Dearica Hamby’s miraculous shot propels Aces to semifinals, Sparks also advance with win over Storm

Photo Credit: Jeff Bottari/NBAE/Getty Images

In the closing moments of the fourth quarter of the Las Vegas Aces’ home playoff contest against the Chicago Sky, it looked as if the Sky would continue its breakout season en route to a semifinal get-together with the Washington Mystics.

Then … amazing happened.

Courtney Vandersloot’s pass being stolen by Dearica Hamby who heaved up a miracle three-pointer from halfcourt gave the Aces a 93-92 victory over the Sky.

At that moment, two collective sounds were heard – the elation of cheering Aces fans throughout Nevada and the shattering of hearts throughout the Windy City.

While Hamby’s shot will be what everyone remembers from this instant classic, Liz Cambage played a major role in putting the Aces in position to win in dramatic fashion. Her 23 points, 17 rebounds and six blocks were key in Las Vegas victory.

Kayla McBride also added 16 points in over 30 minutes of play.

Hamby, coming off the bench, finished the game with 17 points, five assists and four rebounds. Kelsey Plum contributed 15 points and six rebounds to the Aces’ efforts. A’ja Wilson also had herself a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

For Chicago, Diamond DeShields led the way with 23 points and six rebounds. Astou Ndour added 17 points with eight rebounds. Kahleah Copper had 16 points off the bench and Stefanie Dolson scored 13 points along with hauling in seven rebounds.

As for VanderQuigs, Vandersloot only had seven points and shot a not-so-robust three for 10 from the field, but dished out 12 assists.

Quigley shot a very un-Quigley-like two for 11 from the field, including an even more un-Quigley-like zero for six from behind the arc.

Not to be outdone, but the fourth team joining the Mystics, Sun and Aces in the semifinals turnout to be the Los Angeles Sparks – a preseason favorite after they landed Chiney Ogwumike.

The three-seeded Sparks earned a victory at Staples Center over the Seattle Storm with the final being 92-69.

Los Angeles got 21 points and eight assists courtesy of Chelsea Gray along with 17 from Nneka Ogwumike who also added six rebounds to her efforts. Candace Parker and Riquna Williams each finished with 11 points with Parker also hauling in 10 rebounds and sending out six assists.

As for Seattle, Natasha Howard led the Storm with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Jewell Loyd added 11 points and four assists. Jordin Canada also added 10 points and Mercedes Russell scored 10 as well.

Thanks to WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, the Aces and Sparks took charter flights (more of this, W) to get to their semifinal tip-offs on the east coast.

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