Stephanie White brutally opens up about the ‘mistakes’ that cost Sun the game against Liberty

The Connecticut Sun suffered a narrow 71-68 loss to the New York Liberty on Wednesday at Mohegan Sun Arena, marking another regular-season loss to their Eastern Conference rivals. Sun head coach Stephanie White didn’t hold back in her postgame assessment, emphasizing the critical mistakes that cost them the game.

“You can’t make a lot of mistakes and you have to be able to match their scoring ability,” White said, according to Emily Adams of the Hartford Courant. “They have a lot of weapons on both ends of the floor. When they play that big lineup, they have length at four or five positions, and that creates some challenges defensively because of what they can do. I always feel really good about our defensive effort, but we have to be able to score with them.”

The Sun struggled offensively, shooting just 37.1 percent from the field in the first half. Meanwhile, the Liberty shot 54.5 percent before halftime, with UConn legend Breanna Stewart making her first four attempts and leading her team’s early offensive surge.

“We played with pride and gave a team 29 points and they shot 70 percent in the first quarter,” White said. “I felt like our attention to detail improved a little bit — I’m not sure consistently throughout the game, but for the most part. But you can’t watch a team like New York score 10 points in the first quarter. They’re too good. They have too much depth. They make you pay for mistakes, and that’s what they did to us today.”

DeWanna Bonner and Brionna Jones Feature in the Sun

Connecticut Sun forward DeWanna Bonner (24) celebrates after the team's win against the Chicago Sky in a WNBA game.
© Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the loss, DeWanna Bonner stood out for Connecticut, continuing her recent hot streak from beyond the arc. She hit three 3-pointers early, scoring a team-high eight points by the end of the first quarter. Brionna Jones led the Sun with 13 points in the first half and effectively defended former MVP Jonquel Jones, who managed just two points for the Liberty.

However, New York’s superstars, including Stewart and All-Star guard Sabrina Ionescu, combined for 24 points in the first half. Stewart also dominated the rebounding scene, adding a game-high eight rebounds to her 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting.

Alyssa Thomas, a key player for the Sun, struggled against Stewart. She didn’t score in the first half and finished the game with just three points, her lowest performance since 2020, though she did contribute nine rebounds and eight assists.

“Seeing 1-for-4 and three-pointers is very limiting to what AT can bring to us on both ends of the floor,” White said. “We have to use her a little bit more as an off-ball screener when they clog the paint like they did tonight with Stewie. There are certain matchups that are tough and Stewie is one of them.”

The Liberty started the third quarter strong, going on a 9-0 run that pushed the Sun into a double-digit deficit. Tyasha Harris ended Connecticut’s scoring drought and helped the Sun get back on track for the win. Bonner’s 3-pointer gave Connecticut a one-point lead with under four minutes to go, but Ionescu’s late-game heroics secured the win for New York.

Ionescu led New York with 21 points, while Stewart finished with a double-double of 18 points and 14 rebounds. For the Sun, Jones added 17 points and eight rebounds, with Bonner leading the team with 22 points and nine rebounds.

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