Success so far eluding the Sun (0-3)
Rosemont, Ill. — The Connecticut Sun's offense went haywire in the second quarter of Wednesday's game and took their defense with it.
Connecticut managed just eight second-quarter points and lost to the Chicago Sky, 78-68.
Chicago outscored the Sun in the second quarter, 21-8. It finished shooting 51.7-percent from the field.
"We tend to lose our focus defensively," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "I think we have pretty good schemes defensively. In the second half we showed that. When we stuck to the game plan, I think we made it difficult for them. … When shots don't fall we tend to get a little bit erratic defensively."
Rookie Chiney Ogwumike had 10 of her 18 points in the third quarter to help the Sun threaten in the second half. Katie Douglas added 14 points for Connecticut (0-3).
"It just took a while for our inside game to get going," Ogwumike said. "It's really unfortunate. If we had that going a little earlier, maybe we wouldn't have gotten in that big of a hole."
Elena Delle Donne scored 21 for Chicago (3-0) and former Sun forward Jessica Breland had 14 points and 15 rebounds. Courtney Vandersloot added 18 points.
Delle Donne got past an uneven start, and the Sky held Connecticut to 3 of 21 shooting in the second quarter to open up a 19-point lead entering the half at 45-26.
The Sun used an 11-3 run to cut the lead to 68-62, the closest they had been since the start of the second quarter, with 4:22 remaining, highlighted by Allison Hightower's foul shot following a layup.
Delle Donne made sure that's where it stopped and the Sky scored the next six points, including on an assist and a runner in the lane by the 2013 Rookie of the Year.
Then she blocked a shot to start the fast break and Vandersloot knocked down a pull-up jumper that made it 76-62 with 2:09 remaining.
"(I'm) not even looking for my shots," Delle Donne said. "But just kind of somehow playing through me where the defense shifts. It's just kind of figuring out how to attack in a smart way."
This is the first time the Sun have started the season 0-3.
"What we need to do this year is put 40 minutes together, but it's our defense," Sun forward Kelsey Griffin said. "Chicago was getting any shot they wanted. They were shooting at an incredibly high percentage when we came into halftime. We knew that if there was any chance of us being in it at the end of the game that we had to get our defense done and really talk and get any 50/50 balls and keep crashing the boards if our shots weren't dropping."
Connecticut returns home Friday night to Mohegan Sun Arena to play Sue Bird and the Seattle Storm.
"I think right now we have had three different experiences as a team," Ogwumike said. "We really didn't come to play against New York. We fought super hard and played 40-something minutes against Minnesota. We played 20 minutes here of team basketball. All these experiences will hopefully be fruitful and we can get a win. … and we want it Friday."
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