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Sun ride Bentley to 88-71 win over Fever

AP - Sports

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Alex Bentley had 21 points to lead five Connecticut players in double figures and the Sun beat the Indiana Fever 88-71 Saturday night.

Bentley added five assists, Allison Hightower had 11 points and five assists, and Katie Douglas scored 15 points.

Connecticut leading scorer Chiney Ogwumike played only 19 minutes due to foul trouble. She finished with 12 points for the Sun (3-6) and Alyssa Thomas added 11.

Rookie Natasha Howard scored 14 points for Indiana (4-4) and reserve Lynetta Kizer had 12.

The teams combined for 53 fouls and 56 field goals.

''It's basketball,'' Bentley said. ''You're going to hit some obstacles, some adversity throughout games. We just have to adjust to it, and that's what we did tonight.''

Indiana outshot the Sun, 53.1 percent to 46.2 percent.

Kelsey Griffin snagged a career-high six steals for Connecticut, which took advantage of 25 turnovers and made 24 of its 32 free throws.

Indiana starters Briann January, Erlana Larkins and Howard each picked up three fouls in the first half.

Howard, who started, fouled out with 5:27 left in the game after logging a little over 20 minutes.

''Our fouls took a toll on us,'' Indiana's Shavonte Zellous said. ''Then we turned the ball over too much. It gave them the extra energy that they needed to get a run.''

Bentley got hot early as she scored eight of the Sun's first 10 points.

Allison Hightower's two free throws and Bentley's 3-pointer gave Connecticut a 32-21 lead with over five minutes left in the first half.

The Sun took a 45-35 advantage into halftime.

Howard helped the Fever cut into Connecticut's lead. She had a three-point play and a putback wrapped around a Larkins' layup to cut Indiana's deficit to 53-47 with 4:28 left in the third quarter.

Bentley answered with a 3-pointer and off-balance jumper to push Connecticut ahead, 58-47.

''I think she hit every shot she put up,'' Zellous said.

Ogwumike gave Bentley her due.

''Put all the credit on Alex Bentley for coming out and saying, 'Hey, I'm going to be aggressive. I'm going to try score for us,''' Ogwumike said. ''Especially when we were trying to get that (offensive) rhythm.''

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