The Aces didn’t execute their normal plan of dominating on the boards and at the free-throw line Thursday, but they found other ways to win.
A’ja Wilson led three 20-point scorers and five in double figures with 24 points, and Las Vegas shot 52.1 percent in a 93-78 win over the Connecticut Sun at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.
Jackie Young had 20 points and nine assists, and Dearica Hamby added 20 points and four steals for the Aces (13-4), who rebounded from a loss to Phoenix on Tuesday.
“We did what we were supposed to do. We went out and got a win,” Aces coach Bill Laimbeer said. “A lot of contributions from a lot of people and a lot of good things — three 20-point scorers, 25 assists and low turnovers until the last few minutes, all good signs.”
Kayla McBride scored 14 and Angel McCoughtry 11 for Las Vegas.
DeWanna Bonner led the Sun (8-10) with 24 points, and rookie Beatrice Mompremier had 16 rebounds, beating her previous high by 10.
Here’s three takeaways from the win:
Nice to win a different way
Connecticut had its way with the Aces on the boards 41-23, including 17 on the offensive end, and went 24-for-29 on free throws to Las Vegas’ 12-for-12.
The Aces normally dominate those two areas, so to win despite that was “nice to see that,” Wilson said.
But she also said that’s not acceptable.
“We shouldn’t let it get to that point,” Wilson said. “We know we can’t let up, and like Bill was saying, we can’t make that a habit. We can’t jump with them. We have to find them. So it was cool to see that we can win in other ways, but we can’t let them crash the boards like that.”
The outcome was never in doubt in the second half, as the Aces led by double digits for the final 15:16.
Young shines again
Young’s 20 points tied the career high she set in Tuesday’s loss. She scored 15 in the first half, which forced the Sun to focus more of their defense on her and made it easier for her to rack up assists.
“They started trapping the ball screen, and they’re coming off somebody, so somebody’s going to be open,” Young said. “We were able to find the open player and get the shots we wanted.”
Wilson followed Young’s fast start by scoring 17 in the second and third quarters, and Hamby had 14 points, including two 3-pointers, in the fourth quarter.
3 points the hard way
The Aces easily take the fewest 3-point shots of any WNBA team, but they make them at a high percentage.
They shot 5-for-12 from the 3-point line, while the Sun went 4-for-20. The Aces also scored three points on possessions by scoring and getting fouled six times, including one by Wilson that capped a 9-2 run and allowed the Aces to take a 43-34 lead with 38 seconds left before halftime.
The Aces will face the Atlanta Dream at 3 p.m. Saturday. Las Vegas won the first meeting 100-70 on July 29.