Sun finish road trip at New York on Thursday
The Connecticut Sun have almost reached the end of road. For now.
Connecticut visits the New York Liberty on Thursday (7 p.m.) in the last game of its four-game, seven-day road trip.
The game is at the Westchester County Center in White Plains, N.Y., the Liberty’s home for most of this season. They’ll play just one game at Madison Square Garden, their home for 21 seasons.
The Sun were the WNBA’s only unbeaten team prior to Tuesday night’s game at the Atlanta Dream. They had led the league in scoring (97.4 ppg), field goal percentage (50.8) and 3-point shooting (40%) through their first five games.
That offensive juggernaut missed an 82-77 loss to Atlanta. Connecticut made just 36.6 percent of its shots and was a miserable 7 of 32 (21.9) from behind the arc.
“We played with so much energy (in the first two road wins), and I think today we didn’t have our legs,” Chiney Ogwumike said after the game. “Atlanta knows us better than any other team knows us with (head coach) Nicki (Collen, a former Connecticut assistant). We had to work doubly hard for everything we got.
“We’re not going to hang our heads down. We had a great start so far, but we'll learn from this, how to push through, and also know how to play when we’re not hitting outside shots.”
New York (2-3) has been hamstrung by rotten luck. It’s been without guard Epiphanny Prince (concussion), one of its leading scorers. Post Kia Vaughn arrived late to the team due to overseas commitments. Fellow guard Sugar Rodgers returned Tuesday after missing three games to a left knee strain. Guard Brittany Boyd played her first game that day after missing all but two games last season after tearing her left Achilles tendon.
The Liberty, at full strength, will be one of the WNBA's most fearsome teams (they finished first in the Eastern Conference last year). Olympic post Tina Charles remains as consistent as ever as she leads the league in scoring (23.8 ppg). She’s also among the league leaders in rebounding (8.8 rpg).
Connecticut returns home after the New York game will host to the world champion Minnesota Lynx on Saturday afternoon at 2, and the Washington Mystics on June 13.
The Sun will then continue their gruesome first-half schedule with nine of their next 10 games on the road. They will fly cross country after the Washington game and play five road games in nine days, starting with a back-to-back against the Seattle Storm (June 15) and Phoenix Mercury (June 16).
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The Connecticut Sun can match their best start in franchise history with a win at home Sunday against the defending champion Seattle Storm at Mohegan Sun Arena (3:30 p.m., Ch. 8).
Jonquel Jones had her fifth double-double of the season as the league-leading Connecticut Sun edged the Minnesota Lynx on Friday night, 85-81, before 8,803 at the Target Center.