Storm Shines in Connecticut, 78-66

June 16, 2013

The Seattle Storm finally found their shooting touch – and in a big way.

Tina Thompson scored 17 points, and Shekinna Stricklen added a career-high 16 on Sunday afternoon as the Storm pulled away in the fourth quarter to beat the Connecticut Sun, 78-66.

That was the first road victory of the season for Seattle (2-3). It gave the Storm a split of their two-game trip after Friday’s 68-59 loss at Atlanta.

This is the second straight year Seattle has scored a road victory at Connecticut, after never having won previously in Mohegan Sun Arena. Last July 1, the Storm prevailed in overtime, 89-83.

Camille Little tallied 15 points, grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, and handed out five assists for the Storm. Tanisha Wright had 13 points

Seattle is back in KeyArena for a one-game stop, playing host to the Washington Mystics on Tuesday at 7 p.m. before heading back out for three more in a row on the road.

The Storm, struggling all year from the field, including a season-low 33.9 percent mark in Atlanta on Friday, hit at at 50 percent clip on Sunday (32 of 64). That included 7 of 13 by Thompson and 7 of 12 by Stricklen.

It was a jumper by Stricklen at the outset of the second quarter that provided a 20-19 lead. Except for a 31-31 tie later in that quarter, the Storm led the rest of the way.

Connecticut (2-5), with former Storm coach Anne Donovan at the helm, closed to 59-53 early in the fourth quarter on a steal and coast-to-coast lay-in by Iziane Castro-Marques, who previously played with Seattle. But the Storm ran off six points in a row – back-to-back lay-ins by Little, and a driving lay-in by Stricklen – to make it 65-53.

The Sun never got closer than eight the rest of the day, the last time at 69-61.

The Storm finished the second quarter on a 9-2 scoring spree, snapping a 31-31 tie to take a 40-33 lead into the locker room. It was the first time in their five games this season that they have been ahead at the break. Four different Seattle players contributed to that run, as Temeka Johnson hit a pull-up jumper, Little had a lay-in off an assist from Wright, Thompson drained a 3-pointer on a Little assist, and Wright, with just one second remaining, drove for a lay-in.

By halftime, Stricklen already had tied her career high of 11 points. She tallied eight of those during the second quarter.

Although she wasn’t in uniform and won’t be all season as she recovers from knee surgery, Sue Bird was on the bench for Storm on Sunday, and was expected to return to the Pacific Northwest with the team to continue her physical rehabilitation in Seattle.

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