All-Star Tina Charles and the Connecticut Sun have been unstoppable at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Connecticut looks to remain the only unbeaten home team in the WNBA on Tuesday night when it meets league-leading scorer Cappie Pondexter and the New York Liberty, the only club in the Eastern Conference with a winning road record.
The Sun (8-5) just passed another big test on their own court Sunday, as Charles and rookie Danielle McCray led the way in a 76-71 victory over the first-place Indiana Fever in McCray's first home start.
McCray scored 22 points and helped the Sun, 6-0 at home, exploit the Fever's double-team on Charles.
"My teammates found me on the weak side and when I had the ball, I knocked it down," McCray said. "They were cheating inside because when we have a good post player like Tina Charles, the other team is going to double-team her."
McCray was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 draft but missed all of last year due to a knee injury. Coach Mike Thibault knew when the Sun selected McCray that she'd be out for 2010, but the team decided it was worth the wait.
"When we drafted her we felt she had a chance to be a really good player," Thibault said.
McCray's first start was in Friday's 68-59 win over the Liberty (9-6), as the Sun ended the game on a 10-0 run.
"It's one of those losses where you're like 'why did we have to lose?' But it happens," said Pondexter, averaging 20.3 points. "You can't get too high, can't get too low in this league. The most important thing is forget about it and move on."
The Liberty rebounded against league-worst Tulsa on Sunday with an 88-57 home victory. Pondexter scored 18 points in 21 minutes compared to 11 in 34 against the Sun.
"We played with more energy, our feet were alive and we didn't have our mud boots on," said coach John Whisenant, whose team is 4-3 on the road.
Part of that energy was due to the return of Plenette Pierson, who is second on the Liberty with 5.2 rebounds per game and third with an average of 12.9 points. She missed the matchup against Connecticut due to a knee injury.
The Sun and Liberty trail Indiana by one game in the East.
"Any win in the conference is always key because it's going to be close down the stretch," Sun guard Renee Montgomery said. "We don't want it to come down to the end where we're hoping somebody else loses. ... We want to put ourselves in a good position going down the stretch. This is only about halfway through the season, but still as much as you can do early in the season the better."