September 21, 2020 

The Jasmine Thomas Game

Thomas scored career-high 31 in rout of the Aces — by design

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Connecticut Sun v Las Vegas AcesPALMETTO, FL – SEPTEMBER 20: Jasmine Thomas #5 of the Connecticut Sun drives tothe basket against the Las Vegas Aces during Game 1 of the Semifinals of the WNBA Playoffs on September 20, 2020 at Feld Entertainment Center in Palmetto, Florida. Copyright 2020 NBAE (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images)

“She got in a flow, got in a rhythm and confidence,” Connecticut Sun head coach Curt Miller said about Jasmine Thomas after the team’s 87-62 win over the Las Vegas Aces in Game 1 of the semifinals. 

Miller noted that Thomas was able to get those opportunities because of how Las Vegas was covering Connecticut. 

In just 24 minutes, Thomas had 31 points, setting a new career-high. Her 22 first half points set a new Sun playoff career-high for points scored in a half. 

Thomas was able to hit any shot she took, from layups to three pointers, going 13-18 from the floor and 3-6 from behind the arc. 

Connecticut’s game plan was to take advantage of the opportunities Thomas had, knowing the matchup would be in her favor. 

“I knew the to pull up would be there, took the first few without a conscience, with a lot of confidence because I knew my teammates were expecting me to,” Thomas said. 

“It’s fun to coach players when they get that way they’re the best at what they do and when they find that zone, it’s really special to watch from the sideline and just kind of stay out of their way. I called less plays tonight than I have for weeks,” Miller added. 

Thomas said that she hasn’t felt this hot in a game since Game 3 of the semifinals against the Los Angeles Sparks last season. 

Natisha Hiedeman, who was part of the bench player pile that was created after one of Thomas’ threes, praised the point guard saying, “[Jasmine Thomas] was on fire today, like I said she’s our team captain, a leader and I don’t even got words to say, she was just going crazy the whole game.”

Alyssa Thomas also praised Jasmine’s success, saying, “She tries to get everyone else involved and I think she knows when it’s time for her to take over. I don’t think any of us are surprised that she had a game like this. She’s shooting the ball super well. And once you get into a zone like this then it’s hitting shots. It just makes us that much more dangerous.” 

Jasmine Thomas credited everyone in the organization for helping her recover and get to a place in which she can play, including both her teammates who stepped and the medical staff who she believes don’t get enough credit. 

Thomas has stepped up repeatedly this season and it can be expected that she will continue to do that throughout the series. 

One player Thomas mentioned in her postgame availability was rookie Beatrice Mompremier, who played significant minutes in the first half after Brionna Jones picked up two early fouls in the first quarter. Mompremier found success on the defensive end guarding 2020 MVP A’ja Wilson. 

“I feel like she has grown so much from training camp where she was like you would expect a rookie to be,” Thomas said. 

“I think now you’re seeing what she’s really capable of doing and she still has so much more that she can do she gets her balls on almost every rebound she’s a force in there defensively changing shots and blocking shots, and you know she has a good touch on her shots and she had a few of them today, they didn’t go down, they were the right shots to take,” she added. 

While Mompremier had only four points, she also added six rebounds and three blocks in 22 minutes of play. 

While Thomas was the star of the game, Mompremier’s contributions in this game and the series going forward cannot be understated. 

Game 2 of the series tips off at 7 p.m. ET on Sept. 22. 

Written by Natalie Heavren

Natalie Heavren has been a contributor to The Next since February 2019 and currently writes about the Atlantic 10 conference, the WNBA and the WBL.

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