Sports

Jones leads Sun to historic 13-game win streak

It was the 17th double-double of the season for Bahamian professional women’s basketball player Jonquel “JJ” Jones, as she led the Connecticut Sun (25-6) to a franchise-record 13th straight win on Wednesday night. They trounced the New York Liberty (11-20), 98-69, on their home court, at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.

The previous franchise record was 12 straight wins done back in 2006.

The Sun returned home after a successful four-game road stint, and playing in front of 4,012 fans, they were able to come away with their 13th straight win and 14th home win of the season. They have only lost one game at home this season.

Jones was brilliant for the Sun as she matched a team-high 18 points and added a team-high 13 rebounds. She leads the league with 17 double-doubles. She was consistent from the field as she finished the night 8-for-13. She was also perfect from the charity stripe as she knocked down both of her shots from there. On the glass, Jones was able to grab four offensive boards to go along with nine defensive boards – another dominating night in that category.

The Sun swept their three-game season series with the Liberty in dominating fashion. In all three games, they won by 21 or more points.

In this game, Jones was able to see her teammate Alyssa Thomas back on the court. Thomas played in her first game of the season, recovering from an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury. She finished with six points and is expected to be a key player for the Sun as they head into the postseason as the top seed.

A look at the final score shows the Sun dismantling their opponents, but the Liberty went into the half with a 47-44 lead. At the half, the Grand Bahama native had six points and six rebounds to go with one block.

After the half, Jones picked up her play and the Sun looked like the number one seeded team in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) playoffs.

The visitors went up 49-44 at the start of the third quarter. Jones tied the game at 49 points at the 8:46 mark in that quarter when she cut to the basket and made a layup. At the 6:12 mark, Jones was back on the attack, hitting a jump shot that gave her team a 57-54 lead. That lead was extended to 69-54 at the 3:20 mark, culminating a game-changing 20-2 run.

Jones was able to push the lead to 77-58 with 10 seconds remaining in the third quarter on a putback layup after getting her 10th rebound of the night. She had 16 points and 10 boards at the end of the third quarter as they led 77-60. In the third quarter, the Sun outscored the Liberty 33-13.

It was a dominating fourth quarter for the Sun as well as they held the Liberty to just nine points. It was a 21-9 advantage for them in that stanza as they showed their dominance once again.

Natasha Howard led Liberty with a game-high 25 points.

It was a tale of two halves as the Sun held Liberty to just 22 points in the second half after giving up 47 points in the first half. The Sun scored 54 points in the second half.

Overall, the Liberty committed 28 turnovers. In the rebounding department, the Sun held the advantage with 38 total boards that included 13 offensive rebounds. The Liberty had 21 total rebounds.

Jones, a frontrunner for the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award, leads the league in rebounding at 11.3 per contest and is fourth in the league in scoring with an average of 19.5 points per game.

The Sun will look to make it 14 straight wins to end the season when they face bottom-feeding Atlanta Dream (8-22) on Sunday at 1 p.m. That game will be televised on NBATV, and the Sun will look to end with a 15-1 home record.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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