The Sun are hot to start the 2019-20 WNBA season.
Connecticut faced a tough task in the 1-0 Indiana Fever but was victorious in the end with an 88-77 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena on Tuesday night. The game was back-and-forth for much of the night, but the Sun played strong and made sure to keep their lead out of reach.
Jonquel Jones followed up her 20-point performance against the Washington Mystics with 25 points, while Jasmine Thomas (16) and Courtney Williams (13) all reached double figures in Connecticut’s win.
Indiana’s Erica Wheeler led all shooters with 26 points, with Candice Dupree just behind her with 20. Natalie Achonwa also had double-digit points for the Fever with 10.
The Sun moved to 2-0 with the win, while the Fever dropped to 1-1.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Courtney Williams
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
FEVER TAKE LEAD AFTER FIRST
The two teams had a back-and-forth opening quarter that resulted in the Fever taking a two-point lead into the second.
Indiana scored the first bucket of the game, but Thomas sparked a 7-0 run to put the Sun ahead.
The Fever came back and reclaimed the lead but Thomas and Jones combined for a nice pick-and-roll to tie the game 9-9.
The Sun found themselves down 23-21 after the first. Jones paced the team with nine points.
STRONG SECOND FOR SUN
Bria Holmes started a 4-0 run for Connecticut to give her team a 25-23 lead to begin the second quarter.
The game remained evenly matched as the two teams went back-and-forth for the lead. And Layshia Clarendon made her mark off the bench with six points and two boards.
The Sun were able to hold a slim 40-37 lead after the first half. Jones led all scorers with 14 points, while Dupree paced the Fever with 12.
JONES REMAINS A FORCE
Connecticut started the third quarter hot, going on a 7-2 run that upped its lead to 47-39. Williams split the Fever defense to complete her layup as part of that run and forced Indiana to call a timeout.
Jones continued to be a force for the Sun both on offense and defense. She drained a 3-pointer for her 17th point of the night then followed that up with a nice block on Teaira McCowan. The Sun continued to up their lead with help from Rachel Banham who drained a trey shortly after entering the game.
The Fever continued to chop away at Connecticut’s lead and came within 10 points with a two-point shot at the buzzer.
The Sun held a 62-52 edge after three. Jones continued to pace shooters with 20 points. Dupree had 16 for Indiana, with Wheeler just behind her with 13. The Sun outscored the Fever 22-15.
SUN CLOSE IT OUT
The Sun didn’t miss a beat in the fourth, with Banham draining a shot from distance to open the quarter.
Connecticut kept a steady 10-point lead throughout the quarter until the Fever came within six with 6:39 to go after a Wheeler three, forcing the Sun to call a timeout.
They got back on track and once again took a 10-point lead with just over four minutes to play thanks to a quick two points from Williams off the bench.
As much as the Fever fought back, the Sun didn’t let them get too close with help from Jones netting her fourth 3-point shot in the final minute of the game.
Indiana couldn’t come back as the Sun made it two straight victories with an 88-77 win.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Teamwork makes the dream work.
The Sun look to go 3-0 against the Los Angeles Sparks on Friday. Tip-off from Staples Center is slated for 10:30 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images