Elena Delle Donne needed just one touch to start showing her stuff in the WNBA.
When the league’s No. 2 draft choice had the ball for the first time in a Sky game, getting a pass near the top of the arc, she took two steps forward and hit a 17-footer.
“It felt good my first touch in the WNBA went in,” she said.
In the next four minutes, she had a block, defensive rebound, layup off a baseline cut and a 3-pointer from the left corner.
And it just kept coming.
Playing mainly on the perimeter offensively, Delle Donne had 17 points, three rebounds, two blocks, two assists and a steal in 22 minutes of action as the Sky cruised to an 85-67 victory Wednesday over the New York Liberty at Chicago State.
Yes, it was just an exhibition, the Sky’s only one before opening their season May 27 in Phoenix, but that did not make the variety of ways Delle Donne scored any less impressive.
“Did you see that drive?” marveled Chicago State men’s coach Tracy Dildy, watching from the front row. “She covered up the ball and got the and-one.”
Dildy was referring to Delle Donne’s powering through the middle of the lane for a three-point play late in the first half. Her other baskets included a corner 3-pointer and a baby jumper low in the paint.
“That’s something we see every day in practice, so we’re not surprised,” said guard Epiphanny Prince, the Sky’s leading scorer last season, who had 13 points in 15 minutes Wednesday. “We’re confident in her game.”
Delle Donne was 6 of 9 from the floor, 3 of 4 from the line and 2 of 3 on 3s.
“You can’t leave her on the perimeter,” said first-year Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer. “She can score, and that’s what every team is looking for.”