3:00 PM ET, July 15, 2014
Key Arena, Seattle, WA
Chiney Ogwumike didn't lose much in college so the rookie has had to adjust to plenty of defeats after joining the WNBA's worst team from a season ago.One of her rare recent college defeats came in the city where she and the Connecticut Sun are opening a critical road trip.Ogwumike and the Sun are trying to hold on to an Eastern Conference playoff spot heading into Tuesday's game against a Seattle Storm team that has a favorable schedule down the stretch.Connecticut (9-13) is seeking to rebuild around Ogwumike and fellow rookie Alyssa Thomas -- both taken within the first four picks of the draft.Ogwumike has lived up to her billing as the top overall selection, leading all rookies by averaging 15.4 points -- good for seventh overall. Her eight double-doubles tie her for third in the WNBA.Ogwumike's teams went 134-12 over four seasons at Stanford, winning 70 of 72 Pac-12 games. One of those defeats was an 87-82 loss Feb. 9 in Seattle to an unranked Washington team that ended the Cardinal's 21-game winning streak.Last season marked the second in a row at Stanford for Ogwumike in which she played without sister Nneka, drafted first overall by Los Angeles in 2012. The two met for the first time as opponents Sunday, as Connecticut dropped its third straight with a 90-64 loss.Chiney Ogwumike had a team-high 18 points after she was held to 11 in her previous game."I came out really focused. Maybe it's because of the occasion," she said. "Maybe I need to envision everybody I'm going against is my sister from here on out and keep that focus."The Sun have fallen to fourth place in the East, one-half game ahead of Chicago and one game in front of New York. They're 2-8 on the road heading into this trip, which includes a game at Phoenix on Thursday before a five-day break preceding a visit to Washington.Seattle plays nine of its final 11 games at home, where it is 5-3. The Storm (9-14) are fifth in the West, trailing the fourth-place Sparks by 1 1/2 games.Guard Shekinna Stricklen is day to day after she left Sunday's 77-60 loss at Minnesota when she hit her head on the court after a collision. Stricklen, who did not lose consciousness or feeling in her extremities, has a strained neck.Camille Little had 17 points, raising her team-leading average to 12.9, but second-leading scorer Crystal Langhorne was held to seven. Seattle has lost seven straight when she fails to score in double figures.The Storm have taken four of the last five home meetings. Ogwumike scored 18 in the Sun's 71-59 home win May 23.Seattle averages a league-worst 70.6 points while Connecticut is the WNBA's worst shooting team at 41.2 percent.