Mercury fall in Connecticut, rookie Joens perfect from field in loss
Aug 31, 2023, 7:46 PM
(Photo by M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) — Natisha Hiedeman and Tyasha Harris each scored 18 points and the Connecticut Sun went 12-for-18 from 3-point range to beat the Phoenix Mercury 84-74 on Thursday.
Harris was 4-for-4 from behind the 3-point line and matched her career high for points while Hiedeman was 4-for-6 from long range. DeWanna Bonner added 15 points and Tiffany Hayes had 13 for the Sun (25-11). Alyssa Thomas had her 26th double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds and added eight assists.
Brittney Griner had 15 points and Sug Sutton 13 for the Mercury (9-27), who beat Connecticut in each of their other two meetings this season, both in Phoenix.
Rookie Ashley Joens went 3-for-3 from 3-point range to pull Phoenix within 73-67 with 2:38 to go. Harris answered with a 3-pointer, made a layup after a turnover, and then hit another 3 after Griner’s layup to make it 81-69 with a minute left.
The Sun were 24-for-30 from the line.
Phoenix, now 1-17 on the road, was 7 of 11 on 3s and free throws.
Bonner had seven points in the last minute of the first half, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, to help the Sun cut a nine-point deficit to 41-38 at halftime.
Phoenix, without Diana Taurasi who has a toe injury, shot 50% to 31% for the Sun. Six of 10 Connecticut baskets were 3-pointers (6 of 11) and the Sun went 12 of 12 from the foul line.
Connecticut outscored the Mercury 20-8 in the third quarter to take a 58-49 lead into the fourth.