Early in the first half, it looked like the Connecticut Sun were going to blowout the Atlanta Dream. But rookie Reshanda Gray gave the Dream a huge spark in leading them to the win.
Atlanta, GA — Reshanda Gray, beating her career-high, tied with Angel McCoughtry for 18 points to lead their team to a 90-77 defeat against the Connecticut Sun.
Jennifer Lacy led the Sun with 21 points.
This was the first of three matchups that will take place over the next 10 days between these two teams, each of which are trying to fight their way out the pits of the Eastern Conference.
Lacy kicked off the first quarter with a top of the key three-pointer in the first possession of the game, and the Sun began their 12-3 run. Atlanta struggled early to slow down the Sun’s fast paced transitions and ball movement, preventing them from setting up in time on defense.
Connecticut’s guard Alex Bentley was having a great offensive first quarter, scoring nine points in just over a span of three minutes, but her game slowed down as she picked up two fouls. Five of Connecticut’s players, including starters Camille Little and Jasmine Thomas, collected fouls in the opening quarter.
The Sun’s excessive fouls placed the Dream in the bonus and allowed them to tighten the deficit. Eight Atlanta players scored in the first quarter, but still trailed 26-23.
The Dream was able to get into a comfortable rhythm offensively in the second quarter. Replacing Aneika Henry with Damiris Dantas, they were able to limit Bone’s touches. Bone, who averages 15 points a game this season, was held at just one point in the first half.
However, some sloppy turnovers by Atlanta late in the quarter gave the Sun a double-digit lead. However, Connecticut’s switch was suddenly turned off, and they went completely scoreless in the last 3 minutes of the first half. This allowed the Dream to go on a 7-0 run and went into halftime down by only 3.
Lacy came out of halftime as the leading scorer with 10 points, and she did not turn the volume down, scoring the first two baskets for the Sun in the second half. But, with great efforts from Gray on the inside and McCoughtry on the perimeter, the Dream came within two points of Connecticut.
And with a jumper from McCoughtry, Atlanta took its very first lead of the game in just under two minutes of the third. To add to their momentum, the Sun reached the foul limit getting Matee Ajavon and Hayes to the line. The Dream went into the final quarter on top 65-59.
The Dream extended their lead to 15 points in the first two minutes of the 4th quarter, not allowing Connecticut to score the first four 4:30 of the final quarter. The Sun looked winded, and Atlanta took advantage of this slump by outrunning them and attacking their defense.
Connecticut tried to collect some time by fouling every defensive possession and taking quick shots on offense. However, Atlanta’s aggressive nature allowed them to hold off Connecticut, and they locked in a well-anticipated victory.