Dream Send Mystics to Their First Defeat
Saturday, June 20, 2009; 12:05 AM
Washington is no longer the only unbeaten team in the WNBA after Sancho Lyttle scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds last night to lead the Atlanta Dream to a 93-81 victory and send the visiting Mystics to their first loss of the season.
Chamique Holdsclaw, selected by the Mystics with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds to lead the Dream (3-2). Another former Mystic, Nikki Teasley, added 12.
Atlanta's height of Erika DeSouza, Lyttle and Michelle Snow -- each at least 6 feet 4 -- gave the Mystics trouble all night. Washington was outrebounded 46-31. The Dream also shot 44.4 percent for the game, holding Washington to 31.8 shooting.
"They killed us on the offensive boards and in the paint," said Alana Beard, who led Washington (3-1) with 20 points. "We have to protect the paint. Those are the easy baskets and we did not do that tonight."
Matee Ajavon added 13 points for the Mystics.
Iziane Castro Marques's layup and mid-range jumper gave the Dream a 53-42 lead with 5 minutes 15 seconds left in the third quarter, prompting Washington Coach Julie Plank to call a timeout.
But the timeout didn't stop the surging Dream, which is one victory away from tying last season's win total. Atlanta finished with a 4-30 record in 2008, setting a league record for losses.
"Our defense carried us through," Dream Coach Marynell Meadors said. "We just get after it. Our height and size and energy on the boards gave them problems. That's going to be our key for the rest of the season."
DeSouza's layup off Coco Miller's no-look pass with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter gave the Dream a 70-49 advantage -- its largest of the game.
The Dream's 93 points was the second-highest point total in the history of the second-year franchise.
-- LIBERTY 77, SILVER STARS 66: Janel McCarville scored 18 points to lead New York to a home victory over short-handed San Antonio for the Liberty's first win. New York (1-3) had lost the last six meetings against the Silver Stars (1-2), who were without former Liberty stars Becky Hammon and Vickie Johnson.