Connecticut 60, New York 57
Sun Sweep Way Into WNBA Finals
UNCASVILLE, Conn., Oct. 3 (Ticker) -- The Connecticut Sun needed a late rally to advance to the WNBA finals for the first time in franchise history.
Four players scored in double figures as the Connecticut Sun overcame a five-point second-half deficit to defeat the New York Liberty, 60-57, and sweep their Eastern Conference finals series.
After Elena Baranova of the Liberty rushed a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left, Katie Douglas was fouled and drained two free throws to give Connecticut a three-point advantage.
The Sun extended the lead to five before Baranova sank a 3-pointer with 1.7 seconds remaining, and Whalen sank a free throws with 0.6 seconds remaining to give Connecticut its final margin.
"I've been coaching for 30 plus years and this was one of the most emotional days of my career," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "This is very emotional for our team. There's something about this team that finds a way to win. I feel happiest for the veterans. It means a lot to them. We were down five or six points but we found a way."
McWilliams-Franklin, who led the Sun with 18 points and nine rebounds, stepped up when Nykesha Sales went to the bench with foul trouble in the second half.
Douglas had 14 points and four assists, and Sales and Whalen scored 11 each for the Sun, who defeated New York, 61-51, Friday.
"We just had to stick together and gut it out, and we were able to do it," Whalen said. "This was definitely a gut-check game."
Vickie Johnson scored 19 points for the Liberty, who were seeking their fourth Eastern Conference championship.
"I think when you don't execute, that's what happens," Liberty coach Pat Coyle said. "Their defense was good but I thought our execution was poor at the end. ... Down the stretch that happened."
Baranova, whose first basket of the game gave New York a 54-52 lead with 3:38 left, shot 2-for-7 and finished with seven points.
Robinson, who was the only member of the Liberty to score in double figures in Game One, finished with 11 points.
The Sun will face either the Sacramento Monarchs or the Seattle Storm in the finals. Sacramento leads the Western Conference finals series, 1-0.