UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) - Angel McCoughtry wasn't satisfied with her seemingly dominating performance, but was quite pleased she and the Atlanta Dream held off the Connecticut Sun for a tough road win.
McCoughtry had a game-high 34 points with five rebounds and three steals in the Dream's 78-77 victory over the Sun on Sunday.
McCoughtry, the only player who reached double figures for Atlanta, scored the final points of the game on a layup with 51.4 seconds left for the Dream (7-1). She also set a franchise record for most field-goal attempts (33).
Betty Lennox took 32 shots for the Dream in an overtime game against Connecticut on June 27, 2008.
Jasmine Thomas had seven points and six rebounds for the Eastern Conference-leading Dream. Alex Bentley scored nine points.
Tina Charles had 19 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, and Kelsey Griffin added 16 points and four rebounds for the Sun (2-6). Kalana Greene had 14 points and five rebounds.
Connecticut trailed by 73-59 before rallying with an 18-5 run.
``I should've played better defense when they were coming back,'' McCoughtry said, ``but we kind of needed this test because we haven't had many games like this. This is good for us. We needed a test like this. (Mohegan Sun Arena) is one of the toughest places to play.''
Atlanta led by as many as 15 points (61-46) with 48 seconds left in the third quarter. McCoughtry scored 24 in the first three quarters.
``She's a competitor,'' Dream coach Fred Williams said. ``Angel is really going to compete hard wherever she plays anytime she plays on the floor. That is all I ask of her. I think she is a new person this year to really come out and play a lot of hard defense and be a passer at times.
``We needed a lot of her scoring, and she did that for us.''
Griffin had a putback after Hightower's miss to tie it 76-76 with 58 seconds left.
Griffin was fouled on the play by Erika de Souza and made the free throw to give the Sun their first lead since the 6:34 mark of the first quarter.
The Sun had a chance to win when they got the ball back after McCoughtry's miss with 10.9 seconds left.
Connecticut hesitated after moving the ball to the other end, forcing coach Anne Donovan to call timeout with 2 seconds remaining.
Hightower's 3-point try hit the front rim with 1 second left.
``In the previous timeout, Coach told us if we got the rebound she wouldn't call timeout,'' Hightower said. ``So we pushed it in transition, and I guess we just got a little stuck.''
It was the sixth loss in seven games for Connecticut. The Sun committed 18 turnovers, including seven by Charles.
Atlanta also outrebounded the Sun throughout the first half, including seven offensive rebounds.
``We needed to control the backboards, which we didn't do all game,'' Griffin said. ``It wasn't until the fourth quarter when we made that final push. (We) just ran out of time, but we have to be more consistent throughout the whole game.''
Both teams were without key players. Sancho Lyttle, the Dream's starting power forward, is with the Spanish national team at the EuroBasket Women 2013.
The Sun played without starter Kara Lawson (bruised knee) and reserves Renee Montgomery (high left ankle sprain) and Tan White (broken right finger).