Following the WNBA draft, the Sky began preparations for the 2012 season. The team opened the preseason against the Washington Mystics, which marked their first game with newly acquired all-star forward Swin Cash. After being down late, the Sky hit six free throws in the final minute to secure a 73-68 victory. Impressive performances by Sylvia Fowles with nine points and 12 rebounds, and Courtney Vandersloot, who added seven assists and did not turn the ball over, propelled the Sky to victory and showed a glimpse of what Coach Chatman could expect from this talented team during the regular season. Following their win over the Mystics, the Sky dominated the New York Liberty, 89-57. Although the Sky lost to Minnesota in their final preseason game, the team finished the preseason with a record of 2-1 and good momentum rolling into the regular season.
In their regular season opener, the Sky once again faced off against the Mystics at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC, defeating them 69-57. The win was fueled by a double-double from Sylvia Fowles, who scored 23 points and had 12 rebounds, 16 points from Epiphanny Prince, and a strong overall performance from newly acquired Swin Cash, who played great defense with a block and two steals in addition to 14 points on the offensive end of the court.
Following their opener, the Sky lost their next game but then proceeded to go on a 6-game winning streak. During the streak, the Sky beat several successful teams, most notably the San Antonio Silver Stars and Atlanta Dream, both who ultimately finished with strong records and made the playoffs in 2011. The Sky’s 7-1 record was their best start in franchise history, surpassing the 5-3 mark set in 2009 to start the season. The 6-game winning streak, a Sky record, was highlighted by “Prince-sanity,” which saw Epiphanny Prince score more than 30 points in three consecutive games. Not only did Prince become just the second player in WNBA history after Cynthia Cooper to score 30 points in three consecutive contests, Prince’s scoring was also extremely timely. In each of the three games, the Sky came back from deficits in the 4th quarter and, in the final two games against Atlanta and Tulsa, Prince hit game tying 3-pointers to send the contests into overtime, both of which the Sky eventually won. The comeback against Atlanta was particularly impressive with the Sky overcoming a 22-point deficit, the largest ever in a win.
However, following their historic start, the team struggled leading into the Beijing Olympics, with their sole win coming against Atlanta in a two-point triumph at the Allstate Arena on July 1st. With the losses, the Sky’s playoff chances had taken a hit, but they hoped to recover following the Olympics to make a strong push towards the postseason.