The Connecticut Sun look to continue their strong late-season stretch Thursday night against the visiting Phoenix Mercury, a team it just blew out.
The Mercury (13-18) regroup for their second meeting in three nights against the Sun (21-10) in Uncasville, Conn. The Sun prevailed 87-63 on Tuesday for their fifth win in six games.
Seven players scored in double figures for Connecticut on Tuesday, led by Natisha Hiedeman’s 16 points. Alyssa Thomas added a triple-double – just the second in franchise history — with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds.
“She has that confidence that nobody can stop her right now,” teammate DeWanna Bonner said of Thomas. “I think it’s just her will to win and her confidence. She wants to win a championship bad. We’re not really looking at that yet, but you can just tell that’s her drive.”
Thomas’ approach has been inspirational.
“At times I want more people to get on her level of desire, passion, competitiveness, because when we have that full team competitiveness I think we’re tough to beat, and she wills it out of us,” Sun coach Curt Miller said.
The Mercury are 0-2 on this road trip and trying to salvage a win before returning home for four straight games to close out the regular season.
Phoenix guard Diana Taurasi was held scoreless on 0-for-6 shooting in 11 minutes on Tuesday night while dealing with a hamstring issue. The former UConn star did not play in the second half and her status for Thursday is unclear.
Either way, it’s a tough situation dealing with the Sun.
“It’s tough for us all season to play teams with bigs,” Mercury coach Vanessa Nygaard acknowledged.
With Diamond DeShields already out, Taurasi’s potential absence would put a major dent in the Mercury’s lineup.
Taurasi, 40, could be near the end of her career, although her return to Connecticut hasn’t generated as much attention as the recent final scheduled game in the state for fellow Huskies great Sue Bird. Bird is playing her last season with the Seattle Storm.
There was off-court news Wednesday for Phoenix with the announcement that center Megan Gustafson would join Olympiacos in Europe during the offseason.
–Field Level Media