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Sun slip past the Silver Stars

By Ned Griffen

Publication: The Day

Published July 15. 2013 4:00AM
Jessica Hill/AP photo
Mistie Bass of the Sun celebrates a basket in the fourth quarter of Sunday's WNBA game against the Silver Stars at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Sun won 86-84.

Mohegan - Kalana Greene was talking to reporters in the Connecticut Sun locker room after Sunday's game when a roar of laughter and cheers broke out.

The team had just found out they had today off, setting off a mini-celebration. Mistie Bass started dancing in her chair as she pushed herself across the floor.

It's amazing what a win can do for a struggling team.

Connecticut fell behind to start the fourth quarter of Sunday's game against the San Antonio Silver Stars, but stormed back to win, 86-84, before 6,335 at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Winning takes care of everything.

"Knowing how hard it is to win in this league, you never take it for granted," Sun guard Kara Lawson said. "No matter how you get it, it makes you feel good."

The Sun (4-9) had lost six of their previous seven games and could ill afford to lose another before embarking on three-game road trip. They don't play at home again until Aug. 1.

"It is a good way for us to finish (at home)," Lawson said, "so now we have to go on the road and try to climb our way back up."

Tina Charles had 20 points and 10 rebounds for Connecticut while Allison Hightower scored a career-high 23 with five rebounds.

Lawson, in her second game back from a knee injury, played 27 minutes off the bench and had 14 points and six assists. Bass added 12 points.

Jia Perkins had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Silver Stars (4-10) and Danielle Robinson added 10 points and eight assists.

The Sun had led most of the game when San Antonio took a 67-59 lead with over seven minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Connecticut coach Anne Donovan called timeout, and her team came back strong with a 17-4 run.

"Our defense wasn't going," Hightower said. "Our offense wasn't going. Coach told us we have to get our defense back and really locked in. We buckled down and got some stops."

Bass began the run with a hook shot. Greene added a steal and a layup seconds later.

Danielle Adams (14 points) made two free throws on the other end for the Silver Stars.

Charles hit a turnaround jumper, followed by Hightower's open 3-pointer.

Charles intercepted a pass by Adams and drove for a layup to give the Sun a 70-69 lead with over five minutes remaining. Lawson extended the lead with a 3-pointer.

San Antonio's Jayne Appel broke up Connecticut's run with a putback.

Hightower answered with another 3-pointer to push her team ahead, 76-71, with over four minutes remaining.

Injuries have contributed to Connecticut's worst start in franchise history. Renee Montgomery, last year's WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, has missed 11 games to a high left ankle sprain.

Tan White, another key reserve, has a broken finger and hasn't played in 10 games.

Lawson was out one game due to a sore back. She missed four more due to a bruised knee.

"Who we are as a team right now is not who we are as a team that we will be in September, and our record right now is not indicative of how good we are," Lawson said. "So we just have to continue to play and continue to get players back, which when we have everybody, we're a hard team to defend."

n.griffen@theday.com

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