Sky ends Sun's seven-game winning streak in rout

Chicago — Alyssa Thomas’ inbounds pass was stolen by Courtney Vandersloot with 1.1 seconds left in the first half of Sunday’s game, just enough time for the Chicago Sky point guard to make a driving layup.

It was a fitting end to the Connecticut Sun’s awful second quarter.

The Sun were wiped out by Chicago in the second quarter and absorbed their first beatdown of the WNBA season, 93-75, before 5,607 at Wintrust Arena.

The loss snapped Connecticut’s seven-game winning streak and its best start in franchise history. It leads the league with a 9-2 record.

“They are a team with high energy,” Jonquel Jones of the Sun said about Chicago. “Tonight, we didn’t come out with enough energy to match theirs. I think that that’s one of the ways we can play the game better and be a better team than before.

“It’s a long season. Sometimes things like this just happen.”

Connecticut was outscored 29-8 in the second quarter.

“They put us on our heels from the beginning,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said. ”We give up 28 made field goals a game; they had 25 in the first half, so their execution was great, and that’s what’s special about them. They have five players on the floor who can score at any time. They can really congest things at times and then they can spread you out, so you’re picking your poison all the time.

“You’re trying to contest and get the ball out of Vandersloot’s hands, but then they have all those shooters around, so hats off. They were terrific offensively. They were the aggressor and we were a step too slow all night.”

Chicago (6-3) opened the second quarter with a 15-0 run. It was a far cry from scoring its season low in a 76-69 home loss to the Indiana Fever.

Reserve Cheyenne Parker scored a career-high 22 with six rebounds for Chicago, which had five players score in double figures. Vandersloot had 13 points, seven assists and three steals and Diamond DeShields had 12 points and nine rebounds.

“It just emphasizes what we already know, which is that we’re the team to beat,” Parker said. “I don’t think everyone realizes the potential that this team has; (that we) we haven’t even reached.

“We’re a force to reckon with this season.”

Allie Quigley had 14 points and five rebounds, Stefanie Dolson had 12 points and four rebounds, and Jantel Lavender had eight points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Sky. They shot 53.8 percent.

Jones had 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Sun and Jasmine Thomas had 12 points and seven assists. Alyssa Thomas scored a team-high 13 with three steals, and reserve Rachel Banham scored 10.

Kahleah Copper opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer to start Chicago’s 15-0 run.

Parker’s steal and layup pushed the Sky ahead, 42-27, with 6 minutes, 13 seconds left in the quarter. She scored seven that quarter.

The Sun never got any closer than 16 points.

Dolson’s 3-pointer gave Chicago its largest lead, 64-60, with 7:28 remaining in the third quarter.

Connecticut’s starters sat the entire fourth quarter (Shekinna Stricklen, Courtney Williams, Jones and Alyssa and Jasmine Thomas).

“We know everybody is going to come at us with their best game,” Alyssa Thomas said. “We’ve got to be better. Our energy was kind of low tonight. We got to take a look at the film. Like I said, learn from this one and move onto the next.”

The Sun continue their three-game road trip at the Dallas Wings on Wednesday, and at the second-place Washington Mystics on Saturday.

n.griffen@theday.com

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