Asjha Jones Leads Sun To Victory Over Monarchs
July 23, 2009
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UNCASVILLE - — In the middle of the fourth quarter Wednesday, the public address announcer at the Mohegan Sun Arena reminded the crowd that Asjha Jones would be the Connecticut Sun's lone representative at Saturday's All-Star Game.
Yeah, like it wasn't already obvious.
It has already been an eventful season for the Sun, filled with comings and goings, ups and downs, plans and adjustments.
But one of the constants has been Jones, the former UConn standout, a piece of the foundation upon which this contender is being built.
"There's no doubt about it, she's an elite player now," Sun guard Lindsay Whalen said. "She's having a great year."
On the day before its All-Star break, Jones snapped her team to attention after a first half in which it played as if it had senioritis.
She scored 22 of her season-high 28 in the second half, shooting 10 of 12, accounting for 12 of the last 14 points to lead the Sun to an 83-75 victory over the Sacramento Monarchs before 5,675.
Jones has scored in double figures in 12 straight and she also had 10 rebounds.
"I can always be better," said Jones, whose career high is 31. "I'm very critical of myself. Just look at all the shots I missed in the first half [3 of 9]."
She was not alone. The Sun (9-6) shot 12 of 38 in the half, but outscored the Monarchs 30-13 in the third and have now won 8 of 11 to sit alone in second place in the conference.
Those are things that will help coach Mike Thibault enjoy his break.
"There have been years when I've gone into the All-Star break feeling miserable," he said. "But not this year."
The Monarchs have lost six straight and 14 of 17. They were led by Nicole Powell, who scored 18 a few hours after being named to the Western Conference All-Star team to replace the injured Lisa Leslie.
"They came in very well prepared," Thibault said. "They are a hard team to play against."
They were tough on Wednesday, building a 44-33 halftime lead. But then the Sun started to make their shots and began to take control of the boards, holding Laura Harper and Courtney Paris to one second-half rebound after they combined for 16 in the first.
"It sure is better when the ball goes in the basket," Thibault said. "This is a really great win for us. This is a great way to go into the All-Star break."
Time To Rest
Thibault is giving the team off until Sunday night. The weekend will begin for most of them tonight at the Beyonce concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Copyright © 2009, The Hartford Courant
EDITORIAL FOOTNOTE: It is a good thing, that the Mohegan Sun beat the Sacramento monarchs, but attendance is still down at 5,675. Hopefully, attendance will increase after the All-Star Game.
Yes, Asjha Jones, is an All Star and having a terrific season, however so is Lyndsay Whalen and Erin Phillips. Hopefully, the Mohegan Sun Arena will have a full house on Saturday for the All-Star Game. Go, Sun go. What do you think?