Sun grind out a 70-63 win over the Liberty
UNCASVILLE, CT — As the numbers on the shot clock ticked closer to zero, Jasmine Thomas realized something must be done, so she did something on Wednesday afternoon.
Thomas threw up the ball, banked in a three and put the Connecticut Sun up 14-6 against the New York Liberty. The cheers from around the arena were deafening.
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Jonquel Jones tossed the ball to Thomas, who threw the ball up plants her feet, jumped shot another perfect three that hit the back of the rim. If the crowd had not been screaming so loudly, a perfect swish could have been heard.
Thomas led the team with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds, her sixth game in a row and ninth game in the last ten with at least 10 points.
“Honestly, when I feel like I’m playing aggressive, it makes it easier for everyone else,” Thomas said.
When asked about her two momentum-shifting threes she said, “A lot of teams help off their point guards, they show congestion from their point guards. I play with the ball in my hands a lot. So I’m if I’m passive it doesn’t open up anything for anyone else. I just noticed that they were playing back off of me. They were trying to either switch over, you know, just keep me out to the paint and ball screens so I was looking to take my shot and it was going in.”
When Thomas has a great game, the team has a better chance of winning. If the Sun are going to remain at the top of the league it will be a much easier road with Thomas playing, and leading the team, this well.
The Liberty defense nearly overwhelmed the Sun’s offense
The Connecticut Sun looked discombobulated for the first three-quarters of their morning game against the New York Liberty. The Liberty found ways to suck the life out of their high powered offense and force them to take shots they normally would not.
Jonquel Jones committed a frustration foul halfway through the third quarter.
Shekinna Stricklen screamed in frustration after throwing up a three at the end of the shot clock in the third quarter.
Shots that normally rolled in, rolled out.
The Sun had just 50 points heading into the final quarter after scoring 18 in the first eight minutes.
The Sun found their offensive footing again in the fourth quarter, scoring 20 points despite the Liberty’s physical defense.
This can in part, of course, be blamed in part on the Sun’s offense which should be able to adapt. However, the Liberty may have just provided a blueprint on how to challenge and nearly defeat the number one team in the league.
Connecticut’s free throw shooting needs to improve
Free throw shooting has not been a strength for Connecticut this season and it almost cost them the game against the Liberty.
The Sun were 10-17 from the free-throw line, 58.8 percent. The two other games in which Connecticut shot below 60 percent on their free throws, they lost.
On nights when their offense is challenged it’s important for the Sun to make their free throws and get points where they can because next time it may cost them.
The team has shown they can get to the line consistently but needs to prove that they can make their free throws consistently.
The Sun continue their homestand after the All-Star break and take the court again against the Chicago Sky on July 30 at 7 p.m. EST
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