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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Connecticut Sun set the pace in opener

Anne Donovan has been coaching long enough to know that her Connecticut Sun couldn't simply hope that veteran guard Kara Lawson could shoot them to a season-opening victory.

So when the Sun headed to the locker room at halftime down by two points despite 16 first-half points from Lawson, she let the squad know that it was time to bring a little more energy to the court or suffer the consequences on the scoreboard.

Needless to say she was thrilled by what she saw in the third quarter. The Sun had eight offensive rebounds in the quarter and also held New York's dynamic guard Cappie Pondexter scoreless in the quarter to turn a two-point deficit into a nine-point lead heading into the fourth quarter

“I was really pleased with our second half, just the effort we had in the second half defensively,” Donovan said. “The ball did not drop that much in the first half so we talked about getting some more O glass (activity) in the second half and trying to get shots to fall that way. I thought we really focused in and did that.”

Perhaps no back to back plays caused a bigger momentum shift than Kelsey Griffin’s block of Kelsey Bone and Lawson’s 3-pointer just six seconds later to help the Sun turn a two-point halftime deficit into a nine-point edge going into the fourth quarter.

“Kelsey was such a spark for us,” Donovan said. “You look at her and you say she is not big enough and she comes up with the big block on Bone.”

The Liberty pulled within four points in the fourth quarter before back to back 3-pointers by Hightower and Renee Montgomery put the Sun up by 10.

Lawson added seven rebounds and five assists; Tina Charles had 19 points and 13 rebounds while Hightower and Griffin added 10 points each.

Pondexter had 23 points and Essence Carson added 14 points and eight rebounds for New York.

The game marked the debut of former UConn guard Kelly Faris. The Sun’s first-round pick in April’s WNBA draft had one rebound and one blocked shot in 7:37.

The proceeds from all tickets sold from Tuesday on will be donated to the American Red Cross to help the Oklahoma tornado victims.


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