Washington at Chicago

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Records: Mystics 10-20, Sky 11-20.

Where: UIC Pavilion.

When:8 p.m.

Big Syl Train: Against the Mystics on Aug. 29, rookie Sylvia Fowles posted her highest point (20) and rebound (13) totals in a game this season. Washington couldn't find a way to limit the 6-foot-6, 200-pound center, and often lost track of her on the court. With both teams eliminated from playoff contention, the Mystics need to find a way to stop Fowles, who missed 17 games this year with a sprained right knee, if they hope to end their five-game losing streak.

One option Washington has to limit Fowles would be backup center Andrea Gardner, who has averaged 13 minutes per game since the Olympic break. Gardner is one of the Mystics' most physical post players and had her best game of the season in Washington's 84-69 loss to Detroit on Saturday. Gardner went 5 of 7 for 10 points, eight of which came during a two-minute stretch in the second quarter when she was the only Washington player who scored. "We've been able to use her in specific matchups," interim coach Jessie Kenlaw said. "Against some of the bigger, more physical players -- like [Detroit's Kara] Braxton -- and it's worked out pretty well for us."

Point Guard Blues: The Mystics' ordained starter since training camp, Nikki Blue, may miss her 10th game this year because of the right ankle sprain that has bothered her throughout the season. Blue practiced yesterday but her availability against the Sky will be a game-day decision. She was a late inactive listing for the game against Detroit on Saturday when the sprain flared up again. Kenlaw blamed certain problems, like the Mystics' worsening turnover rate -- a league-worst 18.93 per game -- on the lack of continuity at point guard, where Blue, Amber Jacobs, Crystal Smith and Alana Beard have each started at least one game.

-- Katie Carrera

© 2008 The Washington Post Company