Mohegan - It's doubtful James Dolan, owner of the Knicks, Rangers and New York Liberty, made the drive to Mohegan Sun Arena Friday night for … that. Poor guy was relegated to staring at his I-Pad before halftime.
It certainly didn't take long for a game between two rivals to become a production of "give me Liberty … or give me the Sun by 42."
Dolan sat courtside as the Sun inhaled his team, using a 23-point run in the first half during a 97-55 victory, the largest margin of victory in the history of the franchise, before 6,522 fans.
"I don't want to take anything away from the Sun. They played well," New York coach John Whisenant said. "But to lose like this, we had to play bad. It was a combination. I've never lost a game like that in my coaching life."
Sun coach Mike Thibault, when asked if he's ever seen a Liberty team play with that little spunk responded, "I don't think so."
But then, Thibault didn't care very much about the travails of the other team. Not after his team was coming off a loss.
"Good teams have to learn to throw that away quickly when you have this many games coming," he said. "I told them they should be eager to get back on the court to erase the taste in their mouth, to go take it out on somebody. I think whoever we played was going to get a residual effort from the other night."
Tina Charles led the Sun with 20 points and eight rebounds, one of six players who score at least 10. The rest of the cast: Renee Montgomery (14), Mistie Mims (13), Allison Hightower (12) and Asjha Jones and Kara Lawson (10 apiece).
Connecticut (7-2) reached the nominal one-quarter mark of the season a half-game out of first place and undefeated (6-0) in the Eastern Conference.
"When I looked at the schedule (with seven early home games) I hoped we could have seven wins somehow," Thibault said. "We've met that goal so far. We have some tough road games coming up. But I think we're a lot more prepared mentally to go on the road and play these games. Their confidence about each other is good."
The Sun set a franchise record for points in a half with 61, racing to a 61-27 lead at halftime. Kalana Greene capped the half with a late steal and basket that gave Thibault a reason to leap in the air, pump his first and shout words of encouragement as he left the floor.
It was the largest halftime lead for any team in the 16-year history of the WNBA. The Sun also set a franchise record for most field goals in the first half (24).
"We were just good defensively from the start of the game," Thibault said. "We got into them, took things away they like to do."
Jones said, "We've been known to blow leads. We were focused in the second half not giving anything away. If they had made their first few shots, it would have been a different game."
The Sun's win clinched the season series vs. New York.
"Win a season series this early," Thibault said, "and it helps somewhere down the road."
Essence Carson led New York with 14 points. Cappie Pondexter, averaging 20.1 points per game, scored six points on 2-for-8 shooting. She attempted two shots in the first half.
"It was embarrassing; frustrating," Pondexter said. "We just got a lot of work to do, a lot of soul-searching, trying to figure this thing out before it sinks. I know when I'm not aggressive, this team is not good, and it's my fault. I wasn't being as aggressive as I needed to be."