Sanford, Melvin Help Mystics Rebound, Hold Off Sky

Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2006

Nakia Sanford scored 20 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help the visiting Washington Mystics beat the Chicago Sky, 83-75, last night.

Chasity Melvin added 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Mystics and Nikki Teasley had 12 points and nine assists. Washington (11-10) won for just the third time in 11 road games.

"Both of them [Sanford and Melvin] did a great job on the offensive boards," Mystics Coach Richie Adubato said. "Both of them are very excellent offensive rebounders."

Stacey Dales-Schuman scored 15 points and Jia Perkins added 12 points and four steals for Chicago (3-17), which dropped its third straight game.

Trailing 61-60 with 6 minutes 51 seconds left, the Mystics used a 15-4 run to take a commanding 75-65 lead.

Down by 14 with under two minutes to play in the third quarter, the Sky went on a 7-0 run -- capped by a Perkins steal and layup -- to reduce Washington's lead to 56-49 to end the period.

Chicago opened the fourth quarter with a 12-4 run to take the 61-60 advantage.

Washington dominated the first quarter, shooting 53.3 percent from the field and hitting seven of its nine free throws to take a 24-11 lead into the second quarter.

Chicago hit only five of its 15 field goal attempts and missed four of five free throws in the period.

"If it's not one thing, it's another," Sky Coach Dave Cowens said, pointing to his team's 15-of-26 free throw shooting for the game. "Free throws killed us tonight."

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