Jonquel Jones had a season-high 23 points off the bench as the Connecticut Sun rolled to a 94-68 win over the Washington Mystics at Mohegan Sun Arena. Connecticut was a scorching 39-of-68 from the field, 9-of-16 from three-point range, and the Sun also racked up 24 assists. Connecticut (14-12) overcame a nine-point deficit in the first quarter, holding the Mystics (14-11) to 17-of-54 shooting for 42 points over the last three quarters.
It was a tough first quarter for the Sun with Elena Delle Donne scoring 16 of her team-high 21 points in the first quarter, making 7-of-8 shots while staking the Mystics to a 26-19 lead.
After some first-quarter adjustments for the Sun, Jonquel Jones hit a three-pointer 30 seconds into the second quarter, sparking a 20-2 Connecticut run. Morgan Tuck had nine points and four rebounds in that run, which gave the Sun a 39-30 lead. Connecticut outscored the Mystics 26-9 in the quarter to build a 45-35 lead at the break.
It was more of the same in the third. Washington cut the deficit to eight once and nine twice, but could not get closer. A three-pointer by Courtney Williams with 5:04 remaining and the Sun up by 53-44 started a 19-6 run to close the quarter. Leading 72-50 after three, the Sun outscored Washington 11-4 to start the fourth. A layup by Jones with 6:05 remaining made it 85-54, and the rest was a formality.
Courtney Williams had 17 points, tied a career-high with 10 rebounds and also had a team-high six assist while Jasmine Thomas (14 points, four assists), Morgan Tuck (14 points, five rebounds) and Alyssa Thomas (12 points) contributed to a big offensive night for the Sun.
After the game, Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller commented — “Exciting win for us tonight. It’s big for us going into the break, a little bit of momentum on this very, very important three-game homestand, this one before the break and the two coming out of it. It’s a great start for us. I truly give huge credit to our players tonight. We worked hard with a 4:30 a.m.departure on Monday in Dallas, put together a game plan, got the troops all fired up, rolled out the game plan and absolutely got outcoached and out-executed in the first quarter. We had to change on the fly our entire game plan that we fired them up to play with, and they didn’t bat an eye. We made adjustments, rolled out a new plan and really had a fun three quarters for us. It felt a lot like last year in stretches between Dallas and tonight. You saw a really good game by JJ (Jonquel Jones) and our bench, but our defense – when we figured out something that could work – did a great job and kept them off the glass. I’m really proud of them because we were totally outcoached and out-executed early there. Credit to the players big time tonight.”
Washington Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault commented — “Right now we are in the middle of the stretch that everyone dreads. We play nine of 13 on the road during this stretch, but that is not an excuse for what happened tonight. I thought defensively we were as bad as we have been in a while and Connecticut made a ton of great shots. They executed tonight, but we had one extra day of rest on them and they looked fresher than us. I don’t know if that is mental or physical. Basically, I told my team that you have four or five days to regroup, come back from the All-Star break and then we have to fix a few things.”
Connecticut finishes this season series with Washington at 2-2. The Sun head to the All-Star break and will return to action August 1, hosting the New York Liberty. After the break, Washington travels to Atlanta to take on the Dream on July 31st.
Listen to the full post-game press conference with Connecticut Sun Head Coach Curt Miller below.
See photos from the game below, or visit the gallery here for full-size images.