For the second time in a week, the Connecticut Sun lost on a last-second buzzer beater – this time Tiffany Hayes sunk a beyond half-court shot to lift the Atlanta Dream to an 86-83 victory over the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena.
The Sun (12-11 for the season) led by as much as 11 early on and were still leading by seven when Jones hit a three-pointer to make it 79-72 with just over five minutes left in the game. But Atlanta (13-9) rallied to tie the game at 81 with 1:42 remaining on a three from Angel McCoughtry (24 points). The game was tied again with 31.9 seconds left after Alyssa Thomas (12 points, 10 rebounds) hit a pair of free throws.
McCoughtry missed a jumper and the Sun had the ball back with 11.4 seconds left. But on the final possession, Hayes stole a pass from Jasmine Thomas and launched her winning shot.
Jonquel Jones led five Sun players in double-figures with 19 points, and she also had seven rebounds. Rachel Banham added 15 points with three made threes.
Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller commented after the game: “I thought we did a lot of really, really good things, we just gave up 22 points off turnovers and I thought the game was called differently at either end. We tried to go hard. They give their shot blockers a lot of freedom to swing, but they called a lot of blocking fouls on our guards. It’s a tough series, we got swept and felt like we outplayed them all three games and came away with no wins.”
Atlanta Dream Head Coach Nicki Collen commented: “I think we have just played in a lot of close games. I felt like we hadn’t done a great job of guarding (Rachel) Banham obviously and she got loose on us. We just challenge each other to get stops and as cliché as it sounds, it’s that whole score, stop, score, stop and we always have the ability to get to the foul line. We were in the bonus and Tiffany Hayes is as fast as any player in this league and even though you think you can cut her left hand off, you can’t and she can just shake you and get back to it. Angel (McCoughtry) hit a big three and we just had enough big plays, we kept clawing and put the pressure back on them.”
The Sun are home again July 20th, hosting the Seattle Storm on Hometown Heroes Night, while the Dream head to New York to take on the Liberty on July 19th.
See photos from the game below, or visit the gallery here for full-size images.