With a 1-5 start all but forgotten, the Connecticut Sun have a chance to move into second place in the Eastern Conference by extending their longest winning streak in two years.
The surprising Sun will have top pick Chiney Ogwumike back as they go for a fifth straight victory overall and seventh consecutive regular-season home win against the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night.
Former Fever guard Katie Douglas helped extend the run Sunday, leading all five starters in double figures with 14 points as Connecticut (6-6) finished a home-and-home series against New York with a 76-72 victory on its own court.
Douglas, who was limited to four contests with Indiana in 2013 because of a back injury, has averaged 14.8 points during the win streak. It’s the team’s longest since a five-game run in 2012, when the Sun lost to the Fever in the conference finals.
Coming off a franchise-worst 10-24 finish last season, Connecticut can now move past Indiana (5-4) and Chicago into second in the East while drawing even with first-place Atlanta in the win column.
"I really think we are trusting one another, and that is the biggest thing," reserve Danielle McCray said. "We know everyone is all in and we know everyone is going to give their best.”
Ogwumike should be able to provide a lift after missing Sunday’s win to attend graduation at Stanford. Ogwumike, who averages team highs of 16.5 points and 8.5 rebounds, scored 18 with a career-high 15 boards in a 79-65 loss at Indiana on May 29.
Connecticut, which hasn’t lost a regular-season home game to the Fever since July 2011, evened the season series and snapped Indiana’s four-game winning streak with an 88-71 victory June 7 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Alex Bentley had 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting and Douglas added 15 points while hitting all seven free-throw attempts.
Natasha Howard finished with 14 points for the Fever, who shot 53.1 percent but committed 25 turnovers.
On Wednesday, Erlana Larkins matched her season high with 17 points and added 11 rebounds for her fourth double-double to help Indiana overcome a nine-point deficit in a 76-68 victory over visiting Seattle.
”She is a warrior,” said coach Lin Dunn, who was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. ”She is the leader of this team. She puts our team on her shoulders and takes us to a victory.”
Larkins finished with 14 points and 10 boards while Briann January scored a team-high 20 in the first meeting with the Sun. January, however, has scored 12 on 3-of-14 shooting over her last two games.
It’s uncertain if Indiana forward Tamika Catchings will be able to make her season debut due to a back injury.