Sun fall to Wings, 82-71
Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller starts each postgame press conference with an opening statement before taking questions.
Miller didn’t bother giving one after Tuesday night’s 82-71 loss to the Dallas Wings at College Park Center in Arlington, Texas, and let the media ask away.
There’s just so many times Miller can say the same things as Connecticut (14-8) dropped its fourth game in six tries headed into the All-Star break.
There’s also just so many ways to ask the Sun how they trailed after the first quarter again (Dallas led, 28-16). Or their continued struggle to make shots away from the basket after being tops in the WNBA in field goal percentage prior to June 19.
“We haven’t shot the ball well,” Miller said. “People pick their poison with our post game, and they crowd the paint and force us to make shots. Tonight, we really executed (to get) open shots if it was a pull-up two, if it was threes, if it was inside. I thought we got a little bit sloppy late, but you know that’s (us) trying to make plays.
“We just haven’t shot the ball well from the three-point line since Atlanta.”
The Sun roasted Atlanta, 105-92, on June 10. They shot 51.9-percent against a defense that had held opponents to a league-low 38.6 percent prior to that game. They also made 10 of 15 threes in the first quarter and finished making 53.8 percent (14 of 26).
Connecticut has made just 29 3-pointers over the last six games. It missed 16 of 20 against Dallas and shot 43.1 percent from the field.
“Basketball is basketball,” Sun Courtney Williams said. “Some games you don’t shoot the lights out. Some games it’s going to be average. .... That’s just the reality of basketball.”
Connecticut’s Brionna Jones added, “I think it’s just finding ways to win when we aren’t hitting shots.”
Jones and Williams were among the few Sun players who shot well against the Wings. Williams made 12 of 17 for a season-high 25 points with six rebounds. Jones made 6 of 11 inside the paint for 16 points.
Jonquel Jones, last year’s WNBA MVP, made 4 of 10 shots for 10 points with seven rebounds.
The rest of the Sun shot just 22.2 percent (6 of 27).
Connecticut did add something new in Tuesday’s loss as it was outrebounded (34-29), which has been a strength. That included Dallas having an 11-4 edge on the offensive glass.
“We got hurt on the boards,” Miller said. “We had trouble getting second-chance opportunities. Our percentage was probably the lowest of the season on offensive rebounds. And they were able to get to the 50-50 ball offensive rebounds which turned into points and (they got) points off turnovers.”
Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 for the Wings (10-12) and Allisha Gray had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Dallas also got production from reserves Teaira McCowan (14 points, seven rebounds) and Satou Sabally (14 points).
Ogunbowale made two free throws with 6 minutes, 32 seconds left in the first quarter to put Dallas ahead to stay, 10-9. It also started an 11-3 run.
McCowan’s 11-foot jumper gave the Wings their largest lead, 32-20, with 7:59 left in the first half.
Connecticut got as close as three points on three occasions but couldn’t sustain its offense.