first half than they have in any game since their last matchup with the Sky, it wasn’t enough to hold Stefanie Dolson, Courtney Vandersloot, and Diamond DeShields who each scored in double figures to lift the Sky over the Dream.