Tensions are starting to boil over for the Connecticut Sun.
The Sun lost to the New York Liberty, 92-81, on Friday night, falling to the brink of elimination in their best-of-five WNBA semifinal series. And in the first quarter, after New York took a 20-point lead, there was an intense moment between Connecticut players on the bench.
DeWanna Bonner got in between DiJonai Carrington and Olivia Nelson-Ododa, who were yelling at each other. Bonner pushed Carrington away from the bench to break up the screaming match.
The Liberty lead the series 2-1 and can clinch a berth in the finals with a Game 4 victory Sunday.
“Just, you know, disappointed certainly with the way that we started the game,” Sun head coach Stephanie White told reporters afterward. “I felt like our energy level from the beginning was just really poor for whatever reason. You know, I’m proud of our group for the second through the fourth quarter, but that’s not good enough when you’re planning for an opportunity to go to the finals.”
Interesting moment on the bench between DiJonai Carrington and DeWanna Bonner: pic.twitter.com/Y5HcgiCFQi— Lucas Kaplan (@LucasKaplan_) September 29, 2023
Interesting moment on the bench between DiJonai Carrington and DeWanna Bonner: pic.twitter.com/Y5HcgiCFQi
Alyssa Thomas (23 points, 14 assists, nine rebounds) was a bright spot for the Sun, but she also expressed some frustration during the game. Shortly after the bench altercation, Thomas turned toward the Connecticut bench and shouted:
“Somebody want to play today? Anybody. Does anybody want to play today?” she said, according to the Register Citizen.
The Liberty outscored the Sun, 37-16, in the first quarter, and though Connecticut made it more competitive, the early gap was too much to overcome. Forward Breanna Stewart led New York with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
“We love each other. We’re all sisters,” Sun point guard Ty Harris said. “So we talked about it. We come together. That’s pretty much it honestly. It’s a game of runs, basketball; things get heated but we still love each other. We’re gonna come together and bring a better effort next time.”