3-8
72 - 76

Liberty-Sun Preview

The Associated Press

With Alex Bentley enjoying a breakout stretch, the Connecticut Sun hardly resemble the same team that finished with the worst record in the Eastern Conference last season.

As their second-year guard looks to stay on a roll, the Sun go for their fourth straight victory and a sweep of a home-and-home set with the New York Liberty on Sunday.

Bentley led the way for the third consecutive game Friday, scoring a career-high 24 as Connecticut (5-6) built a 20-point lead before holding on for an 83-75 win at Madison Square Garden.

Since averaging 6.9 points and shooting 35.9 percent in her first eight games, Bentley has scored 22.3 per game on 71.1 percent shooting during the Sun's longest win streak since they took the final three of the 2012 season.

"Alex is a very confident player," coach Anne Donovan said. "She's always had confidence in her shots. For us it's getting to understand what we wanted from the point guard position. She's very coachable."

The victory snapped a 12-game road skid dating to an 88-66 win over New York in Newark, N.J., on Aug. 3 of last season, which ended with a franchise-worst 10-24 record.

Rookie Chiney Ogwumike continued her solid start with 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds, while Katie Douglas scored 14 and went 4 of 9 from 3-point range.

Douglas, averaging 15.0 points during the win streak, has made 8 of 13 from beyond the arc in the last two games. The Sun have gone 22 for 37 overall from long range in victories over Indiana, Phoenix and New York.

"We're definitely maturing as a team and it's great to have a winning streak," said Ogwumike, averaging team highs of 16.5 points and 8.5 boards. "We need to keep working hard though to get wins."

Those have been difficult to come by for the last-place Liberty (3-7), who have dropped five of six.

After trailing by 20 at halftime Friday, New York clawed back to cut the deficit to two in the fourth quarter a few times but couldn't get over the hump.

Former Sun center Tina Charles finished with 25 points and 10 rebounds and Cappie Pondexter scored 20, but no other New York player reached double figures. Charles is averaging a team-high 16.8 points, while Pondexter has put up 14.1.

"We need to figure out how to get out to a better start," Pondexter said. "We showed what we can do in the second half, but we can't keep spotting teams huge leads."

The Liberty have won their last two visits to Mohegan Sun Arena, including a 75-54 victory in the season opener May 16.

Pondexter scored 17 and Charles added nine points and nine rebounds, while Ogwumike led the Sun with 13 points in her WNBA debut.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Jameis Winston's elementary school appearance marred by misstep

      Jameis Winston's elementary school appearance marred by misstep

      Since being drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, quarterback Jameis Winston has been making an effort to rehab his public image. After a career at Florida State that was marred by a rape allegation, accusations of stealing crab legs from a … More »

      Shutdown Corner - 26 minutes ago
    • Mark Buehrle's No. 56 will be retired by White Sox

      Mark Buehrle's No. 56 will be retired by White Sox

      Nobody has worn No. 56 for the Chicago White Sox since Mark Buehrle left the team in 2011 and now nobody ever will. The White Sox announced Thursday that they’ll retire No. 56 this season in honor of Buehrle, who played 12 seasons on the South … More »

      Big League Stew - 46 minutes ago
    • Can Bruce Cassidy unlock Boston Bruins' creativity?

      Can Bruce Cassidy unlock Boston Bruins' creativity?

      Boston Bruins interim coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t see any major systematic issues with the team when he took over on Feb. 7 for fired former bench boss Claude Julien. “I think the Xs and Os were solid here, that’s been proven,” Cassidy said. What … More »

      Puck Daddy - 52 minutes ago
    • Charles Oakley is going to a Knicks game again, just not in New York

      Charles Oakley is going to a Knicks game again, just not in New York

      Charles Oakley reportedly plans to attend another New York Knicks game this season, but it’s not exactly an omen that the cold war between the bruising forward and his former team is thawing. Oakley won’t attend Madison Square Garden again anytime … More »

      Ball Don't Lie - 58 minutes ago
    • World Baseball Classic 2017: Boycott hurts Chinese Taipei's chances

      World Baseball Classic 2017: Boycott hurts Chinese Taipei's chances

      From now until the World Baseball Classic begins on March 6, we’ll be helping you get to know each team involved in baseball’s global tournament. Today’s team: Chinese Taipei. The team from Chinese Taipei had high expectations when they competed in … More »

      Big League Stew - 1 hour 16 minutes ago