Sun honor UConn women’s basketball star Asjha Jones following defeat of Sparks in home opener


UNCASVILLE — The Connecticut Solar brought the heat from the pretty starting — pretty much suitable in advance of tipoff.

To start off its 20th time anniversary celebration, the Sunshine debuted flame throwers and sparks for its starting off lineup introductions Saturday night. The heat from the flames at heart courtroom could be felt alongside the baseline as the audio of the sparks exploding previously mentioned reverberated by Mohegan Sunshine Arena.

In entrance of 5,624 lovers — like UConn women’s basketball mentor Geno Auriemma and his spouse, Kathy — the franchise employed the anniversary to honor former Huskies and Sunlight star Asjha Jones adhering to its 77-60 defeat of Los Angeles for its to start with gain of the time.

“Big earn for us tonight to defend residence courtroom in opposition to a single of the most proficient defensive teams in the league,” Solar coach and general manager Curt Miller claimed. “Really, truly happy with how we competed, the tempo that we performed at and the way we thrived off our protection in that to start with 50 percent to genuinely get out in changeover and locate methods to score against this gifted protection. … We satisfaction ourselves on creating this as complicated a position to engage in for opponents and it’s a fantastic start off to the calendar year for us.”

Jonquel Jones, the 2021 MVP, and Alyssa Thomas carried Connecticut (1-1) as a result of Saturday’s sport, combining for 39 of Connecticut’s full factors and 24 of its 45 rebounds. 30-two-calendar year-outdated WNBA rookie Yvonne Anderson produced her league debut towards the Sparks, finishing with two details, a single steal and a single rebound in 11 minutes.

Saturday was the Sun’s final match with only 9 available gamers. Courtney Williams will make her time debut Tuesday just after sitting out the initial two video games of the regular year because of a league suspension she been given in the drop. Longtime Sun veteran DeWanna Bonner returned to Connecticut this weekend after her abroad year finished. Even though she was with the group on the bench Saturday, she has nonetheless to follow because returning.

The Sparks (2-2) have been led by Jordin Canada and Nneka Ogwumike with 12 points every single. Former Huskies Katie Lou Samuelson and Olivia Nelson-Ododa have been not with the group Saturday. Samuelson remains unavailable because of to her overseas opposition, even though Nelson-Ododa has yet to make her expert typical-year debut since of an ongoing hip personal injury. The new UConn graduate stays mentioned 7 days-to-week.

After falling to New York in its period opener this previous Saturday, Connecticut started its matchup from Los Angeles in full command with a 12- run. The Sparks didn’t score their very first discipline purpose right up until nearly five minutes into the initial quarter.


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Anna C. Knight

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