Sun hold off Mercury, snap out of rut

Brionna Jones scored 18 points and the Connecticut Sun got back on track with Monday night’s 83-72 victory against the host Phoenix Mercury.

DiJonai Carrington racked up 16 points and Tyasha Harris scored all 12 of hers in the second half for Connecticut. Veronica Burton posted 11 points off the bench and Alyssa Thomas supplied 10 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as the Sun (15-4) won for just the second time in their past five games.

The Sun went just 5-for-20 (25 percent) from 3-point range, but they still managed to outshoot the Mercury from distance. Phoenix hit 3 of 17 threes (17.6 percent).

Kahleah Copper and Brittney Griner poured in 21 points apiece for Phoenix (9-10). Natasha Cloud had 18 points and 10 assists, but the injury-riddled Mercury received only two points from their reserves.

The Mercury, who fell to the Indiana Fever on Sunday, were without Diana Taurasi and Rebecca Allen because of back injuries.

After Tiffany Mitchell converted a three-point play to put Connecticut up by 12 with 9:25 left in the game, Phoenix put together a 12-3 run to pull within 70-67 on a Cloud and-one with 6:07 to go.

But the Sun scored the next six points, getting four from Burton, to open up a 76-67 advantage with 3:32 remaining.

Copper answered with a pair of free throws, but Connecticut cruised to the finish.

The Sun, who benefited from 20 bench points, stayed in control of the game for the most part despite committing 14 turnovers to Phoenix’s eight. Connecticut’s 37-18 advantage on the glass made a huge difference.

The teams combined to make 39 of 41 free throws, with the Sun hitting 22 of 23.

Connecticut led by as many as 11 in the first half before taking a 42-35 edge into the break.

Harris scored the first 10 Sun points of the second half as the advantage swelled to 52-41 with 6:33 left in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media