Sun hand Sky their third straight loss in 97-79 rout

Jonquel Jones tries to shoot past Cheyenne Parker. Photo by Jessica Hill/AP.
Jonquel Jones tries to shoot past Cheyenne Parker. Photo by Jessica Hill/AP.

Rosemont, IL – Jonquel Jones’ career night spelled bad news for the Chicago Sky Sunday, as she and the Sun routed them, 97-79, for their third consecutive loss. It was Connecticut’s first win of the season.

Jones scored a career-high 23 points, including 19 in the second half, and grabbed 21 rebounds. She became the 12th player in league history to have more than 20 points and 20 rebounds in a game, in only the 16th such incidence in WNBA history.

It was truly a team effort from the Sun, as they tallied 50 team rebounds and had five players in double figures. But the story of the game were the foul calls, as Chicago had 29 and center Stefanie Dolson fouled out. Connecticut was whistled for 22 fouls.

Jones said she was frustrated by the officiating in the first half, but her teammates encouraged her and she picked up her pace.

“I did not know how many rebounds I had until after the game,” Jones said. “I’m just really happy.”

Sun coach Curt Miller said getting their first win was “a monkey off their backs.”

“I’m proud of them. We made a lot of mistakes,” he said. “It wasn’t Chicago’s night, they missed some shots they’re capable of making. We found a way to win and that’s important in that locker room.”

The Sky pulled within four points with 4:13 remaining in the third period, but they had a defensive letdown. Connecticut ended the quarter on a 10-3 run, and the hosts were never in striking distance again.

Tamera Young led Chicago with 17 points.

Chicago coach Amber Stocks said the officiating effected her team as well.

“We need to adjust to the way the game is being officiated and continue to attack the rim on offense and trust that the foul situation balances out,” she said. “And vice versa on the defensive end, our help side should be a little quicker on the rotations knowing that if there’s any slight movement then tonight was just the night that the officials were blowing the whistle that typically is not blown.”

In their last three losses, the Sky have struggled on both offense and defense in the fourth quarter. The Mystics outscored them 57-35 last week, and Connecticut did the same, 27-17.