SEATTLE, June 15 – Connecticut’s Chiney Ogwumike scored a career-high 30 points and teammate Jasmine Thomas tied a career-high with 29 points but the Sun couldn’t keep pace with the Seattle Storm in a 103-92 loss in WNBA action Friday night.
For the second game in a row, the Sun fell behind big in the first half. On Wednesday night, Connecticut erased a 30-point deficit and took the lead in the fourth quarter before falling to the Washington Mystics. On Friday, the Sun trailed by 16 points with 6:57 left in the second quarter.
The Sun cut the lead to two in the third quarter but could never grab the lead as Connecticut (7-3) dropped their second straight game of the season.
Two former University of Connecticut stars tormented the Sun on this evening.
Brianna Stewart had 23 points on 7-of-10 shooting for the Storm while Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis had 18 points off the bench on 6-of-10 shooting. She even had a four-point play in the fourth quarter when she fouled as she drained one of her three 3-point shots. Natasha Howard had a career-high 25 points for Seattle, the top team in the Western Conference.
This was the opening game of a challenging five-game road trip for Connecticut. The Sun will play Phoenix in less than 24 hours on Saturday night at 10 a.m. and then will be in Atlanta next Friday to face the Dream.
The Sun played without starting forward Alyssa Thomas, who hurt her shoulder in Wednesday’s loss to Washington. Thomas, who is averaging 12.0 points and 9.9 rebounds per game, traveled with the team but sat on the bench with her arm in a sling.
Ogwumike kept the Sun in the game in the second half. She hit her final nine field goals of the game before fouling out with 1:49 left in the game. She sank 13-of-16 shots from the floor, exceeding her previous career high of 26 points against Dallas in July 2016.
Ogwumike scored over double teams in the paint and she scored over three defenders in the lane with 2:31 left in regulation to cut the Seattle lead to five points, 96-91. Ogwumike pulled down the rebound off a missed shot from Courtney Williams to keep the possession alive.
But that is as close as Connecticut would get. They missed their next three shots from the floor.
The Sun trailed by nine points, 72-63, with 4:33 remaining in the third quarter but used a 7-0 run to cut the lead to two points, 72-70. A pair of free throws from Ogwumike and Jasmine Thomas and a three-point field goal from Jasmine Thomas with 2:21 left cut the Seattle lead to 72-70.
But Stewart was too much for the Sun. She scored inside on a driving layup, was fouled and sank a free throw to extend the Storm lead to five, 75-70. After the Sun missed a pair of three-point shots, it was Stewart again who drained a three-point shot to allow the lead to swell to eight points, 78-70.
Jonquel Jones scored 10 points for Connecticut while Courtney Williams, who had a career-high 34 against Washington on Wednesday, had just four points on 2-of-4 shooting from the floor.
Betnijah Laney came off the Connecticut bench and scored a season-high nine points in 15:30 of action. The Sun never led in the game.