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Improbable Upset? Connecticut Sun Defeat Lynx in Overtime

Alex Bentley (right). (AP Photo)

Alex Bentley (right). (AP Photo)

 

The Connecticut Sun achieved something last night that is the envy of the WNBA – beat Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx in overtime.

The Sun, behind the heroics of point guard Alex Bentley, rallied to overcome an 11-point fourth quarter Lynx lead and then prevailed in overtime to walk off the court with a very satisfying 93-89 win before 6,739 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The win, which was the second straight for the Sun, improved their record to 5-13.

“You know, big win for us, for momentum purposes,” said Sun’s Coach Curt Miller in his postgame remarks. “This was the first game in the second half, so we’ve hit the rest button.”

The Lynx, who received a world-class, 40-point performance by Moore, saw their record fall to 15-4. Minnesota was ahead 77-66 with less than two minutes left in regulation, before Bentley single-handedly mounted the Sun comeback. The former Penn State star hit three consecutive 3’s to close the margin to 79-77.

The Sun’s Chiney Ogwumike tied the score at 79 when she hit a layup. The Lynx’s Lindsay Whalen failed to net the game-winner at the buzzer.

In overtime, it was all Bentley (24 points) as she poured in seven points to lead the Sun to the victory. Ogwumike scored a season-high 21 points on 8-for-8 shooting from the field.

Recently acquired (from Phoenix in exchange for Kelsey Bone) guard Courtney Williams had a career-best 15 points along with five boards.

“We are 2-1 since the trade and feel a vibe that we hadn’t felt for most of the season,” said Miller. “Ultimately, we grinded and put ourselves in a position to steal a victory that was almost out of reach.”

Minnesota’s Moore was limited to just two points in the first half, but the former UConn great was unstoppable in the second half. Moore poured in 15 points in the third quarter and 16 points in the fourth. It was her third career 40-plus scoring game.

SUN SPOTS

Bentley’s 24-point outburst was her third game in a row that she has scored 20 or more points.

Ogwumike’s 8-for-8 shooting performance set a new franchise standard for shots made without a miss.

“Chiney is starting to get her bounce back,” said Miller. “She is still on restricted minutes but is looking more and more comfortable.”

Alyssa Thomas had the challenging task of guarding Moore for most of the game.

“I’m tired,” noted Thomas. “She’s (Moore) a great player and I was just trying to wear her down the best I could.”

The Sun’s defense, thanks to the play of Jonquel Jones, limited Sylvia Fowles to just 6 points.

The Sun will host the Atlanta Dream (9-9) on July 10 (1 p.m.), Connecticut’s final home game before they break for the Rio Olympic Games will be against the LA Sparks on July 15 (7 p.m.).

The Sun will begin the 2016 Rio Olympic Game hiatus on July 23. They will resume the regular season on Aug. 26 at home against Minnesota (7 p.m.).

OLYMPIC SHOWCASE

The 2016 USA Basketball Women’s National Team will host a four team, exhibition tournament on July 29 at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Ct.

Australia and France will square off in the first game at 4:30 p.m. Coach Geno Auriemma and Team USA face Canada in the second game (7 p.m.).

Tickets for the exhibition tournament will go on sale starting June 13. For complete details go to: WWW.USAB.COM/SHOWCASE.

CONGRATULATIONS

Whalen scored four points in the first quarter to become the 15th player in WNBA history to reach 5,000 points. She’s the first player in the league to have 5,000 points, 2,000 assists and 1,500 rebounds.

A FINAL THOUGHT

Thoughts and prayers to all those impacted by the horrific events that occurred this past week in Dallas, St. Paul and Baton Rouge.

 

Follow Bob on Twitter for all the Sun and WNBA news: @WhitneyBob

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Bob Whitney

Bob Whitney

Bob is a college basketball columnist here at DoubleGSports.com. He also covers Yale football and the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA.
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