White Plains, N.Y. – Shekinna Stricklen finished off a four-point play by making a free throw after she was fouled while connecting on a three at the buzzer as the Connecticut Sun pulled out an 88-86 victory over the New York Liberty on Thursday evening at Westchester County Center.
The Sun trailed 86-84 after Bria Hartley hit a free throw for the Liberty (2-4) with five seconds remaining. Stricklen, who had just entered the game, took a pass from Jasmine Thomas in the corner and sank the three as time expired. She had 12 points off the bench.
Jasmine Thomas led the Sun (6-1) with 19 points and tied a season high with eight assists while Chiney Ogwumike had 16 points and eight rebounds and Alyssa Thomas added 11 points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The Sun trailed trailed 29-18 at the end of the first quarter and got within three points with 5:21 to play in the second before the Liberty went on a 17-7 run over the closing five minutes to take a 54-41 lead into halftime.
Stricklen becoming the first player in WNBA history to convert a four-point play at the buzzer to win a game. The last time in happened in an NBA game was on November 3, 2012, when Ray Allen converted a four-point play for the Heat to beat the Nuggets, 119-116.
Jasmine Thomas had 10 points in the first half, eight of which came in the second quarter, along with five assists. Stricklen had eight points. Kia Nurse had 11 points, all in the second quarter, and Tina Charles had 12 to pace the Liberty.
New York led by 13 with 6:48 left in the third, but the Sun chipped away at the lead to cut it to just three, 71-68, at the end of the quarter. Jasmine Thomas had seven points in the quarter for Connecticut while Oguwmike and Williams each had six points.
A layup from Jasmine Thomas with 4:58 left gave the Sun their first lead since two minutes into the first quarter at 79-78. The two teams traded baskets back and forth for the next four minutes before a layup and an and-one from Jonquel Jones with 1:01 left gave the Sun an 84-82 lead. Charles made one of two free throws to cut the lead to one with 49 second left. Marissa Coleman put the Liberty up on a layup with 29 seconds left before Hartley’s free throw.
Charles led the Liberty with 24 points, nine rebounds and five assists while Zellous scored 13 points and dished out seven assists.
The Sun will be in action next on Saturday, June 9th when they return home to take on the Minnesota Lynx. Game time at Mohegan Sun Arena is set for 2 p.m. Get tickets