A game-high 23 points was not enough for Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones as she and her Connecticut Sun team fell 85-77 to the Chicago Sky in Game Two of their best-of-five semifinal series. That series is now tied at a game apiece.
Playing on the road at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois, on Wednesday night, Jones was able to make 10 of her 17 shot attempts from the field in 29 minutes of play for the Sun. The Grand Bahama native was also effective from three-point territory, hitting 2-of-4. She pulled down seven rebounds and was able to dish out three assists. Jones, who was named to the WNBA All-Defensive Second Team earlier this week, also had two blocks.
Only one other Sun player was able to score in double digits as Natasha Hiedeman finished with 14 points. All 10 active Sun players were able to score at least two points Wednesday night. They finished with 19 assists in the game.
Although they lost to the Sky, the Sun have the upper hand as they stole a crucial first game on Sunday, winning at least one of the first two games on the road. They now have home-court advantage.
A look at the stat sheet showed the game was basically even with both teams making 32 field goals. The Sun made five three-point shots while the Sky made six, they both had seven steals and 12 turnovers apiece. The Sun dominated the glass, 39-29. However, one of the biggest differences in the game was free-throw shooting. The Sun went 8-for-16 to shoot 50 percent while the Sky went 15-for-22, shooting 68.2 percent.
The Sky’s Candace Parker led them with 22 points on the offensive side of the ball. All five starters scored in double digits for them.
Jones was able to give the Sun an early three-point lead when she made a trey with 9:49 left in the first quarter. It was the Sun’s only lead of the game. Sky sharpshooter Allie Quigley hit a long distance shot to tie the game, and that started a 7-0 scoring run. By the time Jones went to the bench, with just under two minutes left in the first quarter, the Sky was up 22-14. The quarter ended with the Sky ahead 24-14.
Odyssey Sims made a jump shot at the 7:24 mark of the second quarter to cut the Sky lead to four points, 26-22. The Sky went on a 15-2 run after that, demoralizing Jones and the Sun. They led 41-24 with 2:40 left in the first half. The first half ended with the Sky up 47-32. The Bahamian had 10 points.
It didn’t get any better in the third quarter for the Sun as they shot the ball poorly from the field, going 6-for-17 to shoot 35.3 percent. At one point, the Sky led 61-41. They controlled the game offensively, and at the end of the three quarters, they were up 65-48.
Jones turned it up in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points but it was not enough. The Sun managed to outscore the host 29-20 in the fourth quarter but the result was already a foregone conclusion. The Sun were also able to cut the lead down to single digits, after the starters on both teams were pulled, but the lead was too insurmountable to overcome.
The pivotal third game will be held on Sunday at 1 p.m. on the Sun’s home floor at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Game Four will also be in Uncasville as the Sun look to finish off the series at home.