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Solar return from All-Star break, dominate in win over Sky

UNCASVILLE — As they returned from the WNBA All-Star break Tuesday night time, the Connecticut Solar had incentive to rapidly regain focus

The opponent was the Chicago Sky, who beat the Solar by 18 factors final month. And following the loss, the Sky talked about their assertion victory as a sign they have been an elite group — a greater group than the Solar.

“They referred to as us out publicly after final sport,” Solar coach Curt Miller mentioned. “From coach to participant, calling us comfortable. … I feel you noticed our group reply to that.”

The Solar earned a 100-94 victory earlier than 6,356 at Mohegan Solar Area, however the rating was not indicative of the sport. Connecticut (WNBA-best 14-6) dominated at each ends all through a lot of the sport earlier than the Sky (11-9) mounted a fourth-quarter surge towards the Solar’s bench.

The Connecticut lead was 20 with 7 minutes, 17 second left within the sport. When Chicago guard Courtney Vandersloot hit a 3-pointer with 1:37 left, the lead had shrunk to 4 factors.

However the perfect participant on the courtroom took maintain of the sport. Jonquel Jones (27 factors, 11 rebounds) hit 4 free throws in 4 makes an attempt and was a presence within the paint at each ends of the ground.

So what was unfolding as a blowout turned out to be a hard-fought victory by a group that proved to be something however comfortable. Don’t assume loss to the Sky wasn’t on the gamers’ minds all night time.

“There wasn’t quite a lot of speaking about it,” Miller mentioned. “It didn’t should be addressed. However that was there and I feel you noticed a really spirited group within the first half.”

Mentioned Jones, “We have been excited to play them. They’d quite a bit to say after the final time we performed them. We had one thing to show. They’d quite a bit to say. There was quite a lot of discuss.”

The June 23 loss in Chicago ended a seven-game profitable streak for the Solar. The win Tuesday prolonged Connecticut’s profitable streak to 5 and snapped Chicago’s four-game profitable streak.

Jasmine Thomas had 18 factors and eight assists for the Solar, whereas Alyssa Thomas and Courtney Williams added 12 factors every.

Bria Holmes had 11 factors off the bench. Miller had his reserves on the courtroom for a protracted stretch within the fourth quarter, however Chicago climbed again and the primary unit was wanted.

“The starters had to return and end it off,” Miller mentioned. “It’s not at all times straightforward when one other group will get momentum and the starters have been sitting for some time.”

The Chicago backcourt of Vandersloot (22) and Allie Quigley (24) mixed for 46 factors, but Jasmine Thomas’ protection was tenacious all night time.

The groups largely traded baskets all through the primary quarter. The Solar held a 22-18 lead on a Rachel Banham 3-pointer with 4:27 left within the interval, giving Connecticut the most important benefit of the quarter.