Stewart scores 19 as Bird adds 14 in tough road loss
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Despite a big third quarter of Breanna Stewartthe Seattle Storm couldn’t resist the combined strength of Connecticut Sun forwards, losing 82-71 at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday night.
Stewart had 19 points, five assists and seven rebounds for the Storm (9-6), with nearly all of that (14 pts, three assists and four rebounds) coming in a big third quarter for the Storm. A day after announcing she would be retiring at the end of the season, UConn alum Sue Birdscored 14 points on 4-for-6 three-pointers. It was his first game back in the roster after missing Tuesday’s game at Minnesota with an illness unrelated to covid. Ezi Magbegoradded 12 points for the Storm.
Bird and his fellow UConn graduates Stewart and Gaby Williams gave the Storm a quick start, scoring the team’s first 11 points as Seattle took 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 under two with 2:38, only to see the Sun close out the period on an 8-0 run to take a 42-32 halftime lead.
Seattle came alive in the third quarter with help from Stewart, beating the Sun 26-14 in the period to take a 58-56 lead in the fourth. But Storm’s offense struggled in the fourth quarter as DeWanna Bonner came back to life after three quiet first periods, scoring 15 of her team-high 20 points in the fourth as Connecticut pulled away for the victoire. Bonner was one of four Connecticut forwards in double figures alongside Brionna Jones (19), Jonquel Jones (17) and Alyssa Thomas (10).
Connecticut held a 56-28 point advantage 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 eight free throw attempts, season-low. Seattle went 11 of 22 from three-point range in the game but went 17 of 44 from inside the arc.
The Storm wrap up their longest road trip of the season on Sunday, heading to New York to take on the Liberty at 9 a.m. PT on ESPN.