Sanford, Melvin Help Mystics Rebound, Hold Off Sky

Associated Press
Monday, July 17, 2006; E03

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."

· FEVER 60, COMETS 56: Tamika Whitmore scored 22 points to lead Indiana at home.

Whitmore rebounded from a poor game the night before, making 10 of her 16 shots. Tamika Catchings had 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Eboni Hoffman added 11 points for the Fever (14-8).

Sheryl Swoopes led Houston with 15 points and Tamecka Dixon added 14. Mistie Williams finished with 11 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.

· SPARKS 90, LYNX 78: Lisa Leslie scored 29 points and Chamique Holdsclaw added 20 to lead visiting Los Angeles to its fifth straight win.

· SUN 92, STORM 83: All-Star Game MVP Katie Douglas scored 26 points, and Connecticut rallied from a 15-point first-half deficit on the road. The Sun played its third straight game without Nykesha Sales, who is out with a sore hip and Achilles' tendon.

· SHOCK 77, SILVER STARS 67: Cheryl Ford had 20 points and 17 rebounds despite a nagging injury, while Deanna Nolan battled a severe thigh bruise and scored 16 points in Auburn Hills, Mich.

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