The Connecticut Sun made the most of the final stop on their road trip.
They moved within a half game of the top seed in the WNBA playoffs Friday night in White Plains, N.Y. by beating the New York Liberty 94-84 at Westchester County Center. The result increased the pressure on the Washington Mystics, who will play the Dallas Wings on Saturday night with the best overall record in the WNBA on the line.
Courtney Williams and Alyssa Thomas fueled the Sun’s win, scoring 26 and 20 points, respectively. Thomas added a game-high nine rebounds, plus two assists and two steals in the winning effort.
With the victory, the Sun improve to 22-9, while the Liberty fall to 9-22.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Courtney Williams
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
SUN BURN HOT IN FIRST QUARTER
The teams kept it close in opening five minutes, but Connecticut broke out, largely thanks to some accurate long-range shooting from Williams and Jones.
Connecticut led New York by nine points after the first quarter.
SUN MAINTAIN ADVANTAGE IN SECOND QUARTER
The Sun extended their lead to 11, then 13 points early in the quarter.
But New York began to come to life on on Marine Johannes’ three-point shooting.
However, the Sun never allowed the Liberty within six points. The Sun finished the quarter strongly and restored their lead to nine at halftime.
LIBERTY OVERTAKE THE SUN, THEN LOSE ADVANTAGE
Connecticut slipped up in the third quarter. A trio of technical fouls by Alyssa Thomas, Jasmine Thomas and Sun coach Curt Miller with 7:22 remaining allowed New York to cut Connecticut’s lead to six points, and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe then reduced the deficit to four.
The Liberty then carried that momentum further and built a six point lead of their own with 3:29 left to play in the quarter. That’s when the Sun stormed went on a 14-2 run to re-take the lead and end the quarter up by six.
SUN KEEP LIBERTY AT BAY IN FOURTH QUARTER
Williams hit three jump shots in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter to cancel Han Xu’s pair of 3-pointers. Next, Alyssa Thomas made a pair of jumpers to give Connecticut a seven-point lead with 5:50 remaining. Stricklen then hit an apparent dagger to put the Sun back up by nine points.
The Liberty never came managed to come within seven points in the final stretch of the game and ultimately lost by 10.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Alyssa Thomas reached the 2000-point mark for her career early in the fourth quarter.
The Sun will return to the floor Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena when they host the Dallas Wings. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, and you can watch the game on NESN+ and NESNgo.
Thumbnail photo via Chris Poss/Connecticut Sun