The biggest question facing Connecticut before the game against Seattle was whether the Sun could win without their star, Jonquel Jones, who has averaged a double-double (21.6 points / 10.4 rebounds) over the first 10 games of the season. Jones will miss at least the next four Sun games to compete for Bosnia and Herzegovina in the EuroBasketball Olympic qualifier. Against a dominant Seattle Storm team, who has not lost on the road yet, the answer was a resounding “no.” Connecticut fell to the Storm 89-66 in the Sun’s most lopsided loss of the season.
In the previous meeting between these two teams, the game went to overtime and while the Storm ultimately prevailed, it could have gone either way.
In this one, the Sun were dominated by their rivals from Seattle from start to finish. The Storm’s superstars came up huge: Brianna Stewart had 9 rebounds and 22 points, and shot 4-5 from 3-point range. Sue Bird scored 13. In all, the team had 26 assists on 35 made field goals.
All 12 members of the Storm’s roster contributed points and solid minutes, including rookie Kiana Williams, who had graduated (virtually) earlier that day from Stanford.
Prior to the game, Connecticut Sun rookie DiJonai Carrington surprised Williams with congratulatory flowers. Carrington had graduated from Stanford in 2020, where she earned two undergraduate degrees in African and African American Studies and Psychology, before playing for one year as a graduate transfer at Baylor this past season.
Carrington got her first start for the Sun and looked strong on the boards, grabbing 7 rebounds to go along with 4 points in 15 minutes of play. The Sun were led by DeWanna Bonner, who had 14 points and 5 rebounds, and Kaila Charles, who came off the bench and had her strongest game of this young season, with 14 points, 4 rebounds, and 1 assist.
Jasmine Thomas became only the second Sun player to reach 900+ assists, which she did during this game. (Congratulations, Jasmine Thomas!)
Positives for the Sun included out-rebounding Seattle 31-28 and holding the brilliant Jewell Loyd, who is currently averaging 19.3 ppg, to only 7 points. But Seattle’s balanced offense proved too much for the Sun to handle. Sun Coach Curt Miller played with lineups all night, trying to find the right five to stop the Storm and get their offense going, but couldn’t find a winning combination.
The Sun play the Chicago Sky, who will have a healthy Candace Parker back in the lineup, on Thursday.
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Photo Credit: Connecticut Sun Twitter