Jones scores 20 as Sun beat Mystics 77-64
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Connecticut Sun had a week to think about the worst loss in franchise history. They were well-rested when they got back on the court, and it showed.
Asjha Jones tied her season-high with 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Tina Charles added 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Sun cruised to a 77-64 victory over the Washington Mystics on Friday night.
Connecticut, coming off a 95-61 loss at Indiana last Thursday, never trailed and won for the seventh time in the last nine.
‘‘It was a combination of things,’’ Sun coach Mike Thibault said. ‘‘Frustration with a bad game, a couple of really, really hard practices, and kind of wanting to take it out on somebody else after practicing all week with each other. We were pretty mentally ready to play this game.’’
Reserve Mistie Mims hit all five of her field goal attempts and added a season-high 15 points for the Sun (10-3).
‘‘It felt like it’s been a month since we played,’’ said Mims, whose father, music legend Chubby Checker, traveled down from Philadelphia to watch her. ‘‘We had a big cluster of games and we got really tired, but after a week of sitting around, we were ready to go again.’’
Monique Currie scored a season-high 21 points and Crystal Langhorne added 11 for Washington (2-10), which lost its fifth straight.
Leading by four at halftime, Connecticut pulled away in third quarter, opening the half with a 12-0 run keyed by five points from Jones. Washington didn’t score until Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton’s layup with 5:40 left in the quarter made it 48-34.
‘‘The start of the second half we really wanted to come out and be aggressive,’’ Jones said. ‘‘We got some fast-break buckets and forced them to take a timeout.
The Sun led by 19 after three quarters and the Mystics got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
‘‘I think in the second half they went a lot more to (Charles),’’ Currie said. ‘‘They were getting to the basket, getting to the free throw line. They didn’t do anything special or anything different. They were just more aggressive than we were.’’
The Mystics attempted 19 more shots than the Sun, but hit just 32 percent (25 of 77), while the Sun shot 45 percent (26 of 58).
Connecticut hit its first four shots of the game and built an 18-7 lead in the first quarter.
After Washington pulled to 22-21 on Jasmine Thomas’ layup early in the second quarter, Mims scored four straight points on a jumper followed by a layup off an offensive rebound.
‘‘She was terrific,’’ Thibault said of Mims. ‘‘She’s had several games where’s she’s come in and been perfect from the floor. I would have tried to play her more tonight except Asjha and Tina were playing really well, too. It’s a nice problem to have.’’
Currie hit a 3-pointer to get the Mystics within two, but consecutive 3s by Tan White and Jones followed by a jumper from Jones put Connecticut up by 10 midway through the quarter.