Aces vs Sky

FSM Essential Recap: Aces vs Sun – Game 11 – 2022

Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas Aces (9-2)  |  Connecticut Sun (7-3)



The Las Vegas Aces’ seven-game winning streak was snapped on Thursday at Michelob ULTRA Arena. The Connecticut Sun outexecuted and outlasted the Vegas en route to a 97-90 victory. Here are three takeaways from the game.



Aces vs Sun
Photo Credit: Louis Grasse/Franchise Sports Media

The Las Vegas Aces began the WNBA season as a tremendous first-quarter team. They won every opening frame through their first four games and had an average lead of 11.5 points at the end of quarter No. 1.

Things have been significantly different since then, though. Five of Vegas‘ last seven games have seen the team get off to poor starts, and it’s been mostly a defensive issue. Opponents are averaging 25.6 points per first quarter in that timeframe, and Connecticut‘s 37 points scored in Thursday’s first quarter were the most that the Aces had allowed since May 31, 2018, when they gave up 38 to the Seattle Storm. Las Vegas also had seven turnovers in the first 10 minutes (four by Chelsea Gray), which Connecticut turned into seven fastbreak points. The Sun ended the quarter shooting a staggering 15/18 from the floor, led by DeWanna Bonner‘s 4/4 shooting from beyond the arc.

Becky Hammon‘s squad somehow found a way to cut the once 18-point lead into three points by halftime and eventually cut it to one point with just under two minutes to play in the third. But they had exerted far too much energy and time by then. It was nearly impossible for them o sustain their level of play for the remainder of the game.



Aces vs Sun
Photo Credit: Louis Grasse/Franchise Sports Media

One of the reasons the Aces ran out of gas on Thursday night was their lack of depth and extreme lack of production from it. For the sixth time this season, the bench failed to combine for more than six points in a game. They registered just five points against the Sun on Thursday even with extended playing time as both Jackie Young, and Chelsea Gray exited the game early with injuries and did not return. The early exits forced some awkward lineups, including A’ja Wilson at the small forward position and Dearica Hamby at shooting guard alongside Kiah Stokes and Teresa Plaisance to close the game.

Clearly, Riquna Williams missing time with a foot injury has been a big blow to the second unit on both ends of the court. She’ll provide a much-needed scoring punch and serve as a minutes eater for starters with heavy workloads. Still, her eventual return only leaves Vegas with six rotational players that coach Hammon can trust with real minutes, which will be an issue in keeping players fresh during a 36-game season. Indeed, it could be problematic in a playoff scenario. The Aces desperately need to find another quality veteran player via free agency.



Curt Miller’s return to the Connecticut sideline for this game is one of the more considerable differences from Tuesday’s matchup between the Sun and Aces to Thursday’s. He had much more control of the game and incorporated a far better game plan than his assistant had previously. Some of the adjustments included clogging gaps to make dribble penetration difficult for Vegas‘ ball-handlers, which forced many of the Aces‘ 14 turnovers and led to some easy opportunities for the Sun the other way.

Another key change was putting the ball in reigning MVP Jonquel Jones‘ hands more. She scored 20 points on 7/9 shooting on Thursday after scoring just 8 points on 3/4 attempts in Tuesday’s loss. But the most significant of all of the noteworthy changes was just how hard and motivated Connecticut played under Miller on Thursday — the internal sense of urgency to get Tuesday’s poor performance out of their minds was quite evident.



Jackie Young (Aces) – 26 PTS, 3 REBS, 3 ASTS, 2/4 3PT

Kelsey Plum (Aces) – 23 PTS, 4 REBS, 8 ASTS, 5/10 3PT

Jonquel Jones (Sun) – 20 PTS, 7 REBS, 2 STLS, 4/6 3PT

DeWanna Bonner (Sun) – 19 PTS, 7 REBS, 4 ASTS, 4/6 3PT

Alyssa Thomas (Sun) – 16 PTS, 12 REBS, 5 ASTS, 2 STLS


Las Vegas will get a couple of days off before a date on Sunday, June 5th, in Texas with the Dallas Wings. The viewing of this game is TBA, but you can keep an eye on the team’s official website for updates. As always, check back with us after the game for a recap and analysis.

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-Cole Huff– Franchise Sports Media

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