Bahamian women’s professional basketball player Jonquel ‘JJ’ Jones finished with a double-double as the Connecticut Sun used a huge second half to pull away from the Dallas Wings on Wednesday, winning 73-58, to advance to the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) semifinals. They ended the series 2-1.
Jones finished with 11 points and 10 rebounds in 24 minutes of play to help lead the Sun to victory and the crowd at College Park Center in Dallas, Texas, went quiet in the second half. Jones’ 11 rebounds helped her to reach a milestone. She is now third on the Sun’s all-time postseason list for rebounds with 171, passing Asjha Jones who has 162 total postseason rebounds for the Sun. Taj McWilliams-Franklin leads the way with 234 rebounds, and Alyssa Thomas is second in franchise history with 192 postseason rebounds.
In the game on Wednesday, Jones also had two steals. She was in foul trouble for most of the first half as she picked up her third foul at the 6:47 mark of the second quarter. That forced her to miss the rest of the first half.
This is the fourth straight trip to the WNBA semifinals for the Sun and the sixth straight season for them getting out of the opening round. They set up a second straight semifinals appearance against the Chicago Sky. The Sun will be looking to avenge a 3-1 series defeat last year. In the regular season, the Sun did not win any of the four games played between them and the Sky.
Leading the way for the Sun in points in the first-round clincher over the Wings was forward DeWanna Bonner who scored a game-high 21 points.
After coming away with just one steal in a loss in the second game of the series, the Sun came away with 14 steals in the third and decisive game and the Wings had 20 turnovers. There were six lead changes and nine ties in the game. The Sun took a 40-38 lead at the 7:13 mark in the third quarter and never looked back.
They went on a 15-6 run to start the third quarter, eventually taking a 49-40 lead. At the end of the first half, the game was tied at 34. The Sun shot poorly in the first half, 32 percent. In the second quarter, the Sun were held without a field goal for just over seven minutes. Jones had just five points in that first half.
The Sun held the Wings to just 12 points in the third quarter and they had 23 of their own. In fact, the Wings scored 12 points in the fourth quarter also. Those 24 points represented the Wings’ lowest second-half point total for the entire season.
The Sun had a great rebounding game, especially on the offensive glass, pulling down 17 rebounds compared to the Wings’ seven. Overall, the Sun finished with 40 rebounds while the Wings pulled down 31 boards.
Jones opened the fourth quarter with an offensive rebound and a putback layup that saw the Sun go up 59-46 with 9:43 left. The Wings’ first field goal in the fourth quarter came at the 5:49 mark as the visitors led 65-50 at that point.
Marina Mabrey led the home team with 20 points in the loss.
Game One of the Sun vs. Sky best-of-five semifinal series is set for 8 p.m. on Sunday, and will be televised on ESPN 2. The game will be played at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
The last matchup between these two teams, in the regular season, went down to the wire as two made free throws helped the Sky seal the win, 94-91.