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White delivers in a pinch for Sun

By Ned Griffen

Publication: The Day

Published August 15. 2013 4:00AM   Updated August 15. 2013 4:16PM
Tan White scores game-winning basket in final second to beat Dream

Mohegan — It seemed like old times Wednesday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

The struggling Connecticut Sun were in a scrap with the Atlanta Dream. The score was tied with seconds left. The 5,206 fans at Mohegan Sun Arena were in full throat.

The old times ended with a much-needed win, too. Tan White made her first-career game-winning shot with 0.5 seconds left to give the Sun an 88-86 win.

"When you're used to winning like we are — I don't know if anybody on this team has been on a lot of losing teams — it feels great," Connecticut's Kalana Greene said. "It takes you back to when you were winning all the time. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction."

It was the first time this season the Sun (7-15) beat a team with a winning record.

It was the eighth loss in nine games for Atlanta (11-9), which, not too long ago, was in first place in the Eastern Conference. It's currently in second place.

Wednesday's game had a little bit of everything. Connecticut led by as many as 15 points (50-35) with over three minutes left in the second quarter.

The incomparable Angel McCoughtry led Atlanta back with a third-quarter blitz. She scored 12 of her game-high 33 in that period as the Dream rallied to take a 66-58 lead with more than three minutes remaining in that period.

"She is something else," the Sun's Mistie Bass said. "She can score at will. She is the type of player who can orchestrate exactly what a defense is going to do, and she's really smart at what she does."

McCoughtry made two free throws with 1:39 left in the game to give her team an 86-83 lead.

Sun Renee Montgomery answered with a 3-pointer seconds later to tie the game.

Armintie Herrington missed two free throws with over a minute left. Atlanta got off two shots after two offensive rebounds before Connecticut got the ball back.

That set the stage for White's game-winner taken 19 feet to the left of the basket.

"We knew we wanted to run all the time off the clock to leave them no shot," White said. "We just did a really good job of reading what the defense gave us. It just happened to fall in my hands at the end.

White paused and laughed, saying, "I took a great shot."

Tina Charles had 25 points and six rebounds for Connecticut while Montgomery added 18 points and four assists.

The game's other story was Sun coach Anne Donovan's tinkering with the lineup.

White got her second start of the season and scored 15.

Rookie Kelly Faris got her first career start. She made all three of her 3-pointers for 11 points with seven rebounds.

"I don't know," Faris laughed when asked about her 3-point shooting. "Something happened."

Donovan said of starting Faris: "Kelly did a lot in Washington (on Sunday). ...She came out and had five quick points (off the bench). Kelly came in and just stopped (Monique Currie) for a little while. It was her intensity that earned her that position."

All-Star guard Allison Hightower didn't start for Connecticut due to a sprained knee.

Greene, who had started all season, was used as a reserve.

"It doesn't really matter to me who starts," Greene said. "The changes (Donovan) made are changes for the better. Whatever helps the team, I'm always happy with it. I'm never a person that needs to do that, or need to do that. I just want to go and do the things to help my team win."

n.griffen@theday.com

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