Sun visit Sky looking for sixth straight victory

The Associated Press

The Connecticut Sun will go for their sixth win in a row when they visit the Chicago Sky on Friday night.

Connecticut (17-12) has clinched a playoff berth with its late-season surge and will try to improve its positioning over the season's final week and a half. The Sun have won four of their past five games by double digits.

A high-caliber offense has propelled Connecticut, which has scored 100-plus points in back-to-back contests. The Sun shot 56.3 percent from the field and 6-for-12 from 3-point range in their most recent win over Dallas.

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"We are pretty consistent with how we practice and we prepare," Sun guard Jasmine Thomas told the New Haven Register. "I think it is more so partly maybe the rest and having that break (during the WNBA All-Star Game), regroup and bring back that energy. It is just people staying confident in what we do."

Forward Chiney Ogwumike leads the Sun in scoring with 14.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. Guards Jasmine Thomas and Courtney Williams are next on the team with averages of 12.7 points and 12.6 points, respectively.

Forwards Alyssa Thomas and Jonquel Jones have provided a solid presence in the paint throughout the season. The 6-foot-2 Thomas leads the Sun with 8.3 rebounds to go along with 10.7 points. Jones has averaged 10.4 points and 4.9 boards.

As Connecticut gears up for the postseason, Chicago (10-19) is looking at a long offseason. The Sky will finish below .500 for the second straight year after reaching the postseason in each of the previous four seasons.

Guard Allie Quigley leads the Sky with 16.1 points per game on 47.2 percent shooting from the field. The 32-year-old veteran has shown few signs of aging and notched another career milestone with her second straight WNBA 3-point title this summer.

Rookie forward Diamond DeShields has thrived for Chicago this season with 13.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game. DeShields, who is the daughter of former big leaguer Delino DeShields and the younger sister of Delino DeShields Jr., was the third overall pick in this spring's draft after splitting her collegiate career between North Carolina and Tennessee.

Two other Sky players are averaging in double digits, including guard Courtney Vandersloot (12.0 points) and forward Cheyenne Parker (10.1). Center Stefanie Dolson has posted 9.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per contest.

"We have to keep our aggressiveness on (level) 10," Sky coach Amber Stocks said to the Chicago Daily Herald. "The message is to do what we do, and make it better."

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