After the 2020 WNBA season was brought to a halt earlier in the week in solidarity with the Milwaukee Bucks going on strike, the Connecticut Sun resumed action on Friday night in the IMG Academy in Florida. It, uh, didn’t end well for our favorite WNBA team.
The first half was back and forth action with Los Angeles and Connecticut flipping the lead back and forth 11 times. The Sun took the advantage late in the second quarter, ripping off an 8-1 run in the final two minutes of the half. That flipped the game from a 31-all tie to a 39-32 Sun lead at the break.
Connecticut kept building on that lead to open the third quarter. At the 8:17 mark of the period, Alyssa Thomas and Jasmine Thomas teamed up to get the Sun a bucket to put them up by 11, 45-34. And yet, the lead dipped down as low as just one in the quarter before an and-1 from AT to close the period left Connecticut with a 63-59 lead with 10 minutes to go.
The push from the Sparks kept going as the fourth quarter got underway as they tied it up before the midway point. Things kept on sliding away from Connecticut as Los Angeles built a six point lead, and then three straight late offensive fouls by the Sun sapped them of their ability to mount a comeback.
Chelsea Gray had a game high 27 points to lead Los Angeles to the win. Te’a Cooper’s 4-for-5 three-point shooting off the bench might have been the game changing performance in this one. Alyssa Thomas led Connecticut with 19 points and nine rebounds, while DeWanna Bonner added a 13/5/4 line with three steals.
Natisha Hiedeman is our focus here, of course, and she saw 16 minutes of action here. She missed both of her shots in the game, leaving her with no points. Hiedeman did add a rebound and an assist, but I suspect that head coach Curt Miller is hoping to get more from her in 16 minutes of action.
Up Next: Connecticut returns to action on Sunday afternoon as they look to hold on to the #7 spot in the WNBA standings with just seven games left to go. It’ll be the Washington Mystics on the other end of the court in that one. Washington might be the defending champs, but they’re currently a game out of the playoffs right now. The game is scheduled for a 3pm Central time start, and it will be streamed live via the WNBA’s Twitter.