CT Sun Wrap: Connecticut Defeats Dream 93-82, Earns Second Win Of 2020

Welcome back to the win column, ladies.

The Sun found themselves on the right side of the ball Monday night, topping the Dream 93-82 at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla. This is Connecticut’s second win of the season, having won two of their last three games.

After a slow start to the season, Stricklen dazzled against her former team, posting 18 (all of which came in the first quarter alone) on 60 percent shooting, Williams also looked solid, putting up 12 points and seven rebounds off Atlanta’s bench.

Sun rookie Kaila Charles entered Connecticut’s rotating door at starting shooting guard, earning seven points and five rebounds in her first official WNBA start Monday night. It was a team effort for Connecticut, with nine players notching points in the contest.

Alyssa Thomas led all scorers with 21 points on an impressive 83.3 percent shooting. DeWanna Bonner stunned on defense with nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks on top of a 12-point performance.

Both teams now sit at 2-6 in the Eastern Conference.

Here’s how it all went down:

STARTING FIVE
PG: Jasmine Thomas
SG: Kaila Charles
PF: Alyssa Thomas
SF: DeWanna Bonner
C: Brionna Jones

SUN ALUM STUN
Stricklen and Williams looked solid in the first, to say the least.

Strick scored 12 points, including three triples, in the first quarter alone. Williams put up six of her own, giving the Dream an early edge over the Sun.

Both Alyssa and Jasmine Thomas dominated for the Sun, however, scoring 11 and six points, respectively, in the first.

The teams traded leads early and often and this one, though Atlanta maintained a slight edge on Connecticut through most of the first. Williams gave the Dream a 25-23 lead with one of her signature floaters and 1:07 left of the clock, but Bria Holmes delivered a massive three just 4.3 seconds before the end of the quarter to give the Sun a one-point lead entering the second.

A SUNNY TEAM EFFORT
The Sun opened up a double-figure lead in one of their strongest first-half efforts so far the season.

The Thomases, Holmes, Jones and Natisha Hiedeman all had a hand in padding Connecticut’s lead in the second. The Sun looked solid on both sides of the ball, too, grabbing an impressive 19 rebounds and holding the Dream to just 44.4 percent from the field.

The Dream announced midway through the second that Chennedy Carter had sustained “an apparent ankle injury” earlier in the half and would not return to the game.

At one point, Connecticut had itself a 13-point lead. And while Atlanta managed to trim it back some, the Sun still remained in control, featuring some more solid stuff from the rookie Charles, who notched six points in the half, and Bonner, who had six rebounds and three steals in an impressive first-half defensive effort.

Connecticut held a 56-46 lead at half, though Strick led all scorers at 18 on a season-high six triples. She now is 15th on the WNBA’s list of All-Time 3-Pointers Made.

A GLARING SUN LEAD
The Sun picked up right where they left off in the first half.

Connecticut did more than just maintain its double-figure lead in the third. The Sun truly hit its stride, leading the Dream by as many as 24 points and going on a 21-7 run to start the quarter.

And, naturally, the Thomases and Bonner led the charge.

The Sun outscored the Dream 25-15 in the third, taking an 81-61 lead into the final frame.

WINNER WINNER CHICKEN DINNER
Not much changed in the fourth as the Sun sparkled for the last 10 minutes of play.

Connecticut’s bench kept their foot on the gas, allowing the Sun to maintain a 20-plus point lead on the Dream. Hiedeman was at the top of her game, sinking a pair of threes early in the fourth.

 

The Dream managed to slowly chip away at the Sun’s lead late in the frame, but it was too little too late. Connecticut wound up with the W, topping Atlanta 93-82.

PLAY OF THE GAME
We stan that kind of bench reaction.

UP NEXT
Connecticut takes on the Dallas Wings, whom the Sun earned their first win against, for the second time in two weeks Wednesday night. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. ET.

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Thumbnail photo via Stephen Gosling/NBAE via Getty Images

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