Saturday, May 28 – 7 p.m. PT
KeyArena | Seattle, WA
JOEtv; WNBA League Pass
Both Seattle and Connecticut enter Saturday’s contest at 1-3 on the season, on two-game losing streaks and coming off a narrow defeat Thursday night. It’s never too early to think about the playoffs, and right now the two teams would be tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the new postseason format. Neither team has made the playoffs in the last two seasons.
The Sun is on a four-game winning streak against the Storm, including a 21-point victory at KeyArena last summer. Seattle owns a 9-15 record in the all-time series.
In back-to-back games, both the Storm and its opponent started cold from the field in the third quarter, making just one field goal apiece in the first five minutes of the second half. Seattle has shot a combined 25 percent (9-of-36) in the third quarter of its last two games, averaging 13 points compared to 14.5 for its opponents. Against Washington on Thursday, Seattle trailed by 16 after its cold spell in the third quarter but marched back to send the game into overtime.
Through four games, Connecticut has the lowest field goal percentage in the league at 36.7 percent and the second fewest points per game with 72.5. The Sun hasn’t shot better than 42 percent or scored more than 76 in a game this season.
By the numbers, rookie forward Breanna Stewart has been one of the most dominant players in the league so far this season. She ranks sixth with 19.0 points per game, fourth in rebounds with 9.8 and tied for sixth in both steals (2.0) and blocks (1.8). She shoots 40 percent from 3-point range, one of the 15 best marks in the league. Here is where Stewart ranks among rookies: first in points (19.0), first in rebounds (9.8), third in assists (2.8), first in steals (2.0) and first in blocks (1.8).
Both sides feature veteran point guards that have been playing well thus far. For the Sun, it’s Jasmine Thomas averaging team highs in both points (12.5 per game) and assists (5.5 per game). Seattle’s Sue Bird has been outstanding during the last three games, averaging 14.7 points 6.0 assists on 46.9 percent shooting.
- On Saturday against the Sun, Seattle welcomes back two former Storm players. Shekinna Stricklen played three seasons in Seattle (2012-14), appearing in 101 games and starting 34. Camille Little spent seven successful seasons with the Storm (2008-14), which included the 2010 WNBA championship. As a starter in Seattle’s frontcourt, Little averaged 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds per game in the 2010 WNBA Finals. Last season for the Sun, Little started all 34 games and averaged 8.2 points.
- Breanna Stewart will match up with former UConn teammate Morgan Tuck on Saturday, marking the second straight game she faces a player that won national titles alongside her in college. Stewart and Tuck were part of the first class in women’s college basketball history to win four consecutive national championships. Along with Moriah Jefferson (San Antonio), they became the first trio of college teammates to be selected with the top three picks in the WNBA Draft.
- After former Storm coach Anne Donovan led the Sun for three seasons, Curt Miller is now in his first year at the helm in Connecticut. The third head coach in the Sun’s history, Miller coached at Bowling Green and Indiana University before serving as an assistant for the Los Angeles Sparks last season.