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    CT Sun
    Tuesday, December 06, 2022

    Sun lose Bentley, then game to Tulsa

    Tulsa — Another day, another injury for the Connecticut Sun.

    All-star Alex Bentley, Connecticut's second-leading scorer, injured her right ankle seven minutes into Friday’s game at the Tulsa Shock and couldn’t return.

    It shouldn’t be hard to figure out the winner.

    Oh, the Sun managed to get the game into overtime, but they still lost their third game in a row, 84-76, before 4,225 at the BOK Center.

    Connecticut fell to 12-13, the first time it’s been under .500 since it opened the season.

    "I though we competed as hard as we could compete, with only eight players,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said. “Losing Bentley early in that game was definitely a problem for us. We were already shorthanded with nine coming in, then losing her we went down to eight. I thought we battled to get it to overtime, had a good fourth quarter, and just didn't have enough gas in overtime."

    Time is running out on Connecticut with nine games remaining. It's in fifth place in the Eastern Conference with the top four teams qualifying.

    Connecticut is four games behind the second-place Indiana Fever (15-9) in the standings. It actually five games as the Fever won the season series to clinch that head-to-head tiebreaker.

    The Sun also trail the third-place Washington Mystics (15-10) and Chicago Sky (16-11) by three games. Washington holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over Connecticut. Chicago has beaten it in two of their three meetings with two games remaining.

    Bentley injured her ankle after missing a 3-pointer with 3 minutes, 48 seconds left in the first half. She had to be helped to the bench. She made her first three shots, including a 3-pointer, as Connecticut had early leads of 7-0 and 12-4. She's listed as day-to-day.

    Bentley's ankle was the latest in a morbid number of injuries for Connecticut this season. It lost five players before the regular season opened, including starters Katie Douglas and Chiney Ogwumike.

    Starting forward Alyssa Thomas (shoulder sprain) and reserve rookie center Elizabeth Williams (knee contusion) were both hurt last week. Donovan had said it'll be another week before both are reevaluated.

    Reserve post Kayla Pedersen was concussed during Sunday's 90-77 loss to the Atlanta Dream and didn't travel to Tulsa.

    "We hope to get Alex back really soon," Bone said. "You know, we have more people in street clothes than we do in uniform. For us, we've got to keep playing, and we've got to keep playing hard and hoping that things will take care of themselves."

    Riquna Williams scored a game-high 22 and Odyssey Sims had 19 points for Tulsa (13-14), which is on a three-game winning streak.

    Jennifer Lacy scored 18 of her 20 points in the first half for the Sun and reserve Shekinna Stricklen had 13 points and five rebounds. Kelsey Bone added 14 points.

    Williams opened overtime with back-to-back jumpers to give Tulsa a 76-72 lead with four minutes remaining. It never trailed again.

    Karima Christmas scored six of her 10 points in the final 2:18 to ice the game.

    Connecticut rallied from a nine-point deficit to start the fourth quarter, forcing overtime. Bone made three straight layups to help her team open the fourth with an 11-0 run.

    Williams’ jumper gave the Shock a 72-70 lead with 25.8 seconds left in regulation.

    Stricklen tied it with a layup with 16.8 seconds remaining.

    Sims missed a layup at the buzzer.

    The teams traded the lead 10 times with four ties in the fourth quarter.

    Connecticut started the second half with a 39-30 edge.

    The Sun ended the quarter trailing, 55-46. It didn’t score for the final 7:01 of that period and missed 13 of 16 field goals.

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