New Connecticut Sun coach Stephanie White did not need to wait long to confirm something about her team.
“They’re just tough,” White said Sunday after the team’s 80-74 win over the Washington Mystics. “They understand how to make winning plays, whether that’s on the defensive end and getting the big stuff, getting the critical rebound. You know, getting a big score and just finding ways to win ballgames.”
Connecticut gets another chance to exhibit that toughness on Tuesday night when it travels to Washington D.C. to finish the teams’ home-and-home series.
Coming off a 70-61 win in Friday night’s season opener at Indiana, the Sun got off to a slumbering start against the Mystics and trailed 24-14 after a quarter. But they gradually reeled in Washington, cutting the margin to four at the half and one point following three quarters before taking over in the final 10 minutes.
DeWanna Bonner scored 21 points to pace Connecticut. Brionna Jones recorded a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double, while Alyssa Thomas chipped in 14 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Thomas has been a stat-sheet stuffer in the first two games, averaging 16 points, 13.5 rebounds and six assists.
Washington nearly followed up its impressive 80-64 victory over WNBA Finals favorite New York with a good road win. But the Mystics turned cold after a great first quarter, when they shot 47.1 percent from the field, to finish the game at 39.1 percent.
Shakira Austin (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Elena Delle Donne (19 points, 11 rebounds) each collected double-doubles for Washington. Natasha Cloud contributed 13 points and six assists.
Delle Donne is pacing a balanced attack through two games with 16 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Cloud and Austin each are scoring 13.5 points per game.
“We’re confident with what we have in this locker room,” Cloud said. “You’ll continue to talk about the superhero teams but we know who we are and we know what we bring every single night. We know what we have in our locker room.”
–Field Level Media