Embarrassment is a powerful tool.
Shamed by a lousy game Saturday against the Liberty in New York, the Storm, behind Camille Little’s 27 points and nine rebounds, charged back Sunday in Uncasville, CN., with an 89-83 win in overtime against the Connecticut Sun, the Eastern Conference’s best team.
“It got our attention,” Storm coach Brian Agler said after the Storm’s sixth win in seven games. “We had a good win at Washington (72-55 a week ago). We were on a good stretch. We go to New York. We sit in a hotel for three days. Everybody is telling us how good we were playing now, and we go in there and lay an egg.
“We had quite a few conversations between last night and today. We talked more about ourselves and what we have to get corrected and how that’s not us. (The) Seattle Storm, we compete. We’re champions.”
In the absence of center Ann Wauters, who sat out with a sore calf, Little’s season-best performance helped lead contributions from several role players. Off the bench, Tina Thompson had 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks, and fellow reserve Ewelina Kobryn added 13. Team leader Sue Bird finished with 11 points, eight assists and five rebounds.
The Storm’s double-teaming defense held Suns star Tina Charles to 13 points. Kara Lawson led Connecticut (10-4) with 22.
Little had five points in overtime, and Katie Smith made a contested 3-pointer from the right corner with less than three minutes left to give Seattle a 79-78 lead. After a Little a free throw, Bird followed with an open 3-pointer for an 83-78 with 1:52 left.
Lawson made three free throws, but Little countered with a putback off a missed Thompson 3-pointer. Allison Hightower (16 points, four assists) made two free throws for Connecticut with 48.3 seconds remaining. Moments later, Little drove for a layup that clinched the outcome.
The Storm are 2-1 on the road trip and has a game Saturday at Los Angeles.