Behind a season-high 21 points from Alyssa Thomas, the Connecticut Sun rolled to an 86-77 win over the Indiana Fever on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun are 3-0 to start the year for the first time since 2008. Connecticut never trailed, building its lead to as much as 20 midway through the fourth quarter. The Fever (0-5) staged a late rally, making five of eight three-point attempts in the fourth quarter, but never got closer than nine.
Rachel Banham came off the bench to score a career-high 14 points while Courtney Williams (11 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Jasmine Thomas (11 points, four assists) and Chiney Ogwumike (10 points, eight rebounds) also reached double figures. Eight different Sun players scored, and Connecticut racked up 20 assists on 32 made field goals. For the Fever, Candace Dupree had 14 points and Victoria Vivians scored 13 points.
After the game, Head Coach Curt Miller commented: “Well it wasn’t always pretty tonight, and certainly we had stretches that we didn’t play particularly well, but mission accomplished. We didn’t shy away this year from talking about how important May was. We got off to slow starts my first year and second year. We knew when the schedule came out and how much we’re on the road in June and early July, that this three-game homestand to start the year was very, very important to us, so mission accomplished getting to 3-0. We’re really excited about that, good teams take care of business at home. Despite any of those three teams being at full strength, we did what we needed to do. Tonight, I thought we had good stretches. We couldn’t sustain it for as long as we wanted. The fourth quarter, as good as it was for us the other night, was a struggle tonight. I have to give credit to Indiana’s second unit, their energy in the second half with 10 offensive rebounds alone in the half and a lot of put-backs, and their fight in the fourth quarter was a reversal of what we did the other night in the fourth quarter. We’re proud of our gang that we got to the finish line.”
For the Fever, Head Coach Pokey Chatman stated: “You want to come out in the win column, that is just what you do at this level, that is what you expect and what you prepare for and why you play the 40-minute game. No one else except for us in that locker room expected us to have a chance to win anyway. You could see the frustration in how we were making them uncomfortable and they were taking timeouts and uncharacteristic stuff. I will always give the opposition credit in terms of the win, but I think there were some turnovers in there, we had 18 that led to 18 points off of them and it should have been 12. I thought we did the hard part, outrebounding them, we just have to do a better job of being disciplined defending without fouling.”
The Sun begin a four-game road trip at Chicago on June 1. The team returns home on June 9 to face the defending champion Minnesota Lynx.
Listen to Sun Head Coach Curt Miller’s full comments after the game below.
See photos from the game below, or visit the gallery here for full-size images.