Conn. Sun top Fever behind McCray's 22 points

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Conn. Sun top Fever behind McCray's 22 points

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Danielle McCray is beginning to show why she was such a high draft choice.

McCray scored a career-high 22 points in her second career start Sunday, leading the Connecticut Sun to a 76-71 win over the Indiana Fever.

"When we drafted her we felt she had a chance to be a really good player but when you come in as a rookie I think it's important to give them as much as they can take and let them find their way and then when you know matured, then you kind of let them have more," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said.

The Sun took McCray as the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2010 draft. She missed last season with a knee injury she sustained during her senior year at Kansas.

"My teammates found be on the weak side and when I had the ball, I knocked it down. They were cheating inside because when we have a good post player like Tina Charles, the other team is going to double-team her," McCray said. "So when they were doubling on Tina, Coach Thibault put me on the back side and I knocked the shots down."

Tina Charles added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Sun (8-5) who are the lone team in the Eastern Conference undefeated at home (6-0).

Tamika Catchings led Indiana with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

Indiana (10-5) trailed 72-65 with 39 seconds remaining before Jessica Davenport made two free throws. Catchings stole the ensuing inbounds pass and assisted on Katie Douglas' basket to cut it to 72-69 with 34 seconds left.

Connecticut guard Renee Montgomery made one of two free throws to push the Sun lead to four at 73-69. Catchings made a layup with 18 seconds left to make it 73-71 before Kalana Greene made one of two free throws to make it 74-71 with 18 seconds left.

The Fever had a chance to tie the game with a 3-pointer, but Catchings threw an errant pass to Douglas that went out of bounds with 7.7 seconds left.

Kara Lawson's two free throws sealed it with 6.9 seconds remaining.

Montgomery added 10 points for the Sun, including six in the fourth period.

Douglas had 12 points and Davenport 10 for Indiana, which has lost two straight.

"Yeah, its a little bump, but we know that nothing is going to be gift wrapped and handed to us. We know that we are one of the most hunted teams in the WNBA and we are going to have to fight on the road even more," Douglas said. "We would like to regroup and gather and go to Atlanta, a team we have not seen all season, we can make the adjustments we need to make and be ready to go on Tuesday."

-Associated Press

Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

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Francona, Epstein receive grand ovations at BBWAA dinner

BOSTON -- “I didn’t feel that love after I made a pitching change in the sixth inning,” Terry Francona said after a 45-second standing ovation from Boston fans upon receiving the MLB Manager of the Year award from the BBWAA Thursday.

It’s without question the love for Francona runs deep in the city. Why wouldn’t it? He was the leader in breaking the 86-year old curse, and wound up winning another World Series title for Boston three years later.

Actually, he was more of a co-leader, working alongside the same person who won the MLB Executive of the Year honors from the BBWAA for 2016.

Theo Epstein -- who received an ovation 17 seconds shorter than Francona, but who’s counting -- reminisced about the Red Sox ownership group that took a chance on a young kid who wasn’t necessarily the ideal candidate to take over as GM of a team, but now that’s helped him build the Chicago Cubs into a winning franchise and establish a great working environment.

This October marks 13 years since the ’04 championship, 10 years since ’07 and six years since the pair left Boston. Without question they’ve left their mark on the city and forever changed Red Sox baseball.

And while the fans showed their undying gratitude for Francona with an ovation almost as long as his acceptance speech, the Indians manager recognized the favor the current Red Sox brass has done for him.

“I’d like to thank Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox for getting Chris Sale the hell out of the Central Division,” Francona said.