NEW YORK — Similar to the dominant storyline surrounding the WNBA Most Valuable Player race, the Connecticut Sun have seen their amazing season be cast in the shadows of their star-studded tri-state area neighbors all year long. For Alyssa Thomas and the Sun, their chance to claim the respect they feel should be coming their way started on Sunday afternoon, and it got off to the best start possible as it laid down a marker against one of the league’s championship favorites.
DeWanna Bonner scored 20 points while former Liberty player Rebecca Allen poured in 18 as the Sun went on the road defeated New York 78-63 inside the Barclays Center to take a 1-0 series lead in the WNBA semifinals. After going down by three at halftime, Connecticut started the second half on a 16-2 run to take control of the game, and its defense held the Liberty to just 23 points in the second half — eight in the fourth.
“They are such an offensive juggernaut, we had to make things as difficult as possible and I think our team took ownership of that today,” Connecticut coach Stephanie White said.
Connecticut is no slouch on offense either, led by the all-everything play of First Team all-WNBA player Alyssa Thomas, whose series of triple-doubles helped her lead the league in rebounding and rank second in assists. Despite that, she appears to be running behind New York’s Breanna Stewart for the league MVP given out later in the month.
Though Thomas was held to eight points while handing out 10 assists and seven rebounds, one of the main cogs on offense was Allen, who was traded from New York to Connecticut as part of the deal that sent Jonquel Jones to the Liberty. Allen made four of her six three-pointers while also grabbing seven rebounds, coming up with two steals and recording two blocks.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Sunday afternoon’s contest, with photos taken by ALOST photographer Jenny Rohl. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 15 pictures in total.