Sky Rally To End Sun's 6-Game Home Winning Streak

— Every day is a new day in pro basketball, an opportunity to take a step ahead or fall a step behind.

And Tuesday was not a good day for the Connecticut Sun.

"We played a bad basketball game, which I've been worried about for two days," coach Mike Thibault said.

The Chicago Sky, last in the Eastern Conference and in a four-game losing streak, fought back from an eight-point, third-quarter deficit to defeat Connecticut 86-77 before 6,981 at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

"At no point did we ever stop them from making layups," Sun forward Asjha Jones said. "And then we stopped making shots in the second half."

The Sky (5-8) outscored the first-place Sun 36-19 over the last 14 minutes, ending a six-game home winning streak for Connecticut.

Chicago had five players in double figures, led by Epiphanny Prince, who scored 19. Erin Thorne (5-for-5) scored 18 and hit two big three-point shots in the fourth quarter.

The Sun also had five players in double figures, led by Tina Charles, who had 14 points and 16 rebounds for her ninth double-double. Sandrine Gruda and Anete Jekabsone each scored 13.

But discrepancies abound. The Sun, who spent all day Monday traveling home from Phoenix, shot 6-for-24 from behind the three-point arc. The Sky were 6-for-8.

The bigger problem was at the free-throw line, where Chicago was 20-for-24, Connecticut 5-for-8.

"A little confounding," Thibault said. "But it doesn't excuse the way we played."

By the end of the game, Thibault was done trying to figure it out. He picked up the Sun's second technical with 43.8 seconds to play.

The Sun started its big lineup, featuring Gruda, Charles and Asjha Jones across the front, Kara Lawson and Jekabsone-Zogota in the backcourt. Lawson played 17 minutes, despite being slowed by a respiratory ailment.

That meant Renee Montgomery was on the bench to start the game.

Montgomery, the former UConn All-American and one of the league's most affable personalities, picked up her first technical ever with 1:58 to play in the first quarter for gesturing to an official after a non-call of a foul after she scored a basket. It was just the start of Connecticut's problems.

"[The official] said I pointed into his face," Montgomery explained. "But it was more a 'and-one' gesture. Yes, the first [technical] ever in my life. I didn't have any in high school and definitely not in junior high. Now, I'm going to have a nightmare about it.

Montgomery immediately atoned by stealing the ball from Prince for a basket that gave the Sun an 18-17 lead they increased to 48-43 by the end of the first half.

Tan White scored 10 points off the bench for the Sun in the second quarter as they built a number of five-point leads.

Connecticut increased the lead to 58-50 in the third quarter before the Sky came alive, outscoring the Sun 11-2 and regaining the lead at 61-60 on a three-pointer by Thorne with 23.2 seconds to play in the quarter.

Thibault slammed his notes to the floor during the quarter break and yelled at his team for not playing hard enough.

On Sunday, the Sun blew a 21-point lead in Phoenix less than six minutes into the second half before hanging for the win.

"We looked like we were running in mud a little in the second half," Thibault said.

WNBA To Honor Auriemma

UConn coach Geno Auriemma will be announced today as the recipient of the WNBA Inspiring Coach Award, which recognizes his impact on athletes and his commitment, passion and dedication to his work and community. … Charles said she will play professionally in Russia this winter with Nadezhda and plans to report to her team immediately after the World Championship, which begins Sept. 25 in the Czech Republic. Montgomery will play in Israel for two months, returning to the U.S. around Christmas.