Uncasville, CT -- In a game where both teams were desperate for a victory, the Connecticut Sun (3-10) ended a three-game losing streak with a 93-90 win over the San Antonio Stars (2-9) - led Alex Bentley with 29 points.
In a disappointing homecoming to the Mohegan Sun Arena for former UConn star Moriah Jefferson, the third overall pick of the WNBA draft recorded 13 points.
"We come in here and work so hard and to lose so many times consecutively, it's hard on us all," Bentley said. "So I am happy we pulled out this win."
The Sun - who fell 80-72 to the New York Liberty on Thursday - were off to a hot start in the first quarter, with their offense looking arguably the most consistent it has all season. However, four three-pointers from the Stars allowed San Antonio to close the quarter close behind, and stay one possession within the lead.
Both teams shot at 53 percent from the field, and former UConn teammates Jefferson and Morgan Tuck led their teams in scoring. Jefferson put up 8 points for San Antonio, followed by Tuck with 7 for Connecticut. The Sun, who once held a 10-point advantage, took a 25-22 lead after the first ten minutes of play.
"It's different playing on the opposite side of Morgan (Tuck) and not being on Connecticut's team," Jefferson said. "It's fun always coming back. I wish we got the win, but it's unfortunate."
Three minutes into the second quarter, the Stars took a one-point lead, before the Sun regained control with the help of Alex Bentley - who added 12 points and a steal in the second quarter.
Connecticut worked its lead back up to 10 by the final two minutes of the half, however, a 10-0 run by San Antonio had the teams tied at 45 heading into the locker room. The Stars added three three-pointers and shot 55 percent from the field, while the Sun knocked down two from beyond the arc, and shot a 52 percent field goal efficiency. Bentley led all scorers with 17 points.
"We were able to get stops, and the ball moved really well," San Antonio head coach Dan Hughes said. "We were able to integrate and had some transition offense with our half court."
San Antonio, who hasn't won on the road this season - most recently losing 84-75 to the Indiana Fever on Friday - came out of the gates ready to work. The Stars racked up a 12 point lead by the middle of the third quarter, but the Sun responded with a 9-0 run of their own.
The Stars hit their ninth three-pointer of the game, marking a season-high, and four coming from Kayla McBride. Bentley added 8 points for the Sun, and led all scorers with 25 points, while McBride logged 18 points for the Stars. Connecticut's shot efficiency decreased to 49 percent, while San Antonio's increased to 54 percent, and the Stars took a 73-66 lead into the final ten minutes.
"I thought offensively it was one of our better games, but defensively we have to step up in a couple areas," Hughes said. "That's the key, for us to finish games, we have to have a solidness in your offensive and defensive approach, so we still have work to do."
Three minutes into the fourth quarter, Sun's Jasmine Thomas recorded her career-high ninth assist, while dishing the ball to Kelly Faris, who hit a game-tying three-pointer.
With less than three minutes to play, Connecticut was up by 9, before the Stars got the game within 2 points in the last 45 seconds to play. The Sun came out of top with a 93-90 victory over San Antonio, finishing with a 49 percent shot efficiency, compared to the Stars' 51 percent.
Thomas - who finished with the only double-double in the game - put up 11 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. Jonquel Jones finished with a career-high 14 points, and Bentley led all scorers with 29 points.
"I'm really proud of the fourth quarter effort," Connecticut head coach Curt Miller said. "We've been here the last five games and in the last three, we haven't been able to get to the finish line. We really needed them not necessarily to play hard, but to play smarter. They were shooting well over 50 percent, about 55 percent, going into the fourth quarter.
"I just asked for one-quarter when (the Stars) could be in the 40 percent (shooting range) to give us a chance because we were scoring."
Connecticut has now won five straight against San Antonio, including a 72-68 road victory on May 19 in the second game of the season. The Sun will head on a three-game trip.