Mystics Hope to Get a Handle on Lynx

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Washington Mystics Coach Richie Adubato hoped his team learned its lesson on Thursday night when it committed 27 turnovers during a 73-63 loss at Charlotte.

"Hopefully, we'll now be a team that values the possession of the basketball and executes offensively," he said. "We can't do those things and expect to win."

The Mystics worked on taking better care of the ball for more than two hours at Verizon Center yesterday in preparation for tonight's game against the visiting Minnesota Lynx.

Against Charlotte (1-2), the Mystics (1-1) were called for 35 fouls -- 14 more than the Sting -- which enabled Charlotte to shoot 37 free throws; it made 28. Washington shot eight for 14 from the free throw line.

"They outscored us 28-8 at the foul line and Alana Beard got six fouls and fouled out in 22 minutes," Adubato said. "That was a big part of the game."

The Mystics opened with a 13-1 run but led by just four at intermission, and the score was tied entering the fourth quarter. Washington committed eight turnovers in the final period, and the Sting closed on a 19-8 run after the Mystics took a 55-54 lead with 5 minutes 57 seconds left.

The letdown came 48 hours after a dominating 95-60 victory against the New York Liberty. Three Mystics scored in double figures, led by Beard's game-high 25 points, and the team forced the Liberty to commit 28 turnovers and shoot just 31.4 percent.

The Mystics now turn their attention to the Lynx (0-2), which is led by guard Seimone Augustus , the first overall selection in April's draft, who is averaging 18 points and 3.5 rebounds.

"This is a big game. We're at home and we can't go 1-2," Adubato said. "We need to respond."

-- Jon Gallo

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