Arlington, Texas – All five starters for the Dallas Wings scored in double figures to defeat a hot Connecticut Sun team Sunday, 96-82. It was the fourth straight victory for Dallas, and the loss snapped Connecticut’s five-game winning streak.
Karima Christmas-Kelly led the Wings with 24 points, while Theresa Plaisance added 15 and Glory Johnson and Skylar Diggins-Smith each had 15.
The Wings frustrated Sun early with their defense, limiting the touches of Jasmine Thomas, in particular, who finished with only six points. Christmas-Kelly said they knew they had to come out strong on the defensive end, and they fed off of each other’s energy.
“Once we got going defensively, we started seeing a lot more openings and just getting it to the right players at the right time,” Christmas-Kelly said.
Alyssa Thomas led the Sun with 19 points and five assists. Connecticut had been riding high behind the emergence of center Jonquel Jones this season, who has been averaging a double-double. But Dallas made her work for each of her 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Courtney Williams also had 14 and Shekinna Stricklen added 13 for the visitors. Williams said that it was a rough game where the Wings were able to capitalize on their turnovers.
“They’re a great team, they knew were hot from the three point line so they didn’t get off our shooters at all,” Williams said. “We just have to bounce back.”
Dallas was without their coach Fred Williams, who was ill. Sun Head Coach Curt Miller said the Wings were the aggressor and played inspired tonight with Williams out.
“Through this stretch of wins, we’ve been the aggressor, and you worry about that with Dallas, because they play downhill,” Miller said. “The aggressive team won tonight and they earned their calls.”
Assistant coach Bridget Pettis filled in as coach, and she said post-game that this is the time of the season where you start to see teams gel a little more.
“They (the Wings) already got the concept of what we are trying to do and Skylar is the one who leads it,” Pettis said.
Diggins-Smith has been in command of this young team, getting the ball to key players in the right places. She had nine assists against Connecticut. The team is still missing dynamic guard Aerial Powers, recovering from hip surgery, and center Courtney Paris rehabbing a knee injury.
Diggins-Smith said she was happy everyone stepped up.
“Four in a row is great for us,” she said. “We got three more games at home, but we just want to take care of it one by one.”
Dallas will get a much-needed break, as they have played three more games that any other team at this point of the season. The Wings will host the Seattle Storm Saturday night.