BRADENTON, Fla. – It was a record-breaking night for Courtney Vandersloot.
The former Gonzaga standout guard set the WNBA single-game record with 18 assists, helping the Chicago Sky beat the Indiana Fever 100-77 on Monday night.
Vandersloot tied the record, held by Ticha Penicheiro at 16, on a drive to the basket, drawing two defenders and finding Ruthy Hebard under the hoop for a 89-74 lead with 3:22 remaining.
“I thought this record was untouchable, Ticha set the bar very, very high,” Vandersloot said. “I don’t think this one will be touched very often. It’s tough to get 16 assists in a game. This one is really special. My teammates were knocking down shots. They were as happy as I was, and it makes it that much more enjoyable for me.”
Vandersloot had gotten 15 assists 3 times and looked like she might have to settle for that again as she left the game with a few minutes left.
After a brief rest on the bench, Vandersloot found Allie Quigley, in the corner for a 3-pointer to break the record. And two possessions later, Vandersloot connected with Quigley again for a 3-pointer and a 25-point lead.
“It puts a little cherry on top. it’s really special. I know she was happy for me,” Vandersloot said of her wife hitting the record shot. “She wanted to do that for me. It was initially for Ruthy, but the backup plan was always Allie. You can always count on Allie to knock down some late shots.”
Penicheiro, who reached 16 assists in 1998 and 2002, tweeted a congratulatory note to Vandersloot after the game. Vandersloot, who finished with 13 points, is averaging 9.3 assists this season, which would also break her own mark of 9.1 set last year.
Gabby Williams and Kahleah Copper each scored 21 points for Chicago (11-6) while Quigley added 19.
Teaira McCowan had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana (5-11).
The game was originally scheduled to be played last Wednesday, but was postponed because the WNBA players decided not to play that night or the next night in solidarity with their NBA counterparts following the weekend police shooting of Jacob Blake.
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