Sun can't catch a break as they teeter on elimination from the postseason
Mohegan — There was over six minutes left in Tuesday's Connecticut Sun game and Katie Douglas was hopping mad. Literally.
Douglas, Connecticut's All-Star guard, leapt in the air as play was going on, irate over what she and her teammates thought was a missed call by the officials.
Douglas was called for a technical, one of three called on the Sun. Epiphanny Prince made the free throw. The 5,343 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena roared their disgust on a night where they watched a lot of curious officiating.
It was an ugly finish to Connecticut's 82-66 defeat, pushing it closer to the brink of postseason irrelevance. It's 2 1/2 games behind the Indiana Fever and Chicago, who are tied for third in the Eastern Conference.
The Sun are 11-19, and they have just four regular season games left to keep their fading playoff dreams alive.
Tuesday's loss didn't completely sink Connecticut's postseason chances, but the game's overall ugliness would've made for a fitting end.
"I think we kind of got into a situation where we got disgruntled," the Sun's Kelsey Bone said. "We got kind of knocked off of our game a little bit.
"When we're faced with adversity sometimes, we tend to hit panic mode."
Connecticut led for almost the entire third quarter when Prince scored 10 straight points in the final two minutes. That included three layups, two of which led to three-point plays.
Prince's spurt gave the Sky a 58-49 lead. She finished with 20 points and six assists.
Connecticut shot 8.7 percent in the third quarter.
Once again, 8.7 percent.
"I felt like our energy and effort were there," Douglas said. "Unfortunately, Chicago was able to knock down shots, and we couldn't get our shots going, then we couldn't get stops.
"It just kind of felt like an avalanche. It was kind of a snowballing effect out there in the third quarter where everyone just went ice cold. Give Chicago credit. They changed some things up (defensively)."
The Sky's third-quarter surge propelled them through the fourth. They pushed their lead to as many as 18 points (82-64) with seconds left in the game.
Rookie Alyssa Thomas had 15 points and six rebounds for the Sun and Bone added 13 points and eight rebounds. Alex Bentley and Douglas each scored 11.
Connecticut rookie Chiney Ogwumike was not at the game after needing an abscessed tooth drained earlier Tuesday. She's the team's leading scorer and rebounder.
The Sun endured a mystifying first quarter as Chicago missed eight of 12 field goals but led 20-19.
The Sky led thanks to a procession of their players getting to the free throw line. They made all 12 of their free throws that quarter.
Connecticut, by comparison, took six free throws in the first half.
The Sun trailed 28-23 with over six minutes left in the second quarter when they pushed ahead with a 14-4 run.
Bentley began the surge with a 3-pointer and Douglas ended it with a 3 as Connecticut went ahead 37-32 with 2:17 left in the first half.
The Sun had no such offense in the second half as they shot just 21.6 percent (8 of 37).
"It's so weird that there's not a lot of time left (in the regular season), but there's still a chance," Bone said. "We still have a chance, but at some point that chance is going to be gone."
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