Jones, Sun keep rolling; win eighth straight

It’s been a thrilling run for Bahamian professional basketball player Jonquel “JJ” Jones and the Connecticut Sun (20-6) in the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) this season, particularly since the season resumed after the Olympics. They won their eighth straight game on Saturday night, taking down the Los Angeles Sparks (10-16), 76-61, in front of over 4,000 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The win was also the second of back-to-back wins over the Sparks, in a 48-hour span.

Jones finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. She had 12 points by the end of the first half, and slowed down a bit in the second half. The Grand Bahama native only took nine shots from the field and 

connected on four of them including a shot from deep. She had one steal and one block to go with two assists in 24 minutes of play.

In the Sun’s 76-72 victory on Thursday, Jones finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds in 29 minutes of play. She went 7-for-15 from the field and 8-for-11 from the free-throw line.

On Saturday, the Sun dominated the glass, 38-18. Jones’ teammate Brionna Jones stepped up in that game with a double-double, scoring a game-high 16 points and adding 15 rebounds. Sun Head Coach Curt Miller said that there is a lot of attention on Jonquel Jones and DeWanna Bonner so they needed to turn to another player to come through for them.

“A lot of attention is given to ‘JJ’, a lot of attention is given to DeWanna, and so this is a game that we thought we could establish [Bri Jones], and then tonight with Chiney Ogwumike out, it was one less post player; so that heightened that we wanted to try to establish Bri Jones, but it’s not easy because their help-side is the best in the league, their congestion is the best in the league,” Miller said.

As expected, the Sparks came into the game aggressively, looking to get out to a strong start and try to maintain it, atoning for their loss on Thursday. They forced the Sun to commit six turnovers in the first quarter, taking a 21-16 lead at the end of that quarter. The Bahamian scored two points in that quarter.

Jones erupted for 10 points in the second quarter and helped to give her team a 40-34 lead with 49.4 seconds left in the second quarter. The Sun went into the intermission with a 40-37 lead.

A 12-3 run late in the third quarter gave the Sun their largest lead at that point with the score reading 56-45 with 1:35 remaining in that quarter. The Sun went up 58-47 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Sun didn’t take their foot off the pedal as they turned their offense up another notch, taking a 70-50 lead with 6:20 remaining in the fourth quarter on a layup from Beatrice Mompremier. The Sparks never got to within single digits again as the Sun ran away with the win.

Jones is still averaging a double-double on the season and is in the running for the league’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award. Her 19.8 points per game has her ranked at number four in the league. She is averaging 10.9 rebounds per game to lead the lead in that category.

The league-leading Sun start a four-game road trip beginning with the Washington Mystics at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, D.C. tomorrow night. That game gets underway at 7 p.m. and will be televised on NBATV.

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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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