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Jones helps Sun get past Indiana and into second place in Eastern Conference

Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones (35) had a career-high 29 points in Saturday’s win over Indiana to give the Sun their seventh win in the last nine games.

INDIANAPOLIS, July 1 – It wasn’t that long ago that the Connecticut Sun were 1-5. But since then, the Sun have won seven of their last nine games. Jonquel Jones had a career-high 29 points, sank 11 field goals and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Sun to their second straight win, a 91-85 victory over the Indian Fever Saturday afternoon.

Point guard Jasmine Thomas scored 22 points for the Sun (8-7), including a huge three-pointer – her fourth of the night – from the baseline with 47.3 seconds left that put Connecticut ahead 88-85. The assist on that shot belonged to Alyssa Thomas (15 points, eight assists and seven rebounds), who found Jasmine Thomas open in the left corner. Neither Thomas played in the first meeting between the teams, an 81-79 Sun loss back on May 20.

It was eighth victory in 11 games for Connecticut, which also won its fifth game on the road this season. That is the most among teams in the Eastern Conference. The Sun moved into second place in the Eastern Conference behind Washington (10-5).

The leading rebounder in the WNBA, Jones dominated for much of the night. She was 11-of-13 from the field with a pair of three-pointers, and helped ice the win by grabbing the last of her rebounds with 13.9 seconds remaining and the Sun leading 88-85. She then made 1-of-2 free throws with 11.4 seconds left to close out the Fever (7-8).

It was the fourth straight double-double for Jones, who has nine on the year. She actually secured her double-double in the first half, grabbing 15 points and 12 rebounds before intermission as the Sun built an early 15-point lead.

Jasmine Thomas had 13 points with two made threes in the first half for the Sun, who shot 51.4 percent (18-of-35) in that first half, which ended with the Sun leading 47-40.

Led by Shenise Johnson (22 points, six rebounds), Erica Wheeler (16 points), Candice Dupree (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Briann January (12 points), the Fever continually rallied in the second half. But Connecticut always had an answer.

When the Fever finally took the lead on a pair of free throws from Erlana Larkins with 2:48 left to make it 81-80, Shekinna Stricklen calmly responded with a three-pointer to put the Sun back in front 83-81.

The game would be tied twice more, at 83-83 and 85-85. But then Jasmine Thomas hit her three-pointer and Connecticut held on in the last minute.

Connecticut returns to action on Wednesday, July 5 at San Antonio at 8 p.m.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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