Jones, Sun end five-game skid
It has been a great weekend for Bahamian and Connecticut Sun center Jonquel Jones that culminated with a season-high 26 points in a 76-63 win against the Indiana Fever at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Indiana, yesterday afternoon.
On Thursday, news broke that Jones was voted in as a starter in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) AT&T All-Star Game, set for Saturday, July 27. The following day, Jones and the Sun broke a five-game skid with a convincing 79-64 home win over the Phoenix Mercury in Uncasville, Connecticut, USA. She had a double-double in that game, scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, against the team that knocked them out of the playoffs last year.
With those two wins, the Sun now has an 11-6 win/loss record and now sits half of a game behind the league-leading Las Vegas Aces (11-5).
In yesterday’s game, the Grand Bahamian was very effective from the field as she connected on 11 of her 19 shots, shooting 57.9 percent. Three of those 11 made shots were from beyond the three-point arc.
In addition to a team-high 26 points, Jones also pulled down a team-high eight boards as she willed her team to victory.
She was very active on the defensive end with three steals and three blocks, and she did all of this playing 34 efficient minutes.
Her teammates Jasmine Thomas and Shekinna Stricklen scored 14 and 12 points respectively in the win.
After the first quarter, the Sun led 20-15 and did not ease up in the second quarter as they went into the intermission with a 39-30 advantage.
By the time the fourth quarter rolled around the game was a foregone conclusion as the Sun went up 62-43. They coasted in the final quarter for the 76-63 victory.
Kelsey Mitchell was the Fever’s leading scorer with 14 points.
On Friday night, the Sun used a huge 27-12 third quarter to take a 57-48 lead heading into the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, they continued their dominance as they shut the door on the Mercury with a 22-16 advantage to win 79-64.
Alyssa Thomas led the way for the Sun with a double-double, scoring 20 points and pulling down 10 boards in the win.
The Mercury was led by forward DeWanna Bonner with 20 points and eight rebounds.
Jones limited fellow all-star Brittney Griner to 10 points and four boards.
Jones’ 26 points yesterday was her first 20-point game since June 11 when she scored 24 points in a win against the Washington Mystics.
As of yesterday, the sixth pick in the 2016 WNBA Draft is the league leader in two of the major WNBA categories: rebounds and blocks. In the rebounding category, Jones is the only player in the league averaging double-digits. She is at 10.3 boards per game. In second place in that category is the Minnesota Lynx’s Sylvia Fowles with 9.9 boards per contest. The Los Angeles Sparks’ Nneka Ogwumike is averaging 9.5 rebounds per game, good enough for third.
Jones has been a great rim protector for the Sun, generating a league-high 2.4 blocks per game. She is followed in that category by New York Liberty’s Amanda Zahui with 2.3 blocks per contest. Griner is in third place with 2.2 blocks per contest.
Up next for the Sun will be a home game against the Atlanta Dream on Friday at 7.30 p.m. Their final game before the all-star break will be on Wednesday, July 24, at home against the Liberty.
The WNBA’s All-Star Game will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, July 27.
Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism
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