Wed, 27 Sep 2023

Sun fend off pesky Fever, improve to 4-1

Field Level Media
31 May 2023, 11:40 GMT+10

Tiffany Hayes and Brionna Jones both scored season highs in points as the Connecticut Sun held on to defeat the visiting Indiana Fever 81-78 on Tuesday in Uncasville, Conn.

Hayes finished with 22 points and Jones supplied 19 for the Sun (4-1) in their sixth straight win over the Fever. Jones grabbed 11 rebounds for her second double-double this season, while Alyssa Thomas registered her fourth such game this year with her 13-point, 17-rebound performance.

Thomas also had a team-high seven assists, and Natisha Hiedeman rounded out Connecticut's double-digit scorers with 11 points.

The Fever (1-3) fell short of their first winning streak since last May after snapping their league-record-tying 20-game skid on Sunday.

Rookie Aliyah Boston continued her strong debut season with a career-high 20 points and made her first-career 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter, while Kelsey Mitchell chipped in 19 points and went 3-for-5 from beyond the arc. NaLyssa Smith contributed 14 points and 15 boards.

Hiedeman drilled a critical 3-pointer that gave the Sun their largest lead of the game at 79-69 with two minutes to play, but Smith kept the Fever within striking distance with four free throws throughout the next 43 seconds.

Boston canned her first professional trey to make it a three-point game, then fought for an offensive rebound and converted a putback on Indiana's ensuing possession to make it 79-78 with 13 seconds to go.

Hayes calmly drained two free throws to replenish Connecticut's three-point advantage, and Lexie Hull's 3-point attempt from the right corner for Indiana clanged off the rim to seal it.

The Fever shot just 4-for-21 (19 percent) from deep and were out-rebounded 45-37, while the Sun made 7 of 21 triples and held a 15-8 advantage in points off turnovers.

Indiana went 31-for-73 (42.5 percent) from the field overall and the Sun finished 29-for-72 (40.3 percent).

Hayes drained all three of her 3-point attempts during her 13-point first quarter that propelled Connecticut to a 22-14 lead.

The Fever held the Sun to two points throughout the first six minutes of the second quarter and pulled ahead 26-24, but Hayes and Jones fueled a late-half push that gave Connecticut a 38-34 lead entering the break.

Hayes' layup with 17 seconds remaining in the first half gave her 18 points, enough to set her season high.

Indiana went 0-for-7 from distance in the first half.

--Field Level Media

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