By Wyatt Yearout
The Seattle Storm took down the top-ranked Connecticut Sun in a Friday night showdown at KeyArena by a final margin of 103-92.
Natasha Howard led the way for Seattle with a career-high 25 points, including two three-pointers which also marked a career best.
Breanna Stewart added 23 points, nine rebounds and four assists and three steals for the Storm as well. Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis chipped in 18 points off the bench, just one shy of her career-high.
After being down as much as 16 in the second period, Connecticut got into a rhythm on offense in the third and cut the lead to just two points at 72-70. Seattle was able to answer with an 8-2 run of its own to close the third and take six-point lead into the final quarter.
The Sun was able to knock down some big shots in the fourth quarter, but the Storm was able to answer each shot with a bucket of its own and maintain the lead throughout the period. Connecticut got within five multiple times in the period, but could never get any closer to a comeback, as Seattle ultimately won by 11.
Although the Storm had an array of positives leading to the win, head coach Dan Hughes thought that the rebounding and bench play were the key factors in the victory.
“What defined the game to me was probably the rebounding, what also defined it was that they are a team from a bench standpoint that feels like they separate from teams, and our bench was just as good. I thought those two factors really led to us playing offense the way we want and for us to sustain what you need to be a good team.”
- Stewart eclipsed the 20-point mark for the eighth time this season, scoring 23 points on 7-for-10 shooting. She also had a team-high nine rebounds and four assists.
- In 19 minutes off the bench, Mosqueda-Lewis recorded 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting. This marked her third game in double figures this season.
- Howard scored in double figures for the ninth time this season and fifth straight contest.
- Alysha Clark chipped in 11 points to go along with a season-high four assists.
- Sue Bird registered double-figure scoring for the fifth time this season with 14 points to go along with five assists.
- Noelle Quinn dished out a season-high five assists off the bench.
- Rookie center Mercedes Russell came off the bench to score a career-high five points in seven minutes.
The Storm will battle the Aces in its next contest on Tuesday at KeyArena, with a tip-off set for 7 p.m./PT. Seattle will be looking to improve to 3-0 against Las Vegas this year.