Connect with us


Bonner helps Connecticut surge in fourth quarter and beat Mystics

Connecticut’s DeWanna Bonner scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter to help the Sun beat Washington on Friday night.

After Washington’s Ariel Atkins drained a three-point shot after a turnover from the host Connecticut Sun, the visiting Mystics had a seven-point lead early in the fourth quarter.

That was the high water mark for the Mystics Friday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville. The Sun scored 17 of the next 20 points in the game including a run of 17 consecutive points to beat the Mystics 84-77 before a crowd of 6,871.

Connecticut veteran DeWanna Bonner scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter as the Sun won their second straight game and beat the Mystics for the sixth straight contest. DiJonai Carrington had 21 points and three assists for the Sun while Alyssa Thomas had 13 points, a team-high 11 rebounds and six assists.

Washington (0-2) hit eight of their first 17 shots from three-point range to stay in the game but sank just one of 5 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter. The Sun had 14 steals in the game and six in the pivotal fourth quarter.

“I had to do something,” Bonner admitted. “For three quarters, I wasn’t my best. I felt I had to turn it on or sit down. I just got aggressive on defense.”

In the fourth quarter, Bonner was 6-of-9 from the floor with four rebounds and four steals.

“Great players understand the moment,” Sun coach Stephanie White said. “She had struggled shooting the basketball but she found ways in the fourth quarter to get to the rim. Whether it was attacking, cutting , getting an easy one or getting to the free throw line. It is the DNA of some players to understand the moment.”

Washington led 59-52 early in the fourth quarter after Atkins completed a three-point play. Bonner scored in the lane to cut the lead to five and then stole the ball and drove to the basket to reduce the lead to three, 59-56.

A three-point play from Shakira Austin extended the Mystic lead to six but Carrington scored in the lane, was fouled and completed the three-point play to cut the lead to three, 62-59 with 8:02 remaining in the game.

The Sun scored the next 12 points of the game to take a 62-59 lead. Bonner had six of the ten points on drives to the basket. Two baskets came off fabulous passes from Thomas and the third basket came after another steal and a drive to the basket.

Brionna Jones also had two baskets in the low post for Connecticut. She had seven points and seven rebounds in 20 minutes of work as she continues to come back from last year’s achilles tendon injury.

The Sun led by seven, 75-68 with 2:54 remaining but the Mystics didn’t go quietly.

After cutting the Connecticut lead to two with 1:50 remaining, it was Ty Harris with a three-point in the lane with 1:36 left to extend the lead to five points.

Washington cut the lead to three with 16.7 seconds but Bonner hit two free throws with 13.9 seconds and then Harris stole the ball and drove in for a layup with a second left to ice the contest.

Karlie Samuelson had a career-high 18 points and four three-point goals. Julie Vanloo came off the bench to score 12 points for the Mystics.

“It wasn’t a pretty game,” White admitted. “For three quarters, we were pretty average. In the fourth quarter, we gutted it out and found a way to win. That is a tribute to our leaders and the toughness that (Thomas), (Bonner) and Bri Jones bring. Finding ways to get a win in this league is big. I am proud of them for finding a way.”

Connecticut 84, Washington 77
At Uncasville, Conn.
Washington (77)
K. Samuelson 6-8 2-2 18, Austin 4-8 2-3 10, Dolson 3-7 0-0 9, Atkins 3-12 2-2 8, Sykes 0-1 2-2 2, Hines-Allen 2-4 2-2 7, Edwards 3-5 0-0 7, Vanloo 5-9 1-1 6, Walker-Kimbrough 5-9 1-1 12, Richards 2-3 1-2 5, Engstler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-58 12-14 77
Connecticut (84) Bonner 9-19 4-4 22, Thomas 3-7 7-7 13, Jones 3-5 1-2 7, Carrington 7-18 7-7 21, Harris 2-7 1-1 5, Nelson-Ododa 3-3 2-3 8, Banham 0-4 0-0 0, Jefferson 2- 2-2 8, Mitchell 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-68 24-26 84
Washington (0-2)        20  16  20  21  — 77
Connecticut (2-0)       18  18  16  32  — 84
Three-point goals: Washington 9-22 (Samuelson 4-5, Dolson 3-5, Atkins 0-5, Sykes 0-2, Hines-Allen 1-2, Vanloo 1-4, Richards 0-1); Connecticut 2-20 (Bonner 0-6, Carrington 0-4, Harris 0-2, Banham 0-3, Jefferson 2-4, Mitchell 0-1)

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 40 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

More in WNBA