Charles scores 22 as Sun beat Silver Stars 84-73

The Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tina Charles scored 22 points to lead the Connecticut Sun to an 84-73 victory over the San Antonio Silver Stars on Thursday night.

Kara Lawson added 14 points, and Renee Montgomery and Kelsey Griffin each had 13 for Connecticut (19-6).

Danielle Adams scored 22 points and Sophia Young added 20 for San Antonio (17-8). Becky Hammon was held to eight points while taking only three shots.

Connecticut, which holds the league's best road record at 10-2, snapped San Antonio's nine-game winning streak at home.

''We have beaten some good teams this year, but this is a tough place for anyone to win here so that is exciting,'' said Sun coach Henry Thibault, who collected his 200th victory. ''More than anything right now, it is just important for us to stay ahead of Indiana. We are trying to get the best record in the Eastern Conference.''

After exchanging baskets for much of the first quarter, the Eastern Conference-leading Sun took command in the second. Connecticut raced to a 14-point lead midway through the quarter while holding San Antonio scoreless for a 4:17 span.

Young's jumper from the top of the key snapped a 16-0 run by the Sun. The run included a pair of 3-pointers by Lawson and another from Danielle McCray.

''I thought we came out good,'' Hammon said. ''I thought we came out with good energy (and) played solid, and then we just had some lapses. Then it just seemed like we were digging ourselves out of a hole - and it's hard to always dig yourself out of a hole.''

Charles dominated the interior with a series of baby hooks and spin moves while scoring 14 points in the first half.

Adams scored nine consecutive points, closing with a 3-pointer, to draw the Silver Stars to 47-40 in the first half.

Griffin extended the Sun's lead to 50-40 when she stole Adams' attempted outlet pass, was fouled on a layup and made the ensuing free throw.

Connecticut shot 36 percent from the field, but forced 16 turnovers while taking 11 more shots than San Antonio.

''The way this team has been successful is in the giveaway-takeaway and (tonight) it was flip flopped,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ''That was kind of an odd scenario for us. We've not necessarily visited where the other team gets more possessions because we turn it over more than they do.''

The Silver Stars were 4 for 9 on free throws in the third quarter, hampering their attempts at a rally. San Antonio also committed four turnovers in the quarter and was 1 of 4 from 3-point range.

Robinson's 15-foot jumper pulled San Antonio to 58-52 with 4 minutes left in the third quarter, but Connecticut responded by making 3 of 4 free throws.

Each attempt at a rally in the fourth quarter was quickly quelled by the Sun.

''We never got control of the game,'' Hughes said. ''That was the hardest thing. The real separation came in the second quarter so we were playing catch up. We'd get it down to 6 or 7, but we never had really good control of the game.''

A 3-pointer by Adams was followed seconds later by Lawson's short jumper for a 73-60 lead with 6 minutes left. Adams' second 3-pointer of the fourth was followed a minute later by Lawson's 3-pointer that was set up when Griffin stripped away a defensive rebound.

Perkins' 3-pointer pulled San Antonio within 78-70 with 1:12 left in the game. The Silver Stars attempted to foul after that shot, but were not assessed one despite continually slapping Montgomery's arms and yelling at official Roy Gulbeyan to call a foul.

The teams got off to fast start, putting up 20 shots and scoring 21 points in the first 5 minutes of the game.

Greene's 3-pointer put the Sun ahead 11-8, but the Silver Stars reclaimed the lead on a layup by Jayne Appel and a 3-pointer by Hammon.

Appel left the game late in the first half after injuring her right ankle.

Renee Montgomery made all her free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt to help the Sun forge a 20-all tie after the first quarter.

There were only eight personal fouls called in the first half despite a physical contest, but Hammon and Montgomery were each assessed a technical for arguing non calls.

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