Connecticut Sun beat Washington Mystics in home opener, 80-74, move to 2-0 on season

·2 min read

UNCASVILLE – The Connecticut Sun rallied from a 12-point first-quarter deficit to win their home opener and their second straight game, 80-74, over the Washington Mystics Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena.

DeWanna Bonner led the Sun with 21 points while Alyssa Thomas (14 points, 15 rebounds) and Brionna Jones (15 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles.

It was the first home win for first-year Sun coach Stephanie White.

Shakira Austin led the Mystics with 21 points and Elena Delle Donne had 19 points and 11 rebounds.

After the game, the Sun honored former All-Star Taj McWilliams-Franklin by retiring her number. McWilliams-Franklin, who played with the franchise in Orlando and when it moved to Connecticut from 1999-2006, is third in scoring, first in rebounding and second in blocks in franchise history.

The Mystics, led by first-year coach Eric Thibault, former Sun coach Mike Thibault’s son, jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter and Delle Donne had nine points. But the Sun fought back, cutting the lead to 21-14 before Amanda Zahui Bazoukou ended the quarter with a 3-pointer for Washington.

The Sun methodically worked their way back into the game in the second quarter. DeWanna Bonner hit back to back baskets to cut Washington’s lead to 31-30 with 4:20 left in the first half.

The Mystics led 38-34 at halftime.

Delle Donne had 13 points at halftime to lead Washington; Bonner was the Sun’s leading scorer with 10.

The Sun cut the lead to one, 58-57, on a 3-pointer by Tyasha Harris with 39 seconds left in the third quarter. Connecticut got a defensive stop and Harris came down and hit another 3 which would have put the Sun up but Alyssa Thomas was called for an offensive foul and the Mystics kept their lead heading into the fourth.

But that’s when the Sun came on strong. They took their first lead of the game 59-58 on a Brionna Jones’ basket with 8:33 left in the fourth. Bonner hit one free throw and Jones hit two and Bonner’s fadeaway gave the Sun a 64-60 lead. Rebecca Allen’s 3-pointer had the Mohegan Sun crowd on their feet and prompted Thibault to call a timeout.