Sun receive the message

Connecticut's Kelsey Bone (14) yanks this rebound away from Indiana's Karima Christmas (13) and Shavonte Zellous during the Sun's 89-67 victory Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun have won five straight.
Connecticut's Kelsey Bone (14) yanks this rebound away from Indiana's Karima Christmas (13) and Shavonte Zellous during the Sun's 89-67 victory Tuesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun have won five straight. Jessica Hill/AP Photo

Mohegan — Anne Donovan had seen enough. Early. And so out came Chiney Ogwumike. Out came Kelsey Bone.

This, really, is where the Connecticut Sun won their fifth straight game Tuesday night before 4,356 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Donovan watched Kelsey Griffin and Kayla Pedersen play quite well off the bench, conveying a not-so-subtle message to her two starters.

"(Donovan) said 'are you ready now?' when she put us back in," Bone said. "We had to answer that call. Anytime your coach challenges you and you respond, that's always a good thing."

Their response: a combined 34 points. Ogwumike, still beaming over her graduation ceremony Sunday at Stanford, scored all 18 points in the second half and Bone added 16, leading the hotter-than-a-jalapeno Sun to an 89-67 victory over Indiana, their fifth straight win.

And to think Connecticut (7-6) was dead last in the Eastern Conference as late as June 7. Now the Sun are in second place.

"I like the progress we've made. We're gaining confidence," Donovan said. "They stayed confident when we were in the hole and continued to work through it. Every day in practice they worked they prepared and refused to look at the one and whatever our record was (1-5). I like the team I'm seeing out there quite a bit."

Katie Douglas had 18 for the Sun and rookie Alyssa Thomas had 10 points and seven rebounds. Thomas had 26 rebounds in her last four games.

The Sun used a 22-2 run in the third period, during which the Fever (5-5) lost their minds. Indiana coach Lin Dunn was hit with a technical foul, moments before Shavonte Zellous was ejected for arguing with the officials.

"You have to learn to keep your composure," Dunn said. "I was very disappointed in Zellous. We need her. We count on her."

Connecticut attempted 19 more free throws than Indiana.

Sun players, meanwhile, enjoyed themselves more than they had in a while. They even celebrated guard Renee Montgomery's two blocked shots, which Montgomery cracked after the game "is a career high."

"You don't see that kind of lead or win very often in the WNBA," Donovan said. "It's fun every day, even when we were one and whatever we were. They never gave up on each other."

Said Bone: "This is a very talented team."

This is Connecticut's longest winning streak since July of 2012 when it won five straight. Connecticut needs four wins the rest of the season to eclipse its 2013 win total of 10.

Donovan will give the players some time off in the coming days. The Sun don't play again until June 25 when Chicago visits at 7 p.m.

m.dimauro@theday.com

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