Jul. 3—DeWanna Bonner had answered her last question during Saturday’s postgame interview with the media and was about to leave the Zoom call but had one more thing to say.
“We coming home, girls,” Bonner said, referring to her twin daughters, Cali and Demi.
The Connecticut Sun are happy to be returning home after being away most of the week. They’d likely be overjoyed to get a full day of sleep, too.
Connecticut looked gassed playing its fourth game in seven days Saturday. It scored a season low against the Indiana Fever, which won its second game of the season 73-67 at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis.
“Four games (in) seven days, it’s tough,” the Sun’s Briann January said. “Regardless of how tired we are, we need to show up and play. … Play better than we did today. We have to find the energy.”
The Sun (12-6) shot 35.8%.
“I want to tip my hat to Indiana,” Connecticut head coach Curt Miller said. “I thought they out-competed us. I thought they outhustled us.”
“The size and physicality of Indiana bothered us. They congested us in the paint and we had one of those nights where we didn’t shoot it really well. … We just couldn’t get going from the perimeter.”
Jonquel Jones exemplified the Sun’s struggles. She had the WNBA’s fourth-highest shooting percentage prior to Saturday’s games (.568).
Jones scored a team-high 16 but missed 12 of 17 field goals. She also had nine rebounds.
Bonner had 14 points, seven rebounds and four assists, Brionna Jones had 13 points and eight rebounds and reserve Natisha Hiedeman scored 12 for Connecticut.
“We missed a lot of shots that we normally make,” Bonner said. “(The Fever) were hungry to win. They played really, really hard down the stretch (and) hit some key shots.”
Danielle Robinson scored a game-high 19 with five rebounds for Indiana (2-16), which had lost 12 straight.
“Man, that felt great,” Robinson said. “We’ve been working hard and unfortunately the games haven’t been showing that. … We can smile after this one.”
Teaira McCowan added 13 points and 12 rebounds off the bench for the Fever.
The Sun have based their success this season on defense, rebounding and points in the paint.
Connecticut succeeded at one of three against Indiana. Indiana shot 39.7% but had the edge in rebounding (39-37) and points in the paint (32-24).
“I would take 39% shooting from the field as a defensive coach any day of the week,” Miller said, “but we didn’t help ourselves out on the offensive end.”
Indiana led the majority of the second half and by as much as 50-42 with 1 minute, 36 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Fever lead after three quarters (52-46) for just the third time this season.
Hiedeman hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Fever’s lead to 69-67 with 47.8 seconds left in the game.
McCowan made a seven-foot hook shot on the other end with 25.5 seconds remaining.
Jonquel Jones missed a layup after a Sun timeout. Kelsey Mitchell grabbed the rebound, was fouled and made two free throws for the game’s final points.
“I thought we competed much better than we did Thursday (an 86-80 win),” Miller said. “I thought we played harder. I don’t know if we played as hard as Indiana.
“Disappointing that we couldn’t sweep this series, but you see it all the time in this league. It’s hard. It’s hard to win two in a row against teams in this league.”