Aces secure second seed in playoffs with 30-point win over Chicago
Guard Riquna Williams led the Las Vegas Aces to a storming victory over the Chicago Sky, 103-70 on the road at Wintrust Arena Friday, Sept. 17.
Williams recorded 22 points on shooting 8-of-12 from the field and 3-of-6 from the three point range.
“I thought tonight was one of our better games when asking our players to come out with energy,” head coach Bill Laimbeer said. “We discussed the amount of energy our bench brings firepower when the starters come out, we did that tonight, thought we were the better team tonight I do not care where we played.”
Las Vegas will remain on the road for their last regular season game of the year.
It will come against the Phoenix Mercury Sunday, September 19, with tip-off scheduled for 12 p.m. at the Footprint Center.
“Cambage will be back on Sunday, she will play limited minutes, '' Laimbeer said. “We are going to play our minutes and play hard then that is it, I do not plan to play them more than 20 minutes.”
The Aces have now secured the second seed for the WNBA playoffs.
They will have a double-bye into the semifinals which will start Tuesday, September 28 from Michelob Ultra Arena.
As they try to prepare for the playoffs, forward Dearica Hamby was listed as active for the third consecutive contest, however they are still awaiting the return of center Liz Cambage ahead of the playoffs.
Cambage remains out due to the league's Covid protocol.
Hamby was a key contributor in the team’s 30-plus point victory, converting multiple hustle plays, playing defense on one end and then scoring on the other.
She posted 17 points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes off-the-bench, shooting 7-for-9 from the field.
Las Vegas led the entire duration of the game, dominating the boards, 47-19, along the way.
The Aces shot 56.2% from the field, while holding the Sky to 40.0% shooting.
Williams and Hamby were not the only ones to have great performances.
Forward A’ja Wilson recorded a double-double on the night, with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go along with seven assists, as she flirted with a triple-double.
Center Kiah Stokes handed out a career-high seven assists and pulled in 13 rebounds.
Guard Kelsey Plum also scored in double figures recording 20 points, six rebounds in 29 minutes off-the-bench.
“If she does not win both awards [Sixth Player of the Year and Most Improved] then that’s disappointing but she should win sixth player of the year”, Laimbeer said. “She put in a lot of work to come back and I believe she should get recognized for it.”
Guard Chelsea Gray recorded 10 points, four assists and two rebounds while fellow guard Jackie Young recorded 16 points, three assists and three rebounds.
Young shot 8-for-9 from the field.
“We did not do anything we were not supposed to do, we were expected to get the bye and so we did," Laimbeer said. "I'm excited with the team’s seven players averaging double figures in scoring.”
Las Vegas continued to add to a season full of accolades thus far.
The 61 points scored by the Aces in the first half was their highest-scoring first half this season.
Las Vegas has eclipsed the 100-point mark seven times this year.