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    Friday, September 22, 2023

    Connecticut ready to defend Mohegan Sun Arena with three-game homestand

    Mohegan — Sitting atop the WNBA’s Eastern Conference with a record of 5-1, the Connecticut Sun will play a three-game homestand this week, taking on a pair of teams from the West.

    The Sun face the Dallas Wings (3-2) at 1 p.m. Sunday (NBC Sports Boston) before taking on the unbeaten Las Vegas Aces (5-0) in back-to-back games Tuesday and Thursday.

    The Sun are coming off an 89-84 victory Thursday at Minnesota, led by 19 points from Natisha Hiedeman and 16 points, nine rebounds and an all-time franchise-best 16 assists from Alyssa Thomas. Thomas eclipsed Lindsay Whalen’s single-game record of 13. The 89 points was a season high for Connecticut.

    “I think just overall, you want to win, especially at home,” Thomas said of the upcoming homestand. “For so many years, we’ve had a great home record, so we’re huge about defending our home court. ... I’m up for every challenge, just ready to be home.”

    Hiedeman said she was on the bench looking up at the scoreboard during Thomas’s record-breaking performance. She saw the number 15 next to her teammate’s name and thought it was her point total.

    “But everybody else had ‘2, ‘1,’” Hiedeman said. “I can’t even believe (the number of assists). I’m mind-blown, honestly. Obviously she’s an elite athlete. I always say I’m glad I don’t gotta play against her. I’m thankful to be able to play with her.”

    DeWanna Bonner leads the Sun with 15.0 points per game, while Thomas is averaging 14.7 points, 11.8 rebounds and 7.0 assists. All five Connecticut starters are averaging in double figures.

    Dallas is led by Western Conference Player of the Month Arike Ogunbowale with 23.8 points per game and Satou Sabally with 21.4. The Wings lost to the Washington Mystics on Friday, 75-74.

    • The Sun announced Saturday that they have signed 6-foot-5 forward Liz Dixon to a rest-of-season contract. Dixon, a Louisville graduate, most recently signed a training camp contract with the Phoenix Mercury prior to the 2023 season, appearing in two preseason games as well as the Mercury’s season opener before being waived.

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