GAME PREVIEW: Aces vs. Sky (7/5)

LAS VEGAS (July 4, 2018)—As the 2018 season reaches the midway point, teams are jockeying for playoff position, and Las Vegas (6-12) is in the hunt for a postseason berth in just its first season in the Entertainment Capital of the World.

The top eight teams in the WNBA, regardless of conference, advance to the playoffs, and heading into the Aces’ 7 pm PT tip against Chicago (6-11) Thursday evening, Las Vegas is in 10th place, a half game behind the Sky, and three back of the Dallas Wings (8-8).

Team W L Pct GB
Phoenix 13 5 .722
Seattle 13 5 .722
Los Angeles 12 6 .667 1.0
Washington 10 6 .625 2.0
Minnesota 10 7 .588 2.5
Connecticut 10 7 .588 2.5
Atlanta 8 8 .500 4.0
Dallas 8 8 .500 4.0
Chicago 6 11 .353 6.5
Las Vegas 6 12 .333 7.0
New York 5 12 .294 7.5
Indiana 2 16 .111 11


Since beginning the year with a 1-7 record, Las Vegas has gone 5-5 over its last 10.  The Aces are led by reigning WNBA Rookie of the Month award winner, and MVP candidate A’ja Wilson. The South Carolina grad ranks fourth in the league in scoring, third in rebounding and eighth in blocked shots this season, and has scored in double figures in all 18 games in her professional career.

Fifth-year veteran Kayla McBride, who led the Aces in scoring for the past four season when they were the San Antonio Stars, is enjoying the best season of her career. She is averaging a career-high 17.9 points per game, and connecting on a career-high 42.6 percent of her shots from long distance. McBride ranks 10th in the W in scoring, ninth in three-point field goal percentage, seventh in free throw percentage (.899), and fifth in minutes per game (32.7).

Chicago has lost two straight games following Tuesday’s 108-85 defeat at Dallas. The Sky boast the most prolific three-point shooting lineup in the league at 36.5 percent. Allie Quigley leads five members of the team in double-figure scoring averaging 17.1 points per contest. She is fifth in the WNBA in three-point field goal percentage at 46.3 percent and 16th in overall field goal percentage at 49.2 percent

The Aces and Sky met on one other occasion this season, back on June 3. Las Vegas jumped out to an early lead, and got a career-high 24 points from Dearica Hamby, but starting forward Nia Coffey was injured in the second quarter and Wilson was limited to 22 minutes due to foul trouble. That allowed the Sky to come back for a 95-90 victory.