By RENALDO DORSETT
Tribune Sports Reporter
WITH two games left in the regular season, Grand Bahamian Jonquel Jones is on the cusp of WNBA history.
Jones recorded an historic feat with her third 20-rebound game of the season and propelled the Connecticut Sun to a win that solidified their playoff seeding among the league’s top teams.
She finished with 14 points, a career high 22 rebounds and career high six assists in an 86-76 win over the Washington Mystics at the Capital One Arena in Washington, DC, Tuesday night.
Jones’ performance Tuesday quickened her historic rebounding pace in her chase of the WNBA single season record. It was her third 20-rebound game of the season and also marked her 19th double double.
In the season opener on May 13, she finished with eight points and 20 rebounds against the Atlanta Dream and had a 23-point, 21-rebound performance against the Chicago Sky on May 28.
She joined Tina Charles as the only players in WNBA history to record three 20-rebound games in a single season. The Grand Bahama native has now totaled 384 rebounds this season. The record is 398 rebounds set by Charles in 2010 as a rookie with the Sun. In that season, Charles averaged 15.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Jones is currently averaging 15.8 points and 12 rebounds per game. She trails Charles’ record by 14 rebounds and two games left to play.
The Mystics lost their third consecutive game in their struggle for playoff seeding.
With the win, the Sun improved to 21-11 and clinched a top four seed in the playoff standings. It also solidified that they will host a second-round single elimination contest on September 10 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The winner will advance to the best-of-five WNBA semifinals. The final few games of the regular season will determine the seeding for the opening rounds of the playoffs.
“We knew that we needed one to guarantee ourselves that third or fourth spot,” Jones said, “It wasn’t really about what they needed it was more about what we needed so that’s what we were concerned about.”
The Sun will return to action on Friday against the Phoenix Mercury and conclude the regular season Sunday against the Los Angeles Sparks.
“I thought both teams played tremendously hard, I thought it was a physical game. I thought both teams didn’t shoot the ball like they were capable of and I think you have to credit both defences because there was obviously something that contributed to that,” Sun head coach Curt Miller said, “Both teams have certainly played better offensively, but I think the intensity in the magnitude of what this game meant was a contributing factor so it took on a playoff feel and playoff intensity. I’m really proud that we were gritty even when they made that one last run in the fourth quarter.”