Car­leton beats out Hiede­man

Nine play­ers re­turn from Sun’s 2018 play­off team

The News-Times - - SPORTS - By Jim Fuller james.fuller @hearst­medi­; @NHRJimFull­er

There weren’t too many mys­ter­ies when it came to pre­dict­ing what the Con­necti­cut Sun’s ros­ter for the start of the reg­u­lar sea­son would look like.

Nine play­ers from last year’s play­off team pre­dictably made the squad as did for­mer Hill­house star Bria Holmes, a for­mer firstround pick of the Atlanta Dream. Kris­tine Anigwe, se­lected by the Sun with the ninth over­all pick in last month’s WNBA Draft, was ex­pected to make the team from the time that for­mer No. 1 over­all pick Chiney Og­wu­mike was traded to Los An­ge­les. That left one spot for Natisha Hiede­man and Brid­get Car­leton, who were taken with picks No. 18 and 21 in the 2019 draft.

Al­though the Sun gave up last year’s first rounder Lexie Brown to ac­quire Hiede­man, it was Car­leton who sur­vived the cut.

Car­leton av­er­aged 5.3 points and Hiede­man 5.0 in the three pre­sea­son games.

The 6-foot-1 Car­leton is a Chatham On­tario na­tive who helped Canada ad­vance to the quar­ter­fi­nals in the 2018 FIBA Women’s Bas­ket­ball World Cup. Car­leton was a two-time unan­i­mous All-Big 12 se­lec­tion at Iowa State. She im­proved her scor­ing av­er­age in each of her four seasons and went from shoot­ing 33.7 per­cent from the floor as a fresh­man to

46.8 as a se­nior when she av­er­aged 21.7 points, 8.6 re­bounds, 4.0 as­sists and

2.3 steals per game. There are eight play­ers

25 or younger on Con­necti­cut’s ros­ter, while Car­leton is the only player on the ros­ter who wasn’t a firstround pick.

The Sun will re­turn 75 per­cent of its scor­ing and

81 per­cent of its as­sists from a sea­son ago with the re­turn of Jas­mine Thomas, Jon­quel Jones, Courtney Wil­liams, Alyssa Thomas, Shekinna Stricklen, Mor­gan Tuck, Rachel Ban­ham, Layshia Claren­don and Bri­onna Jones.

Con­necti­cut opens the sea­son at home against Washington on Satur­day at

7:30 p.m.

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