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Sky Tue May 11 2010

Sky Best Diminished Fever in Final Preseason Game

The Chicago Sky took on the Indiana Fever last night at Allstate Arena, in the final preseason game for both teams. Neck-in-neck for much of the first quarter, the Sky was able to break away in the final minute of the quarter, creating an eight-point lead that the Fever was never able to fully recover. The final score was 84-71.

One big statistic of the night was the Fever's 25 turnovers to the Sky's 16. This can be chalked up in part to tough, scrappy defense and determined blocking attempts by the Sky, but perhaps the Sky's biggest asset was the absence of most of the Fever's starting lineup.

Four of Indiana's five projected starters -Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas, Ebony Hoffman, and Tamara Sutton-Brown - are currently playing each other's teams in Turkey's championship series. The return of the players in time for the start of the regular season this weekend will be determined by the continued dominance of Hoffman and Sutton-Brown's team (Fenerbah├že), who currently lead Catching's and Douglas's team (Galatasaray) 2-0 in the best-of-five series. Regardless of the outcome, the Sky won't be able to take advantage of the typically dominant Fever's missing starters for long; even if Sutton-Brown et al aren't in play when the Sky next meet the Fever at the Sky home opener on May 22nd, the four are looking certain for the Fever home opener on May 23rd...against the Sky.

Exciting European details of the Fever's roster aside, Chicago has a lot to be proud of in last night's game , and much to look forward to this season. The team looks in sync and fierce, and talent is well spread across the group. New players Shameka Christon and Catherine Kraayeveld are adapting well - the latter played nearly 27 minutes in last night's game, helping out on both ends of the court. Meanwhile, Sylvia Fowles, Dominique Canty, and Jia Perkins all scored in double-digits, with Ephiphanny Prince and Kristi Toliver close behind with 9 points each.

After the game, coach Steven Key was pleased but "realistic" about the matchup. "They're the team to beat," Key said of the Fever, who represented the East in the WNBA's 2009 finals, where they were bested 3-2 by the Phoenix Mercury.

As for the Sky's star players, they're optimistic about the team's potential. "No words can [express] how excited I am about this season and the new player's we've got," said center Fowles after the game. "I think we're going to be great."

Video: Sylvia Fowles comments on the team's performance in their final pre-season game.

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