Sun finish off their July schedule with a loss to the Dream

Kelsey Bone of the Sun shoots a free throw during a game against the Storm on July 15.
Kelsey Bone of the Sun shoots a free throw during a game against the Storm on July 15.

Atlanta - There's two days left in July.

It can't end soon enough for the Connecticut Sun.

Angel McCoughtry scored 25 for the Atlanta Dream as Connecticut ended the month with an 89-80 loss on Tuesday afteroon before 4,308 at Philips Arena.

The Sun lost nine of their 11 games in July, making it the second-worst month in the franchise's 16-year history. Only June 2013 was worse (1-6).

It was also the 11th loss in 13 games for Connecticut (10-17). It can finish no better than .500 as it has seven regular season games left.

"We haven't quite figured out how to impose our will when the opponent makes a push," Sun head coach Anne Donovan said. "I don't question our effort, we are just a young team. Sometimes we are locked in so much more in some games than others.

"We were locked in today, but we just need to put the ball in the hole more to have some confidence defensively. The runs that people make on us is where we struggle."

Connecticut is in last place in the Eastern Conference and two games behind fourth-place New York. They had a six-game winning streak in June and ended that month in second place.

Kelsey Bone had 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun while rookie Chiney Ogwumike added 16 points, six rebounds and three steals. Rookie Alyssa Thomas added 17 points.

Connecticut guards Alex Bentley, Katie Douglas and Renee Montgomery combined to miss 20 of 36 field goals.

Douglas scored 10, and Bentley had eight assists and three steals.

"This was a continuation from the other night (Sunday's 76-65 home loss to Minnesota)," Douglas said. "They were not falling and I just have to do a better job making shots. I had some open looks that I normally knock down, I just didn't do that today."

The Sun had a league-worst .415 field goal percentage headed into Tuesday's games.

"We did a tremendous job scoring in the paint in the first half, but then they took the paint away from us and we could not connect from the outside," Donovan said. "It was getting tougher and tougher for our post players to get stuff done inside. We need the combination of both our guards making shots and our posts able to work inside."

Tiffany Hayes had a career-tying 23 points for first-place Atlanta (16-9).

"The matchup against (Tiffany) Hayes got away from us today," Donovan said. "We missed the boat on her."

Atlanta led 44-41 at halftime and pushed it to 73-63 on Hayes' layup with 7:21 remaining in the game.

The Sun countered with eight straight points. Douglas scored on a runner to pull Connecticut within 73-71 with 4:41 left.

The Dream scored six points out of the timeout and weren't threatened again.

"We started to buckle late in the fourth quarter," Bone said.

"We are a young team trying to figure out how to win on the road."


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