Courtney Williams scored a season-high 28 points and the Connecticut Sun forced 17 turnovers as the Sun won their seventh straight game with a 94-79 WNBA win over the New York Liberty at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y., on Sunday.
Williams was 12-of-18 from the field and had a team-high six assists as the Sun (16-6) remained in first place in the league. Connecticut raced out to a 13-4 start and never trailed. The Liberty missed eight of their first 10 shots of the game.
“I got it going early and my teammates kept feeding me the ball and I kept knocking down shots,” Williams told WNBA.com.
Alyssa Thomas had 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds while Jonquel Jones, the league’s leading rebounder (10.4 rpg), had 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Bria Holmes had 15 points – two shy of the season-high 17 she had against Atlanta on July 19.
Former UConn star Tina Charles led New York (8-13) with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Amanda Zahui B scored 16 points for the Liberty, who have three straight and six of the last seven games. Another former UConn star Kia Nurse had 11 points but some crucial third quarter turnovers that threw cold water on a potential New York comeback.
The Sun led by 15 points at halftime but New York came out of the locker room to start the third quarter with some fire. Twice, the Liberty cut the Connecticut lead to nine points.
Zahui B hit a three-point shot to trim the lead to nine but Williams responded with a jumper after Jones intercepted a Nurse pass to push the lead back to 11 points, 59-48.
Charles hit a pair of free throws to again cut the lead to nine but the Sun went on a 10-0 run to pull away for good. The big plays in the run were a three-point shot from Jones, a steal from guard Natisha Hiedeman and a fast break layup and a drive from Alyssa Thomas to the basket off another New York turnover.
The Sun forced 17 New York turnovers and scored 37 points off those miscues.
Connnecticut’s lead swelled to 20 in the fourth quarter. New York cut the lead to 11 points four times. Twice, the Sun responded with a successful three-point shot and both times, it was Holmes off a beautiful pass from Williams. In the other two instances, Holmes and Hiedeman sank a pair of foul shots.
The Sun are off for a few days before they head to Minnesota on Friday night to face the Lynx at 8 p.m. That is followed by a big game in Las Vegas on Sunday at 6 p.m. against the Aces.
Connecticut (16-6) has a one-game lead over Las Vegas (15-7) for first place in the WNBA.
NOTES: Jones is the second player from the WNBA’s Class of 2016 to score more than 1,500 points. She needed 12 points and scored 14. The first player to score more than 1,500 points from the Class of 2016 was Seattle’s Brianna Stewart. … The game was played before 1,927 fans at the Westchester County Center that has a 5,000 capacity for basketball.