The injury plagued Connecticut Sun got some reinforcements Friday night against the Chicago Sky with the return of Kara Lawson.
However the result has been all to familiar to the Sun as they lost to the visiting Sky 83-70 in a lopsided game where the Sun were never within 11 points of Chicago’s lead after the Sky took control of the game early with a 12-0 run to open the game and lead by as many as 22 in the first half.
Tina Charles again paced Connecticut with 29 points but was out shined by Chicago’s depth. Rookie sensation Elena Delle Donne, Swin Cash and Sylvia Fowles scored 23, 19 and 14 respectively for Chicago who improved to 10-4. Connecticut has now lost six of their past seven games and sit alone in last place in the Eastern Conference at 3-9.
“It’s no secret we gotta have other people step up consistently,” Sun coach Anne Donovan said after another game where Charles received little support.
Charles said “It’s definitely frustrating,” about the way her team has started the season but also reinforced the fact that the season is still young, “As long as we make the playoffs we’re fine. Ir’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.”
Defense was again an issue for Connecticut as they allowed Chicago to shoot 47 percent from the field.
“I think too much of the time if the shots [are] not falling we lose our focus defensively,” Donovan said. “When the shots not falling you can’t go to sleep on a team this powerful…but we did.”
Poor free throw shooting has been another running theme to the Sun’s rough start and tonight was no exception. As a team they shot 8-15 from the charity stripe while the Sky went 19-20.
Despite the result, it was a positive sign for the Sun to have Lawson back on the court and with Rene Montgomery and Tan White close to returning the Sun feel they can recover from this poor start.
“I definitely think things can get better,” Donovan said, “[When] we get people back into the roles that they need to be playing and they’ve been stepping outside their roles to play significant minutes so yes. You saw what Kara can do, she changed the tempo of the game when she came in.”
Lawson played 25 minutes in her return scoring nine points on four shots and dished out five assists She ran the point for a large portion of her court time and most importantly for Connecticut she looked quick on her healing knee and said it was not bothering her after the game..
“It felt good to be back out there,” Lawson said, “It’s been a month so there’s gonna be a little bit of rust but I felt pretty good out there.”
The Sun will need more than Lawson’s energy to recover from this slow start though. The only Sun player to score in double figures was reserve forward Mistie Bass, who scored 11 of her 13 points with under three minutes left after Chicago knew they had the game in hand.