Homecoming for some Storm against Sun (Jul 19, 2018)
There are times in professional sports when you play a road game that actually feels like you are at home.
Friday night, former UConn stars Breanna Stewart and Sue Bird will lead the league-leading Seattle Storm into Uncasville, Conn., for a game against the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis, also a former UConn Husky, is also part of the league-leading Storm roster as Seattle visits a Sun team coming off a stunning last-second loss to the Atlanta Dream and fighting for a playoff spot.
The Storm (17-6, 7-2 on the road) already own two wins -- both at home -- over the Sun, winning 103-92 on June 15 and then 84-70 two weeks later.
They opened their three-game road trip with a 101-83 victory at Chicago on Wednesday. Stewart, the league's top scorer (22.9) and No. 5 rebounder (8.2) led the team with 30 points and nine rebounds, while Jewell Loyd just missed a triple double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists. Bird chipped in with 11 assists in the game.
The win at Chicago marked the fourth time the Storm have reached the 100-point mark this season.
Bird, the league's all-time assist leader, just made her record 11th All-Star Game.
"Seventeen years ago, if you told me I'd be setting a new record with 11 All-Star appearances, I would have called you crazy," Bird told the Hartford Courant. "It's a testament to my teammates and coaches throughout the years, and an absolute honor given all of the greats who have played in this league."
Stewart and Loyd were also picked for the All-Star game, which will be held in Minneapolis July 28. Seattle coach Dan Hughes will coach one of the teams.
The Sun's Chiney Ogwumike and Jasmine Thomas are also part of the talent pool for the All-Star game.
Ogwumike, who missed all last season with a torn Achilles, leads the Sun (12-11) in scoring (14.8) and is second in rebounding (7.5). Thomas leads her team in rebounding (9.4).
Connecticut started the season 7-1 but has gone 5-10 since, the last two losses coming in stunning fashion.
The Sun lost to the New York Liberty on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Shavonte Zellous. Then, after two wins, Connecticut set up for the last shot against the Dream with the score tied. But the Sun turned the ball over, and Atlanta's Tiffany Hayes hit a half-court shot for the 86-83 win.
"It's tough (to lose that way), but we can't let it get down to that point," said Rachel Banham, who has six of her 11 3-pointers over the last two games. "We had a chance to really put them away."
Jonquel Jones came off the bench to collect 19 points and seven rebounds for Connecticut, and Benham scored 15 points in the loss that left the Sun in the eighth and final playoff spot.