Our Natisha Hiedeman Watch efforts for the WNBA Playoffs continue today, as the #2 seeded Connecticut Sun host the #3 seeded Los Angeles Sparks in Game #2 of their best-of-five semifinal series tonight.
Four of Connecticut’s starters scored in double figures on Tuesday night in their 84-75 win over LA in Game #1 of the series. Alyssa Thomas led the way with 22 points on 9-for-17 shooting. She finished with a double-double thanks to 10 rebounds as well. Thomas was also one of three Sun players to finish the game with at least five assists, with Jasmine Thomas topping the statsheet for both teams with eight helpers.
It was a back and forth game through the first three quarters with the Sun leading by seven at the end of the first and the Sparks going up three at halftime. When the fourth quarter started, the game had tilted back in favor of Connecticut, but only by one point.
The best description of what happened over the final 10 minutes of the game was best described by The Ringer’s Shea Serrano:
i’ve seen the Sun do this too many times this season — they make you think you’ve got a chance and then they put together a four minute stretch where they stuff you in a coffin and start pushing swords through it— Shea Serrano (@SheaSerrano) September 18, 2019
It was tied at 64 with 6:47 to go. With 2:47 to go — Serrano’s aforementioned four minutes — Connecticut was up six, and that would become eight just 20 seconds later. BOOM, Game #1 win.
Of course, we’re here for Natisha Hiedeman, although we didn’t see her in action in the first game of the series. All of Connecticut’s starters played at least 32 minutes, and four of them went over 35. Sometimes there’s just not minutes available in a playoff game for a rookie. She’s still on the team, though, and we’ll still be watching and hoping to see Marquette’s first ever WNBA player make the program’s first ever appearance in the WNBA Playoffs.
Hiedeman appeared in 20 games for the Sun after being claimed off waivers in early July. She averages 10.3 minutes off the bench, which means regular rotation minutes for a rookie on a title contender. That’s wild. She’s chipping in 3.7 points, 1.5 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game and is shooting an absolutely ridiculous 46.4% from behind the three-point line.
2019 WNBA SEMIFINALS
#2 Connecticut Sun vs #3 Los Angeles Sparks
Date: Thursday, September 19, 2019
Time: 5:30pm Central
Location: Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT