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Bonner helps Sun top Atlanta for eighth straight win

DeWanna Bonner had 18 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Sun to a 69-50 win over Atlanta. (Photo courtesy Connecticut Sun)

DeWanna Bonner scored 18 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and had two blocks as the Connecticut Sun beat the Atlanta Dream on Sunday, 69-50 to remain undefeated with their eighth consecutive victory in Atlanta.

It is the best start in franchise history and only five other teams in league history have started the season with a better record. Minnesota owns the league record after winning their first 13 games of the season in 2016.

Bonner has led the Sun in scoring in six of eight games this season.

Alyssa Thomas pulled down a season-high 14 rebounds and dished out 11 assists along with scoring eight points. DiJonai Carrington had 15 points, four rebounds and an assist while Ty Harris had 13 points, including three field goals from three-point range.

The Sun shot 42.4 percent from the floor but held their opponent under 29 percent shooting for the second time in the last three games. Atlanta converted on just 28.4 percent of their shots (19-of-67). On May 28, Connecticut held Phoenix to 23.8 percent shooting.

“I felt our defensive energy and intensity, especially those last three quarters, were really good,” Sun head coach Stephanie White said. “You have to give our players a lot of credit for their attention to detail and intensity on the defensive end of the floor.”

Tina Charles, the former UConn star who won a MVP with the Sun earlier in her career, led Atlanta (4-3) with 12 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and a block.

Connecticut also grabbed a season-high 45 rebounds in the win. The Sun outrebounded the Dream, 45-33.

“We’ve been able to win some close games,” White said. “We’re nowhere near where we need to be in terms of how we’re playing on either end of the floor. And so we just focus on the next task at hand. This is a very, very, in the present task motivated group.”

“I also think we don’t care about the record. I mean, it’s a 40-game season,” Thomas said. “It’s a lot of basketball that we (need to) play. Right now, it’s just about us and getting better each and every game.”

The first quarter of action was a back-and-forth battle, with two lead changes and six ties.

Connecticut used a 20-6 run in the second period to find some separation, taking a 12-point advantage at the break, 39-27.

The Sun led by as many as 22 points in the third quarter, but the Dream were able to cut the advantage to 14, 57-43, heading into the fourth.

Connecticut will host Washington on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

Connecticut 69, Atlanta 50
At Atlanta
Connecticut (69)
Bonner 8-15, 0-2 18, Thomas 3-10, 2-4 8, Jones 4-7 1-2 9, Carrington 6-10 2-3 1, Harris 4-13, 2-2 13, Nelson Ododa 1-2 0-0 2, Mitchell 1-3 0-0 2, Jefferson 0-0 0-0 0, Banham 1-4 0-0 2, Egbo 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 28-66, 7-13, 69
Atlanta (50) Gray 3-11 2-2 9, Parker Tyus 2-5 0-0 4, Charles 5-18 2-2 12, Howard 2-9 0-0 4, Jones 1-6 0-0 3, Coffey 1-4 0-0 2, Dangerfield 1-4 0-0 2, Powers 2-8 2-2 7, Hillmon 2-2 3-4 7, Amiher 0-0 0-2 0, Cubaj 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-67 9-12, 50
Connecticut (8-0)     17  22  18  12  — 69
Atlanta (4-3)                17  10  16  7  — 50
Three-point goals: Connecticut 6-18 (Bonner 2-4, Carrington 1-2, Harris 3-9, Mitchell 0-1, Banham 0-2); Atlanta 3-16 (Gray 1-3, Charles 0-1, Howard 0-5, Jones 1-1, Coffey 0-2, Dangerfield 0-2, Powers 1-2)

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.

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