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Another second half surge lifts Connecticut to second straight victory

For the third time this season, Connecticut’s Jonquel Jones scored at least 24 points in a game with a season-high 26 points in Sunday’s WNBA victory over Indianapolis.

In the midst of Connecticut’s recent five-game losing streak, Sun veteran guard Jasmine Thomas said that sometimes it just takes a victory to change a team’s fortunes.

It doesn’t have to be pretty or dominant. It just needs to be a victory.

On Friday, the Sun used a 20-1 surge to open the third quarter and erase a six-point halftime deficit to beat the Phoenix Mercury to end the aforementioned five-game losing streak.

On Sunday, Connecticut used a 20-2 run to break open the game and beat the Indiana Fever, 76-63 in WNBA action in Indianpolis. Jonquel Jones had a season-high 26 points, eight rebounds and three 3-points shots to lead the Sun, now 11-6 and in first place in the WNBA’s Eastern Conference.

Jones likes playing against Indiana. In the second game of the season in late May, Jones had 25 points and four 3-point shots in another Sun victory. “I was just being aggressive,” she said. “It’s been a while since I have felt in the flow.”

Jasmine Thomas had 14 points and six assists for Connecticut while Shekinna Stricklen scored 12 points, including four shots from three-point range.

Connecticut’s ability to hit the three-point shot was extremely helpful. The Sun drained 10 of 22 from beyond the arc while the Fever (6-12) struggled. They didn’t hit one of their 16 three-point shots.

“We got into the paint in the first half and it opened up (the game) for us in the second half,” Sun coach Curt Miller said. “It allowed us to make nine 3-point shots in the second half.”

The Sun led by nine at halftime but Indiana closed it to three points with 5:37 left in the third quarter. But Connecticut went on a 20-2 run with five 3-points to seize control of the game for good. Jones had a pair of three-point shots in the run while Stricklen had three.

Five of Connecticut’s seven field goals in the run were from three-point range and Jones had 10 points in the run. Sticklen had nine points.

Kelsey Mitchell led Indiana with 14 points while Betnijah Laney, Candice Dupree and Natalie Achonwa each scored 11 points for the Fever.

With the win, Connecticut snapped a four-game losing streak on the road. The Sun return home on Friday night when they host the Atlanta Dream (5-11) at the Mohegan Sun Arena at 7 p.m.

Posted Sunday, July 14, 2019

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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