Shooting pains for the Sun

Katie Douglas of the Sun, right, dribbles past Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty in the first half of Sunday's WNBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Liberty won 67-65.
Katie Douglas of the Sun, right, dribbles past Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty in the first half of Sunday's WNBA game at Madison Square Garden in New York. The Liberty won 67-65. John Minchillo/AP photo

New York - Connecticut Sun veteran Katie Douglas was asked about her team's offense after Sunday's game.

"Ho-oooo," Douglas winced. "Hoo-hoo-hoo. Can you put that in the paper?"

The Sun shot a meager 35.6-percent in a 67-65 loss to the New York Liberty at Madison Square Garden. There were times that their field goal percentage was threatening to drop well below 30 percent, such as when they missed eight of their first nine shots to open both the second and third quarters.

Connecticut made just nine of 37 shots over the second and third quarters combined.

"We looked like the team that started the season (1-5), not being able to put the ball in the hole from the outside," Sun coach Anne Donovan said. "It was the key to our (recent) six-game winning streak. All of the sudden our shooters started to put the ball in the hole, which frees up our post game a little bit. So when we shoot the ball poorly from the outside and (defenses) are sagging in the paint waiting for our post game, it's going to be tough to come out with a win."

The loss wasted a great showing by Connecticut rookie Chiney Ogwumike. She was at her whirling dervish best in the post as she had a game-high 22 points and 17 rebounds.

Alex Bentley had 18 points for the Sun (8-8) and Kelsey Bone added 13 points and eight rebounds.

Douglas missed 11 of her 12 shots for 3 points. She added eight rebounds and five assists.

"When you go head-to-head against teams multiple times, you've got to be extra sharp, extra crisp, about our cuts, our reads, counters, pretty much anything," Douglas said. "At times we looked okay, and at times we didn't.

"We just weren't making the right reads, the right adjustments, (or) myself not making any shots."

Tina Charles and Cappie Pondexter both scored 14 for the Liberty (5-11).

New York went ahead, 63-52, with six minutes, 52 seconds left in the game.

Bentley rallied Connecticut back. She made a 3-pointer to kick-start a 9-3 run and scored seven of those points.

Ogwumike tacked on back-to-back layups to cut the Sun's deficit to 66-65 with 2:21 remaining.

Ogwumike was fouled on the second layup, but missed her free throw.

Connecticut's Alyssa Thomas grabbed the offensive rebound. Bone missed a layup.

Bone got another offensive rebound for the Sun.

Douglas missed a 3-pointer, and the Liberty's Alex Montgomery grabbed the rebound.

Ogwumike threw an errant pass on Connecticut's next possession.

Douglas missed a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds left and had to foul Anna Cruz.

Cruz made the second of two free throws with 1.9 seconds left for the game's final point.

"We made an emphasis at the beginning of the game today that we needed to execute every time we were on offense," Ogwumike said. "I think we (thought), 'okay, if the shots aren't going in, then let's be aggressive.' I think we sort of went out of sync because we were trying to go in between executing (offensively) and being really aggressive.

"We almost made our way back, and I would've really loved to have won this game, but that's the way the cookie crumbles."

n.griffen@theday.com

Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty (23) shoots in between Kelsey Bone, right, and Alyssa Thomas of the Sun in the second half of Sunday's WNBA game at New York.
Cappie Pondexter of the Liberty (23) shoots in between Kelsey Bone, right, and Alyssa Thomas of the Sun in the second half of Sunday's WNBA game at New York. John Minchillo/AP photo
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