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Stricklen burns Storm with 7 treys, makes history

The Connecticut Sun won their fifth straight game in a tightly fought battle with the Seattle Storm thanks to some career-best shooting from Shekinna Stricklen.

Chris Poss - Swish Appeal

Seattle, WA— A career afternoon for Connecticut’s Shekinna Stricklen led to a down to the wire win for the Sun.

Connecticut topped the Seattle Storm 83-79 on Wednesday afternoon, thanks in large part to Stricklen’s shooting.

Stricklen finished the game with 21 points on 7-of-10 shooting from behind the three-point arc. She was 7-of-11 total from the field for the game, and also grabbed four rebounds.

Stricklen’s seven three-pointers in the game were a new career high, and she tied a franchise record for most threes made in a single game.

Following the win, Stricklen said that Wednesday was the best she’s ever shot the ball.

“I just felt good, my teammates set good screens for me, they were really looking for me,” she said.

“When [Alyssa Thomas] drives she draws so much congestion, and she’s very good at passing out. We just moved the ball very well.”

While she was the high-scorer for the Sun, Stricklen didn’t catch fire until the third quarter. She hit three clutch threes for Connecticut that were especially huge after the halftime break.

During the second quarter, the Storm seemingly dismantled Connecticut, outscoring them 33-19 in the 10-minute period. While Connecticut found themselves down two at the break, Sticklen’s hot hand seemed enough to push them out of their slump.

“Seattle does such a good job of congesting driving lanes,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said.

“Their help side is always proactive and on point, so you’ve got to be able to kick out and make some shots to try to loosen that up. Stricklen really, really spaces the floor for us and had a big game from the three-point line.”

Sticklen’s most important shot, however, would be her final of the afternoon. With just under a minute and a half left, Jonquel Jones nabbed a defensive rebound as Connecticut held just a one-point lead.

As the Sun worked their way down the court, Stricklen freed herself up at the top of the three-point arc.

From there, it was easy work for Alyssa Thomas, who found the open Stricklen. Like she had done all game, Stricklen sunk the shot to turn it into a two-possession game, 81-77, with 1:08 left to play.

While her shooting all afternoon was critical, this shot proved to be the final blow that the Storm could not overcome.

The Storm may have had an incredible second quarter, what was Stricklen’s success was Seattle’s ultimate struggle. While she was putting in work from deep, the Storm was scoreless from three-point land for the entire second half, going zero-for-eight.

In fact, Stricklen made more threes than all of the Storm combined (six).

The win proved crucial for Connecticut, as they currently sit atop the Eastern Conference, just over the Washington Mystics.

After they had to comeback from down 22-points to get a win against the Mystics on Saturday, it would have been easy for Connecticut to come into Seattle with a win hangover, but they did the exact opposite.

Connecticut has now won five in a row and 11-of-14 since starting the 2017 season 0-4. Seattle is now 8-10 and has not won back-to-back games since they went on a four-game winning streak at the end of May.

Ultimately, Wednesday’s game perfectly represented the kind of season each of these teams are having. And behind Stricklen’s shooting, it was clear that Connecticut is the type of team that will not go away.