The Sun are red-hot, and it doesn’t seem like any team can stop them.
Not even the Mercury, which have knocked Connecticut out of the postseason two years in a row, could halt the Sun’s five-game win streak. Phoenix fell to the Sun by a score of 68-62 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Thursday.
The Sun are now 11-1 at home this season.
Jonquel Jones notched her 11th double-double of the season with 15 points and 14 rebounds. Courtney Williams (14 points) and Shekinna Stricklen (12 points) helped lead the charge.
The Sun climb to 15-6 with the win while the Mercury fall to 10-10.
Here’s how it all went down:
PG: Courtney Williams
SG: Jasmine Thomas
SF: Shekinna Stricklen
PF: Alyssa Thomas
C: Jonquel Jones
Connecticut and Phoenix appeared evenly matched in the first.
DeWanna Bonner got things going for the Mercury with a shot from beyond the arc.
Shekinna Stricklen responded with a 3-pointer of her own.
The two teams traded leads throughout the first. Jones scored four points for the Sun while Williams notched three assists.
Stricklen sank three 3-pointers off four attempts in the first 10 minutes alone.
Stricklen was helped off the court with 3:08 left in the quarter after colliding with Brittney Griner in the paint and rolling her ankle. She would return to the game in the second quarter.
Phoenix tried to pull away with a 5-0 run with three minutes left in the quarter, but Connecticut tied things back up at 20 to end the first.
MERCURY HEATS UP
The Mercury found a bit of daylight in the second, but not without a little pushback from the Sun.
Morgan Tuck opened up the scoring with a jumper for two.
The two teams continued to trade leads early in the second. But Phoenix eventually began to pull away, opening up a seven-point lead with 4:47 left in the half thanks in part to a strong effort from Leilani Mitchell.
With the Mercury on a 12-5 run, Jasmine Thomas helped make sure the game didn’t get away from the Sun.
Phoenix extended their lead to nine with 1:40 left in the half. But Jones kept Connecticut in it, scoring five consecutive points to end the quarter.
The Sun ended the second half trailing the Mercury by four.
In the third, Connecticut showed Phoenix what makes them so dangerous.
Stricklen kicked things off with another 3-pointer (her fourth of the game) to bring the Sun within one.
Connecticut took the lead nearly three minutes later on an Alyssa Thomas jumper, but Phoenix quickly erased the Sun’s brief lead on an incredible DeBonner three.
But Williams’ would snatch the lead back for the Sun just seconds later.
The Sun would hang on to the lead through the last five minutes of the quarter and entered the fourth up two on Phoenix.
SUN STAY UP
After three quarters of back-and-forth play, the final 10 minutes of Thursday’s game would be no different.
Phoenix regained the lead seconds into the fourth, but Connecticut would quickly tie things back up at 48 before retaking the lead themselves on a Williams jumper.
A Tuck layup extended the Sun’s lead to three.
Although Phoenix managed to knot things at 52 with 6:10 left, Connecticut used an 8-2 run to take a six-point lead with less than five minutes to play.
The Mercury didn’t give up in the game’s final moments, trimming the Sun’s lead to two. But it wouldn’t be enough, as the Sun regained and maintained a six-point lead with a minute left to play.
PLAY OF THE GAME
Can we call this “Tuck Luck” from now on?
Connecticut begins a four-game road trip Sunday against the New York Liberty at the Westchester Country Center. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m. ET.
Thumbnail photo via Photo Credit: Chris Poss