The Las Vegas Aces center A’ja Wilson (22) and the Connecticut Sun guard Tyasha Harris (52) take a photo before their game at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Montville on Tue Jun 6, 2023 (photo by @ LVAces)
Aces Hang On To Beat Sun 90-84
By Barbara Mason
Tuesday night the Las Vegas Aces (7-0) took on the Connecticut Sun (6-2) in a re-match of last season’s championship game. This was the most anticipated game of the season and the Aces who took a perfect record into the game came away with a 90-84 win staying undefeated.
On Sunday the Aces very nearly lost to the Fever trailing for most of the game and in fact did not take the lead until the final minutes of the game avoiding the loss 84-80.
Las Vegas knew full well that there was a target on their backs and every team is out to take down the champions. The Aces had a strong defense against the Sun and they took advantage of their speedy offense. This game no doubt was the biggest challenge they had faced this season and the Aces lived up to it.
Tuesday game recap: The Aces got on top of the Sun in the opening quarter taking a 25-14 lead. The Sun had 6 turnovers in the quarter and had trouble containing the Las Vegas offense. The Aces shot 53% from the field in the first quarter, getting a far improved start over Sunday’s game against the Fever. The Aces had 13 fast break points to the Suns 0 in the quarter.
Las Vegas extended their lead in the opening minute of the second quarter leading 28-14. The Aces led in the half from start to finish and had a 48-31 lead at halftime. The Suns had 12 turnovers and also had trouble containing the Aces’ offense.
Las Vegas was shooting at 50% from the field and would have to keep the pressure on in the second half. Jackie Young shot for 11 points in the half and both Kelsey Plum and Chelsea Gray had ten points.
The Suns came into the third quarter with great energy on both ends of the court cutting into the Aces lead to 53-41. As the quarter came to an end Las Vegas led 70-53 finishing the quarter with the energy that they were lacking to start. The Sun had one quarter left to make any sort of run.
Connecticut made a run in the fourth quarter with Rebecca Allen shooting 22 off the bench. The 19 point lead that Las Vegas had in the quarter had been cut to three points 76-73 with 3:50 left in the game. The Sun had taken control of this game.
With less than two minutes left in this game the Aces were facing yet another challenge. Again it was Jackie Young to the rescue pushing the Las Vegas lead to 86-79. Young has come to the rescue over and over in the fourth quarter of these tight games. Las Vegas pulled it together in the final minutes of the game winning it. It was another tight game that the Aces had to fight hard to win.
Las Vegas is now undefeated with a 7-0 record. A’Ja Wilson finished with 23 points, 10 rebounds, and Jackie Young had 22. It was another gutsy performance by the defending champs hanging on for the win.
Connecticut Bench player Rebecca Allen had a career high 22 points and was 6 of 7 from beyond the arc. She single handedly gave her team an amazing chance to pull this game out. The Sun got very close, playing a terrific fourth quarter, but just fell short.
The Aces have not seen the last of the Sun taking them on again this Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:00 PM.