ATLANTA — Tina Charles led all scorers with 23, and hauled down 22 rebounds—her seventh double-double in 10 games this season—to lead the Connecticut Sun to a hard-fought come-from-behind 75-73 victory over the Atlanta Dream a Father’s Day crowd of 4,323 fans at Philips Arena in Atlanta.
Asjha Jones (15) of the Connecticut Sun posts up on Sancho Lyttle (20) of the Atlanta Dream. The Sun scored a dramatic last-minute 75-73 win on Sunday.
The Dream were playing without Angel McCoughtry, the leading scorer in the WNBA who was sidelined with a sprained knee. But for most of the game, that didn’t seem to matter. In fact, Connecticut’s first lead in the game came with 3.1 seconds remaining in regulation when Charles banged down two free throws.
Renee Montgomery added 19 points and Kara Lawson chipped in with 11 for Connecticut, which improved to 8-2 and moved into first place in the WNBA Eastern Conference , one-half game ahead of the Chicago Sky .
Armintie Price led Atlanta with a season-high 20 points, and Sancho Lyttle added 15 for the Dream, who fell to 4-6. Former UConn favorite Tiffany Hayes enjoyed her best game as pro, scoring 11 points. The Atlanta rookie also hauled down two rebounds and stole the ball five times in 34 solid minutes of play.
The Dream, who led by as many as 16 points, held a seven-point advantage after Lyttle hit a short jumper with 7:32 left in regulation. A three-pointer by Montgomery about a minute later started a 9-2 Connecticut run, knotting the game at 69 points apiece with 5:04 remaining.
“We definitely put ourselves in a hole,” said Charles, the leading rebounder in UConn history whose 22 boards represents her watermark for the season. “I think the key is just to stay poised and together out there. We just have to know that we can always win.”
“I told my players we're going to get arrested on the way to the airport for stealing,” noted a relieved Sun coach Mike Thibault after the game. “For a long stretch today, we didn't play very well. We’re leading the league in fewest turnovers, and we had more in one game than in our first three games combined.”
Connecticut, which has won five of its past six games, now now prepares for a rematch against the Indiana Fever , whom the Sun topped 89-81 a week ago Friday night , when they start a home-and-home series on Tuesday night. Tip-off at the Mohegan Sun Arena is at 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on the CPTV Sports network.