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Jun 30, 2010 - 5:49 PM By ALAN FERGUSON STATS Writer

Connecticut (10-5) at Chicago (6-9), 8:00 p.m. EDT

Less than halfway through her rookie year, red-hot center Tina Charles could set a team record for double-doubles in a season as the Connecticut Sun visit the Chicago Sky on Thursday night.

Coming off a season in which they failed to make the playoffs for the first time since relocating from Orlando, the Sun traded All-Star guard Lindsay Whalen to Minnesota for the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, which they used on Charles.

That deal has paid off as the former University of Connecticut star leads the league with 12.5 rebounds per game and is 10th with a 15.9 scoring average. She's averaged 18.2 points and 16.3 boards during her run of six straight double-doubles, and the Sun (10-5) are 1 1/2 games behind Eastern Conference leader Atlanta.

"It's definitely rewarding," Charles said. "But I'm just going out there trying to win, whatever it takes. So I'm just going to keep being on the boards."

Charles' 16 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday in a 101-89 win at Tulsa helped Connecticut bounce back from losing the opener of its season-high six-game trip. With 19 games remaining, she's matched Taj McWilliams-Franklin's single-season franchise record of 12 double-doubles from 2006.

"It's really hard to go out there every night and try to keep going at it," Charles said of her double-doubles. "Especially, knowing that it's going to get physical, but the fact that we're winning makes it even better."

Connecticut had five players score at least 16 points Tuesday and posted a 41-25 rebounding edge, which led to 18 second-chance points.

"We've been doing that a lot lately," coach Mike Thibault said. "Tina is a big part of that, but we got a lot of other people involved tonight."

Thibault's team has lost its last three visits to Chicago, but the Sky (6-9) enter this matchup having lost four of five at home. The latest of those defeats came Sunday, 70-64 to Indiana.

The Sky shot 28.6 percent in the first half but came back to tie the game with 1:26 remaining. However, the Sky were held scoreless from there and committed a key turnover with 18.4 seconds left, failing to get the ball inbounds.

"In my opinion, (the call) was a second too early," coach Steven Key said. "While the call was unfortunate, the game didn't come down to that play."

The teams split their two games earlier this season at Mohegan Sun Arena with the Sky winning 86-77 in the most recent meeting June 22.

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