September 29, 2021
On a night they won three of the league’s top awards, the Connecticut Sun were hoping to a fast start to their 2021 playoff run, but it wasn’t to be as the upstart Chicago Sky turned them back last night.
The Sky held in double overtime, defeating the number one seeded Sun, 101-95, to take the opening game of their Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) best-of-five semifinal series. Game Two is set for Thursday night.
The Sky was one of the teams that gave the Sun issues in the regular season, winning two out of three, and they continued that trend on Tuesday, winning on the road at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Bahamian professional women’s basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones, just hours after carting off the WNBA Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, had a respectable night, but as a team, they shot just 37.8 percent (34-for-90) from the floor and couldn’t overcome a resilient Sky team.
Jones had game-high honors of 26 points and 11 rebounds, but Sky point guard Courtney Vandersloot was special, recording just the second triple-double in the league this season – the other came from New York Liberty second-year guard Sabrina Ionescu in the regular season.
Vandersloot had 12 points, 18 assists and 10 rebounds to lead the Sky. Candace Parker had a side-high 22 points, six assists and five rebounds and sharp-shooting guard Allie Quigley contributed 19 points including a game-high three three-point shots. She was 3-for-7 from distance.
Brionna Jones, the league’s most improved player, shot 9-for-16 from the field and finished with 22 points for the Sun. She added 10 rebounds and four steals. DeWanna Bonner was the only other player in double figures for the Sun, but shot just 5-for-17 from the field. She had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
As for the 6’6” 27-year-old Bahamian MVP, she became just the second non-American to win the league’s top individual award. Earlier in the day, she was confirmed as the league’s MVP, securing 48 of the 49 first-place votes after turning in her best season in the WNBA.
In addition to Jones being a near unanimous selection, the other Jones, Briona, won the WNBA Most Improved Player Award and Sun Head Coach Curt Miller carted off WNBA Coach of the Year Award. Collectively, they helped lead the Sun to the league’s best record and their best record in franchise history. The Sun finished with a 26-6 win/loss record, two games ahead of the second-place Las Vegas Aces.
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