Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones nabbed her eighth double-double of the season, helping the Connecticut Sun to its 21st victory this year. They trounced the Phoenix Mercury, 87-63, in Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) action on Tuesday night to begin August on a winning note.
Playing at home at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, the Sun bounced back from a close loss to the Chicago Sky on Sunday. That loss snapped a four-game winning streak for them. The Sun hold the third seed in the league standings with a 21-10 win-loss record and have clinched a playoff berth for a sixth straight season. They have five games left in the season.
Reigning league Most Valuable Player (MVP) Jones played 26 minutes in the game on Tuesday night and was able to score 10 points and pull down 10 boards. She shot 4-for-9 from the field while going 2-for-5 from three-point territory. Jones was able to dish out three assists while swatting away two shots.
Alyssa Thomas recorded her second triple-double of the season with 10 points, 10 assists and 12 rebounds.
It was an evenly matched game in the first quarter as both teams were unable to create any separation from the other. The Mercury led 13-8 at one point which was the largest of the game. That came with 3:44 left in the first quarter. Grand Bahama native Jones pulled down four rebounds in the first quarter alone but couldn’t hit any of her four shot attempts in that quarter.
The game was tied at 13 points apiece after the first 10 minutes of play.
Jones got on the scoreboard with 7:17 left in the second quarter on a finger roll layup. The Sun led 17-13 at that point. That was a part of a 6-0 scoring run by the Sun to open the second quarter. The game’s first double-digit lead came with 2:11 left in the first half with the Sun leading 28-17. At the intermission, they led 35-25.
A dominant 52-38 second half advantage put the Sun in control and they cruised to the win.
The Mercury’s Sophie Cunningham and Skylar Diggins-Smith came away with 15 points apiece in the loss.
This season, Jones stats took a dip from last season as she averages 14.3 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists per game in 28 games played. She leads her team in points and rebounds. Last season, she averaged 19.4 points, 11.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game. Her shooting percentages also took a hit as she went from 51.5 percent from the field last season to 49.2 percent this year. She made 36.2 percent of her shots from deep last season, and that is down to 34.7 percent this season.
Jones’ 8.5 rebounds per game this season ranks her in the top five in the league in that category at number four.
Although her stats dipped, the Sun is still a strong playoff contender. They have been playing well after the all-star break, going 7-2 during that time.
These two teams will face each other again tonight at the same location at 7 o’ clock.