The Dream Lives On: Atlanta defeat Chicago 97-89

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So much was on the line with the Dream keeping their playoff hopes alive when the team faced the Chicago Sky on Wednesday night in the wubble at IMG Academy in Bradenton Florida.

At the half Atlanta trailed Chicago by 10 points.

It was in the 4th quarter the energy level heightened from both teams. The Sky led midway through the fourth quarter but Courtney Williams found her legs and rhythm late.  Monique Billings putback layup in the final minutes helped the Dream pull away with a 97-89 victory.

“We’re gonna have to guard. It all came back to pride. That was the word I used multiple times. You have to have pride in your defense. We’re not going to come back. We were down ten. I thought at the end of the second quarter we were doing some good things. Thinking we were in a place coming out of the locker room where we were horrific. Our posts were 1-16, and most of those were in the paint in the first half. For us to even be within ten at halftime, I felt like we had a run in us. To quickly get down 18 and have to call that timeout, it was about — we can’t get in this unless we’re going to scrap and claw and get out there defensively. It was all about defensive pride.” said Coach Nicki on what her message was to the team during their timeout in the third quarter.

For the first time in franchise history, three  Dream players recorded double-doubles in the same game (Betnijah Laney led the team in scoring 24 points, 10 rebounds. This was Laney’s 17th double-digit scoring effort of the season and her third double-double of the season, Courtney Williams recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds for her 14th double-digit game of 2020. Williams finished with her fourth double-double of the season and ninth of her career, Elizabeth Williams scored 11 points 10 boards for her 10th double-digit scoring effort of the season. With her 10 rebounds, Williams recorded her third double-double of the season).

The electrifying rookie Chennedy Carter scored 16 points for her 11th double-digit game of the season, while Blake Dietrick, finished with 15 points.

“It was a good game. It was fun to play once we got going. I think everybody played well. Everybody that came out there contributed. I think that that’s why we were able to get the win.” said Laney on her 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists.

Let’s take a moment and chat about Betnijah Laney: 26-year old Laney has proven to be a offensive stopper and Atlanta’s standout player this season. The streets are talking and what is being said is Laney is the front-runner for the 2020 Most Improved Player.

Numbers don’t lie, and the odds are in her favor. Laney has led Atlanta in scoring with 16.9 points, 4.6 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and 1.7 steals along with 17 double-digit scoring outings through 20 games.

The win snapped the Dream’s four-game losing streak to Chicago. Atlanta Dream are now 19-30 all-time against the Chicago Sky.

Next up: The Atlanta Dream (6-14) take on the Connecticut Sun (10-11) today at 7:00 p.m. ET inside the bubble at IMG Academy. The game will be on Fox Sports Southeast and streaming on Facebook.

Stay tuned for more updates and coverage of the Atlanta Dream 2020 WNBA Season.

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