NORMAN, Okla. The first exhibition game of the WNBA season featured four former Sooners when the Chicago Sky hosted the Phoenix Mercury on Wednesday night.
The Sky posted an easy 89-69 win, thanks in large part to the fact that the Mercury were playing without All-Stars Cappie Pondexter and Diana Taurasi.
2007 graduate Leah Rush started in her WNBA debut for the Mercury. Rush took just two scores, converting one, for two points. Rush also cleared two rebounds and was among five players to play a team-high 21 minutes.
Sooner legend and ESPN star Stacey Dales started for the Sky and scored seven points in 14 minutes of action. She also dished out a pair of assists.
Dionnah Jackson, who is a free agent attempting to make Bo Overton’s roster, only scored one point but led Chicago with four assists.
Training camp invitee Chelsi Welch, who is also trying to secure a contract, scored four points on a 3-pointer and free throw. Welch earned 13 minutes of playing time and also contributed a pair of assists.
Sky 2006 All-Star Candice Dupree led all scorers with 17 points.
“We have to be realistic about this situation, we won by 20, but they were missing a lot of people,” said Dupree about the win.
The Mercury closed the first quarter leading by 9 points, 24-15, but Dales helped stem the tide.
Dales knocked down a three pointer to give the Sky a 27-26 lead early in the second quarter and the team never trailed again.
“We got off to a rough start,” said Dupree, “but we pulled it together.”
The Sky’s rookies played several minutes.
“They are making it hard on us to make these cuts because they are playing so well,” said Overton.
Welch, Rush, Jackson and Dales represent the entire contingent of former Oklahoma players currently on WNBA rosters.