Sun walk the (River)walk
San Antonio - Tina Charles scored 22 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to an 84-73 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Thursday night.
Kara Lawson added 14 points, and Renee Montgomery and Kelsey Griffin each had 13 for Connecticut (19-6) and coach Mike Thibault picked up the 200th victory of his career. Thibault is only the second WNBA coach to the 200-win mark, joining former Houston Comets coach Van Chancellor (211).
Danielle Adams scored 22 points and Sophia Young added 20 for San Antonio (17-8). Becky Hammon was held to eight points while taking only three shots.
Connecticut, which holds the league's best road record at 10-2, snapped San Antonio's nine-game winning streak at home.
"There is a football term called next man up. We're in that mode now," Thibault said. "It's a great win for us. A road win against a great team, I am just thrilled. We've beaten some good teams but this is a tough place to win."
"It was a very important win for us," said the Sun's Kelsey Griffin. "I haven't ever won here. It was a really great team win."
After exchanging baskets for much of the first quarter, the Eastern Conference-leading Sun took command in the second.
Connecticut raced to a 14-point lead midway through the quarter while holding San Antonio scoreless for a 4:17 span.
Young's jumper from the top of the key snapped a 16-0 run by the Sun.
The run included a pair of 3-pointers by Lawson and another from Danielle McCray.
Charles dominated the interior with a series of baby hooks and spin moves while scoring 14 points in the first half.
Adams scored nine consecutive points, closing with a 3-pointer, to draw the Silver Stars to 47-40 in the first half.
Griffin extended the Sun's lead to 50-40 when she stole Adams' attempted outlet pass, was fouled on a layup and made the ensuing free throw.
The Silver Stars were 4-for-9 on free throws in the third quarter, hampering their attempts at a rally. San Antonio also committed four turnovers in the quarter and was 1 of 4 from 3-point range.
Robinson's 15-foot jumper pulled San Antonio to 58-52 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter, but Connecticut responded by making 3 of 4 free throws.
Each attempt at a rally in the fourth quarter was quickly quelled by the Sun.
A 3-pointer by Adams was followed seconds later by Lawson's short jumper for a 73-60 lead with 6 minutes left.
Adams' second 3-pointer of the fourth was followed a minute later by Lawson's 3-pointer that was set up when Griffin stripped away a defensive rebound.
Perkins' 3-pointer pulled San Antonio within 78-70 with 1:12 left in the game. The Silver Stars attempted to foul after that shot, but were not assessed one despite continually slapping Montgomery's arms and yelling at official Roy Gulbeyan to call a foul.
The teams got off to fast start, putting up 20 shots and scoring 21 points in the first 5 minutes of the game.
Greene's 3-pointer put the Sun ahead 11-8, but the Silver Stars reclaimed the lead on a layup by Jayne Appel and a 3-pointer by Hammon.
Appel left the game late in the first half after injuring her right ankle.
Montgomery made all her free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to help the Sun forge a 20-all tie after the first quarter.
There were only eight personal fouls called in the first half despite a physical contest, but Hammon and Montgomery were each assessed a technical for arguing non calls.
The Sun, who have already clinched a playoff berth, were playing without Asjha Jones (strained Achilles) and Mistie Mims (strained quad).
"It just means you've been around awhile," said Thibault, asked about his 200th victory.
"I've been very fortunate in Connecticut. We have great ownership, great fans and great players over the last 10 years."
• The Sun announced they have signed former UConn standout Jessica Moore through the end of the season.
As per team policy, terms were not released.
Moore appeared in 29 games for the Sun in 2011, collecting 48 points and 23 rebounds in limited minutes off the bench.
The 6-foot-3 forward/center was not re-signed in 2012 because she was not physically ready to play at the start of the season. She eventually signed with Atlanta, but was waived by the Dream. Connecticut signed her to a seven-day contract earlier in the month.
Moore has appeared in three games for the Sun this season. She was 2-for-2 with four points in the win at Chicago Tuesday.
MOST VIEWED MEDIA
MOST DISCUSSED STORIES