Tina Charles, center, playing in her first WNBA game, puts up a shot between the Sky's Jia Perkins (foreground) and Sylvia Fowles in the first half. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)
All-American Tina Charles
scored 17 points and 10 rebounds in her professional debut Saturday to lead the Connecticut Sun
to a 74-61 win over the Chicago Sky in the WNBA opener at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
Charles, the first overall pick in the WNBA draft after ending her career as UConn's all-time scorer and rebounder, had 15 points and nine rebounds in the first half when the Sun opened a 19-point (38-19) lead in the second period.
Anete Jekabsone-Zogota, the European standout and former captain of the Latvian national team, led the Sun with 18 points (4 of 6 from three) and Kara Lawson had 10 for the Sun, who held a large rebounding advantage and outfought the Sky for many loose balls.
Chicago was led in scoring by center Sylvia Fowles with 16 points. She had nine rebounds.
The Sky play the New York Liberty Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden
where Kalana Greene, another former UConn star, will make her debut for New York.
The Sun (1-0) don't play again until Friday in Atlanta. Their next home game is May 23 against Washington.