McCoughtry, Hayes help Dream edge Chicago


Associated Press

The second game of back-to-back nights was nearly too much for the Atlanta Dream.

"We were all tired and all struggling," Dream guard Tiffany Hayes said, "but coach kept telling us to fight and we pulled together and won."

Angel McCoughtry matched a season high with 33 points, Hayes hit the clinching free throws with 29 seconds remaining and Atlanta beat the Chicago Sky 81-79 in overtime Sunday for their fourth straight victory.

The Dream (15-5) looked sluggish after winning Saturday night at Indiana, shooting a season-low 35 percent from the field and finding it difficult to put away a Chicago team that's lost five straight and 12 of 15.

Allie Quigley finished with a career-high 27 points in a reserve role, and Sylvia Fowles, who missed a layup at the regulation buzzer that would've won the game, had 17 points and 14 rebounds for the Sky (8-13).

Sancho Lyttle, who was defending Fowles on the play, scored 12 points and 13 rebounds, and Erika de Souza added eight points and 11 rebounds for Atlanta.

Dream assistant coach Karleen Thompson, speaking with reporters because head coach Michael Cooper was feeling tired after the game, said Lyttle's work against the 6-foot-6 Fowles was critical for all five periods.

"She is such a tough player in the post," Thompson said. "We felt Sancho (Lyttle) would be more active on her so Erika could roam around and crash the boards. Sancho did a great job of being active against her."

Hayes, who had a season-high 21 points the night before, finished with 17. She hit the winning foul shots after Chicago forward Jessica Breland threw the ball away with 40.6 seconds left in overtime.

The Sky, who lost by 38 in their most recent trip to Atlanta last month, took their biggest lead at 11 on Fowles' three-point play with 6:23 left in the second quarter. Atlanta wasn't down for long, going up by one on McCoughtry's layup at the 8:38 mark of the third.

"Stupid stuff gets you beat," Chicago coach Pokey Chatman said. "We literally have a segment of video that says that. Until we stop aiding in our demise, the hole is going to get deeper."

McCoughtry had nine points in the third to help the Dream outscore Chicago 17-9. A technical foul on Chatman led to McCoughtry hitting the ensuing free throw and scoring her 20th point one possession later on a fastbreak alley-oop pass from Celine Dumerc.

The Dream didn't trail in regulation after de Souza's lay-in made it 50-49 at the 6:17 mark of the third, but a free throw by Tamera Young put the Sky up by one early in OT.

"We didn't come out strong in the third," Quigley said, "and that hurt us."

Lyttle was just glad that Atlanta squeaked out a second straight win in less than 48 hours.

"We played two teams who are big rivalries," Lyttle said. "But it is what it is. We come out to play, win or lose, and we have to play hard. We happened to go into overtime, which stepped it up. And I guess all the running we do in practice helped us in the end."

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