UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) _ Rookie Alyssa Thomas scored 12 of her 23 points in the third quarter and had 11 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Sun to their sixth straight victory, 79-69 over the Chicago Sky on Wednesday night.
It was Thomas eighth start, and her minutes have increased with starting guard Allison Hightower out with a sprained knee.”
“I’m definitely a lot more confident,” Thomas said. “The more we play, the more confident I get. Credit my teammates for helping me to be comfortable out there.”
Katie Douglas added 19 points for the Sun (8-6), Alex Bentley had 12 points and nine assists, and Chiney Ogwumike finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
Sylvia Fowles had 17 points and nine rebounds in her season debut for the Sky (6-8). She missed the first 13 games after having arthroscopic surgery to repair a hip injury.
Elena Delle Donne scored 13 points for Chicago. She missed the previous five games because of Lyme disease.
Down by six at halftime, the Sun opened the second half with a 22-2 run. Thomas scored 10 points during that stretch, and made two free throws to make it 63-47 with 3:19 remaining in the third.
“I thought her and (center Kelsey) Bone really changed things,” Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. “They found each other. They played off each other really well.
“(Thomas is) a tough match. She doesn’t have the quickest feet or the best handle, but she has one of the biggest motors in the women’s game.”
Chicago shot 28.6-percent in the second half.
“You always have to give the opposition credit,” Chicago coach Pokey Chatman said. “I thought we played a little bit slow in that third quarter, especially when you’re coming off I think a really nice first quarter in which we put up 30. They broke up the momentum. … I mean it was 27-10 and at one point 17-2 (in the third quarter). Even the ones they (Sun) missed they got the offensive rebounds, so I credit them for being the aggressor and making things happen.”
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