By associated press
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 16, 2010; D08
INDIANAPOLIS -- On a night the Indiana Fever raised a banner, the Washington Mystics gave them a reminder that it's a new season.
Monique Currie scored 21 points and Crystal Langhorne added 19 to help the Mystics beat the defending Eastern Conference champions, 72-65, on Saturday night.
"It's the beginning of the season, and we're trying to get momentum here at the start," said Currie, whose team was eliminated by Indiana last postseason. "This was a big win at Indiana on their home floor. We knew they were dropping their banner tonight. But that was last year, and we want to be dropping the banner this year."
Currie scored seven points in the first quarter.
"I think Monique really set the tone for us," Washington Coach Julie Plank said. "I thought she came out a couple times down, just drove at Katie Douglas, and just was very aggressive."
Katie Smith added 12 points in her first game for Washington after pestering Indiana for years as a member of the Detroit Shock.
Tamika Catchings and Tammy Sutton-Brown each scored 12 points for the Fever, and Douglas added 10.
Four of Indiana's starters played in the Turkish League finals and practiced together only once before Saturday's game. The Fever will need to recover quickly because it plays at Atlanta on Sunday.
"You think you can fight jet lag, but you can't," Sutton-Brown said. "We just have to grind out these two games and dig deep and try to grind out the game tomorrow."
Indiana had little to celebrate after raising the banner. Washington shot 50 percent to make up for committing 26 turnovers, and never trailed after the middle of the second quarter.
The Mystics led 32-25 late in the first half before Indiana's Allie Quigley sparked a comeback. She made a layup, got a steal that led to a short jumper by Douglas, then made a driving layup to cut Washington's lead to 32-31.
Washington led 37-31 at halftime, then increased its edge to 10 points early in the third quarter.
Indiana made it 54-50 early in the fourth quarter while Catchings was the only starter on the floor. Washington responded definitively, and a three-pointer by Smith made it 64-52 with just under four minutes to play, and Currie followed shortly afterward with a three to extend the Mystics' lead to 13.