Alyssa Thomas came within one assist of a triple-double and hit two key baskets in the final minute as the Connecticut Sun outscored the Minnesota Lynx 89-84 in Minneapolis on Thursday.
Thomas, who finished with 16 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists, canned a turnaround jumper with 57.7 seconds left to give the Sun an 85-82 edge. On Connecticut’s next possession, she drove for a layup that made it 87-82 with 24.7 seconds remaining.
Natisha Hiedeman scored 19 points for Connecticut (5-1). DeWanna Bonner added 13 and Brionna Jones contributed 12 points despite playing only 27 minutes due to foul trouble.
Napheesa Collier was outstanding in defeat for Minnesota (0-6), pouring in a game-high 30 points while playing the full 40 minutes. Kayla McBride and Tiffany Mitchell each scored 12 while Jessica Shepard added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Collier made two foul shots with 3:23 remaining to even the score at 81. However, Minnesota wasn’t able to convert a field goal over the game’s last four minutes.
The Sun canned 50.7 percent of their field-goal tries while the Lynx hit 45 percent.
Minnesota coach Cheryl Reeve said prior to the game that her team had to make improvements on defense after allowing at least 90 points in each of the past three games. Those changes didn’t take place in the first quarter as Connecticut hit 12 of 17 field-goal attempts (70.6 percent) for a 27-24 lead.
The Lynx led for a brief time in the second quarter before the Sun went on a 16-4 spurt to take a 43-35 advantage on Bonner’s 3-pointer. However, Minnesota came up with a push just before the half, evening the score at 47 entering the break when Tiffany Mitchell canned a mid-range jumper.
Connecticut came out blazing to start the third quarter, rattling off 12 straight points in just over 2 1/2 points. A pullup jumper by Rebecca Allen made it 69-59 Sun going to the game’s final 10 minutes.
–Field Level Media