Connecticut Advances to Second-Rounds After 73-58 Rout Over Dallas

Connecticut Advances to Second-Rounds After 73-58 Rout Over Dallas

The Connecticut Sun have advanced to the semifinals after routing out the Dallas Wings, 73-58. Connecticut’s Game 3 win cements their second-round date with the defending champion Chicago Sky.

DeWanna Bonner led all scorers with 21 points, five rebounds, and five assists. Alyssa Thomas followed up with 13 points, eight rebounds, and two assists. Jonquel Jones dropped 11 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists, and Natisha Hiedeman rounded out Connecticut’s double-digit scorers with 11 points, two boards, and two dimes.

Bonner also became the 10th player in WNBA history to knock down 300 career field goals and passed Angel McCoughtry in the process of doing so.

“Our team is incredibly confident in what they do and who they are,” Sun Coach Curt Miller said, per ESPN. “We’re back to the semis for four straight years. This group wants to take another step, and there’s not one person that’s going to pick us to beat Chicago. So we’re going to go with the underdog mentality and give it our best shot.”

Marina Mabrey posted a team-high 20 points, Veronica Burton contributed 10 points, six rebounds, and four dimes, and Teaira McCowan followed up with eight points, 12 boards, and two blocks.

The Sun won Game 3 after holding the Wings to perhaps the worse scoring effort of the season. Connecticut held Dallas to 22 points in the second half, and their final tally of 58 was a season-low. Dallas shot just 6-27 from the field in the second half and turned the ball over 11 times.

Part of Dallas’ offensive struggles could be attributed to Isabelle Harrison suffering an ankle injury in the first-quarter that she wouldn’t come back from. Not even Arike Ogunbowale’s return from abdominal surgery could spark Dallas’ stagnant offense. The former national champ went scoreless in six minutes, going 0-3 from the field and 0-2 from beyond the arc.

Bonner credited Connecticut’s defensive clinic to second-year guard DiJonai Carrington. The 35-year-old forward believed Carrington’s “defensive pressure was unbelievable,”, especially in the last 20 minutes of the game.

Carrington was so successful as a defensive pest that she got into a squabble with Mabrey midway through the fourth. The two guards were jaw-jacking as Mabrey set up to inbound the ball from the sideline.

“Forget all that; the credit to this game goes to DiJonai Carrington,” Bonner said. “I think she was the difference maker for us this whole game. Her defensive pressure was unbelievable; she kinda jump-started us the whole game. So take the ball out of my hands and give it to her cause tonight was all about her and her pressure. She definitely jump-started us that second-half, and (I’m) definitely so proud of her.”

The semifinal matchups will start on Sunday, with Las Vegas and Seattle kicking off the action at 4 p.m EST on ESPN. The Sun and Sky will play at 8 p.m. EST on ESPN 2. The Sky swept their regular-season series with the Sun, 4-0, winning by an average of 4.5 points per game.

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