Saturday, September 21st, 2019

Gray and McCoughtry lead Dream in putting out Sun, 90-77

Published on August 16, 2015

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Led by a breakout performance from rookie forward Reshanda Gray off the bench, the Atlanta Dream (9-15) defeated the Connecticut Sun (12-12) for the first time in three meetings this season Sunday afternoon. The 90-77 victory included an 18-point performance from Gray, a season-high for the forward who arrived in Atlanta from Minnesota in a trade late last month. She also pulled down six rebounds.

Angel McCoughtry was also in double figures with 18 points along with Shoni Schimmel (15 points, four rebounds) and Tiffany Hayes (10 points).

Sun players in double figures included Jennifer Lacy (21 points, six rebounds), Camille Little (13 points, 10 rebounds), Alex Bentley (12 points) and Jasmine Thomas (10 points, four assists).

The two teams will face each other two more times over the next nine days.

Notes

  • Angel McCoughtry’s 18 points was her 23rd game with double-figure points in 24 games this season.
  • Shoni Schimmel’s 15 points marked her third consecutive game with double-digit points and her fourth in the last five games.
  • Matee Ajavon finished with nine points – she is now five points shy of 2,000 for her career.
  • The Dream played without Roneeka Hodges who sat out with a calf injury and is listed as day-to-day.
  • Connecticut has dropped six of its last seven road games overall.
  • Jennifer Lacy’s 21 points represented a career-high and was only her second game on the year in double-digit points.

Quotes

Dream head coach Michael Cooper

On defending the three point shot

“I think again we were playing a percentages. Again one thing we have been getting killed on is points in the paint and what we want to do is keep them out of there and it could have went their way by shooting it well but it also could have went our way and they weren’t shooting that well. So you could have to give up something and I’d rather give up a three point attempt. I thought that a majority of the time we got a hand up on most of their shots.”

On Reshanda Gray’s performance

“We lost a heck of a basketball player in Erika de Souza. Again Erika gave us so many great years here but we thought that the foundation of the organization is trying to move forward to become a young team and we had the opportunity to get two solid players in Dantas and Gray. A lot of people don’t know about that young lady but I know her and I recruited her since high school. She turned me down but I finally get a chance to coach her but that’s what she can bring, that toughness and just another big that can rebound the basketball.”

On defensive play from third quarter to the end of the game

“We kept jumping in and out of our defense and that’s been one of our Achilles heel, sustaining good defensive consistency and so I think it helps us when we can get into a zone. I love the fact that we a team that can jump from man to man to a one to a two defense. If you can do that sometimes you can throw good offensive teams off balance and they were going good early and so once we shifted our defense it worked to our benefit.”

On defensive play being the best of season

“It had to be one of our best. Now if we can put that together and rebound efficiently I’d really be happy then.”

Dream forward Angel McCoughtry

On team’s defensive play during third quarter

“We were more aggressive. I think when you are aggressive, you can wear a team down and make them tired. I do think we played better, more aggressive.”

On optimism of playoffs this year

“Oh yeah! What other way should you be? Why be down? Why not believe?”

On difference between game versus Sun compared to game versus Lynx…

“We won. We pulled it out. We had a chance to win the game the other day but we just didn’t make smart decisions. And like coach said we only had three turnovers in the second half so I think that was a big difference.”

Dream forward Reshanda Gray

On aggressiveness after halftime

“We just have to constantly remind ourselves that we are playing for a purpose. We are now trying to play to get into the playoffs. We just had to switch it on. The time’s now or never. So that’s what we have to tell each other.”

On the physicality of the game

“I feel like the refs kind of let us play today. It’s a professional sport so it’s going to be aggressive with a lot of great competition out there too.”

On difference of play in game versus Sun and game versus Lynx

“Clearly we were consistent. We definitely held it off and we continued to do what got us to the win.”

On team’s overall performance

“I’m really proud of my team. We definitely went out there and played hard, we played smart, and we stuck to our goals.”

Dream head coach Anne Donovan

On tonight’s defensive performance

“Overall we were poor defensively, we were supposed to lock up and get it together in the second half but it didn’t happen. I have to give Atlanta a lot of credit, they play with a lot of aggressiveness…got a lot of shots in the second half and some good boards.”

On tonight’s offensive performance

“We moved the ball and sometimes we didn’t, generally I’m confident that Thomas or Bentley are going to knock down some shots, but we just struggled to put the ball in the hole against the zone. We need to do a whole lot better with our attack.”

On playing defense on Angel McCoughtry

“If Angel is calm in the first half we know she’s going to come out with vengeance in the second half, so they posted her up, but she got some momentum on the post up play and a few ‘And ones’… she’s a tough guard and we were missing our best defender Alyssa Thomas, so they capitalized on that.”

On what to do for next game

“We have to play better defense… we’re not going to beat any team in this league if we give them points, so it starts there for us.”

Sun Guard Jasmine Thomas

On tonight’s game

“We dug ourselves in a bit of a hole, so we had to figure out if we were going to foul our way back into it and get them on the free throw line, but they were hitting their free throws… so we just had to play hard until the end.”

On the upcoming game Tuesday vs. Atlanta

“We just can’t let them score that much, it’s our second game giving away that many points, so we have to be better defensively for an entire game.”

On tonight’s offense

“There were a few bad shots, but they were also just a lot of shots that didn’t go in second half… they just didn’t fall.”

Sun forward Jennifer Lacy

On having a career high in tonight’s game

“Thanks to my teammates and coaches for the opportunity, but a win would’ve been a lot better. I’m stepping in for a team who has a lot of players hurt, so it’s tough.”

On upcoming game against Atlanta Tuesday

“I’m sure we will come up with a different game plan and be ready to go.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Sun 28, Dream 38
Second Chance Points: Sun 17, Dream 22
Fastbreak Points: Sun 2, Dream 10
Biggest Lead: Sun 14, Dream 15
Lead Changes: 1
Times Tied: 1

This post is part of the thread: 2015 WNBA Season – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.


 

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