Stewart scores 19 while Bird adds 14 in tough road loss
UNCASVILLE, CT – Despite a big third quarter from Breanna Stewart, the Seattle Storm couldn’t stand up to the combined forces of the Connecticut Sun’s forwards, falling 82-71 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night.
Stewart put up 19 points, five assists, and seven rebounds for the Storm (9-6), with almost all of that (14 pts, three assists, and four rebounds) coming in a big third quarter for the Storm. One day after announcing she would be retiring at the end of the season, UConn alum Sue Birdscored 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range. It was her first game back in the lineup after missing Tuesday’s game in Minnesota because of a non-covid illness. Ezi Magbegoradded 12 points for the Storm.
Bird and fellow UConn grads Stewart and Gabby Williams got the Storm off to a quick start, scoring the team’s first 11 points as Seattle raced out to an 11-4 lead. The Storm struggled after that, trailing 23-21 at the end of one and falling behind 33-26 midway through the second. Seattle rallied to within two with 2:38, only to see the Sun close out the period on an 8-0 run to take a 42-32 lead to the half.
Seattle came alive in the third quarter thanks to help from Stewart, outscoring the Sun 26-14 in the period to take a 58-56 lead into the fourth. But the Storm offense struggled in the fourth quarter while DeWanna Bonner came alive after a quiet first three periods, scoring 15 of her team-high 20 points in the fourth as Connecticut pulled away for the win. Bonner was one of four Connecticut forwards in double-digits alongside Brionna Jones (19), Jonquel Jones (17), and Alyssa Thomas (10).
Connecticut held a 56-28 edge in points in the paint as the Sun shot 28-of-36 in the paint. But outside of the paint, the Storm held Connecticut to just 5-of-20 from three-point range and to a season-low eight free throw attempts. Seattle made 11-of-22 from three-point range in the game, but went 17-of-44 inside the arc.
The Storm closes out its longest road trip of the season on Sunday, heading to New York to face the Liberty at 9 a.m. PT on ESPN.