Connecticut’s Danielle McCray had more than a year to think about what it would be like to play her first WNBA game.
Last night’s 89-73 win over Washington in Uncasville, Conn., exceeded her expectations.
McCray, who suffered a knee injury during her senior season at the University of Kansas and sat out her rookie year with the Sun, scored 14 points, hitting all five shots she took from the field — including four 3-pointers.
“I can’t really say I expected it, but I’ve been working hard,’’ she said. “So, I couldn’t say it wasn’t going to happen. I’ve been staying after for shooting and working on my shot a lot.’’
Tina Charles had 18 points and six rebounds to lead Connecticut. Renee Montgomery added 15 points and Asjha Jones scored 10 of her 14 points in the second half.
Charles, who averaged more than 15 points and 11 rebounds in winning the league’s Rookie of the Year honors last season, said McCray’s outside shooting kept the defense from collapsing.
“I rarely got double-teamed tonight,’’ she said. “It happened maybe a couple of times. But the way Danielle was hitting and the way our guards penetrated, it really opened things up underneath.’’
Nicky Anosike, who was acquired from the Minnesota Lynx two days before the WNBA draft, and Crystal Langhorne each had 16 points to lead Washington.
The Sun opened the second half on a 13-5 run, getting strong defense from Charles, who brought the crowd to its feet when she stuffed former Tennessee star Anosike. The block sent her sprawling to the floor with Connecticut leading 60-46.
Storm 78, Mercury 71 — Sue Bird scored 13 points and handed out 10 assists and Camille Little led Seattle with 18 points before spraining her right knee in the fourth quarter as the defending champions opened the 2011 season with a home victory over Phoenix.
Diana Taurasi scored 31 points for Phoenix, including 11 in the closing minutes as the Mercury trimmed a 19-point deficit to 5 with 16 seconds left.
Silver Stars 93, Shock 73 — Sophia Young scored 20 points and Becky Hammon added 18 as host San Antonio won its first season opener since 2006 by routing Tulsa.
Sheryl Swoopes made her return to the WBNA after retiring in 2008 because of injuries. The three-time MVP, who just turned 40, finished with 5 points for the Silver Stars.
Fever 65, Sky 57 — Katie Douglas (19 points, 7 rebounds) and Tamika Catchings (15 points, 9 rebounds) lifted host Indiana.