Tina Charles had 23 points and 22 rebounds Sunday to become the first WNBA player in history with three 20-20 games. And her two free throws with 3.1 seconds left gave the Connecticut Sun their first lead and a 75-73 win over the Atlanta Dream.
The Sun (8-2) remain unbeaten in the Eastern Conference (7-0) and are 3-0 on the road this season heading into Tuesday’s game at Indiana at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
The double-double was also the 52st in Charles’ career, a new Sun record – as will every double-double she registers in her career.
“We definitely put ourselves in a hole,” Charles said. “I think the key is just to stay poised and together out there. We just have to know that we can always win.”
The Sun trailed by 16 points in the second quarter before beginning to their comeback against the Dream, the two-time defending Eastern Conference champions. The Dream was playing without all-star Angel McCoughtry, who has a sprained left knee.
Renee Montgomery finished with 19 points and Kara Lawson added 11 for Connecticut, which has won five of six. Armintie Price scored a season-high 20 points and Sancho Lyttle had 15 for the Dream (4-6). Lyttle missed a baseline runner that didn’t touch the rim as time expired.
“The obvious difference is they didn’t have Angel in the lineup, and you have to credit them for really outplaying us for the better part of the game,” Lawson said. “They played with great energy and forced us into kind of a different mode offensively.”
Charles, who has a franchise-record 22 straight games of scoring in double digits, grabbed a rebound with 3.1 seconds remaining after Montgomery missed a 17-footer. After Price fouled her, Charles made both free throws for Connecticut’s 75-73 lead.
The Sun suffered through a season-high 25 turnovers, eight by Charles, that led to 31 points for Atlanta.
“I told my players we’re going to get arrested on the way to the airport for stealing,” Sun coach Mike Thibault said. “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.”
Atlanta failed to make a field goal after Aneika Henry scored underneath to give the Dream a 71-69 lead with 4:34 remaining. Lindsey Harding, who was just 4 of 12 from the field, hit a pair of free throws to make it 73-69 for Atlanta’s final points with 2:11 to go.
“ Asjha Jones hit a layup and a short hook shot on two straight possessions to tie the score 73-73 with 1:23 left and put more pressure on Atlanta.
Forrmer UConn guard Tiffany Hayes made her first career start and scored 11 points.
- -- ADVERTISEMENT --
UConn Women Photos
Text AlertsComplimentary Huskies, breaking news, and/or weather alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
*Or text UCONNFB, UCONNMB, UCONNWBNEWS, WEATHER, NEWS to 37798
*These programs are available on the following carriers: AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon Wireless, Sprint, Nextel, Boost, Alltel, US Cellular. By clicking Submit you are confirming agreement with the terms and conditions governing this station and these mobile alerts. All submissions must be authorized by the account holder. Contact your carrier for more details.