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    Thursday, June 20, 2024

    Sun-Mystics Part II is coming right up, this time in Washington

    Connecticut’s Alyssa Thomas (25) pulls down a rebound in traffic during Sunday’s 70-64 win over the Washington Mystics in the Sun’s home opener at Mohegan Sun Arena. The two teams play again on Tuesday in Washington. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    A three-point play by Washington’s Elena Delle Donne made it a one-point game with 3 minutes, 10 seconds remaining Sunday before the Connecticut Sun scored their final 11 points from the foul line for an 80-74 victory at Mohegan Sun Arena.

    Up next for both teams following what was a hardfought event, with Delle Donne complaining following the game about her failure to be rewarded with as many foul calls as she thought might be forthcoming: An immediate rematch.

    The Sun (2-0) travel to play the Mystics (1-1) at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C., at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

    Unlike the first game, both teams now have a fresh scouting report.

    “In a way, we might dial in more to a scouting report after we played them once because it was a quick turnaround for both teams coming from 7 o’clock on Friday night to 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon with travel in the middle,” Mystics head coach Eric Thibault said prior to Sunday’s game.

    “You could walk through and watch some film, but not a lot of prep like you would get in a playoff series. We’ll see how it goes (Sunday), we’ll make some adjustments (Monday) for Tuesday. I think they’re pretty much in the same boat.”

    The Mystics led by 12 in the second quarter, 26-14, before the Sun pulled within 38-34 at halftime and took the lead early in the fourth quarter at 59-58 on an offensive rebound by Brionna Jones.

    DeWanna Bonner led the Sun with 21 points, going 8-for-11 from the free throw line, while Alyssa Thomas had 14 points, 16 rebounds, six assists and three steals and Jones had 15 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals.

    The Sun also got contributions off the bench from Rebecca Allen (7 points, 6 rebounds), Olivia Nelson-Ododa (5 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks) and Ty Harris (4 points, clutch 3-point field goal).

    Mystics second-year player Shakira Austin finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds and Delle Donne had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Delle Donne shot 7-for-17 and was 4-for-5 from the foul line.

    Sun head coach Stephanie White said the Sun need to make it tougher for both those players to score.

    “I think we need to have a little bit more awareness in how we’re defending Elena Delle Donne when she’s playing in the gray area, where are we getting help from, where are our rotations coming from, how do we continue to make life difficult for her?” White said.

    “I think we have to make an adjustment on how we play Shakira Austin; 10-for-14 from the floor is outstanding, we want to make sure that we do a better job of making her life difficult. But when you’re playing a team like this, you have to pick your poison and if Shakira Austin gets 21 and we have to contain everybody else, that’s what we have to live with. This is such a good team. It’s such a balanced, talented team.”


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