Late 10-0 Run Propels Mystics to a Road Win

Mystics 67, Comets 63

Monique Currie and Houston's Hamchetou Maiga-Ba struggle for a loose ball.
Monique Currie and Houston's Hamchetou Maiga-Ba struggle for a loose ball. (Steve Ueckert - AP)
Associated Press
Thursday, June 19, 2008; Page E04

Alana Beard scored 23 points and Washington rallied for a 67-63 victory over host Houston last night.

Washington (4-7) opened the fourth quarter on an 11-2 run to tie the score at 55 on Nikki Blue's three-pointer with 6 minutes 24 seconds to go. After Sancho Lyttle's basket moved the Comets back ahead, the Mystics went on a 10-0 run capped by a three from Monique Currie with 1:58 remaining to take an eight-point lead.

Houston (3-8) pulled within four on back-to-back baskets by Shannon Johnson and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba with 1:06 remaining, and Matee Ajavon cut the lead to two with two free throws with 48 seconds left.

Beard missed a jumper with 26 seconds left to try to ice it, but Maiga-Ba missed a layup on the other end. Houston grabbed the offensive rebound and called a timeout with 10 seconds left. Out of the timeout, Blue was called for a foul before the ball was put in play, but Tina Thompson missed the free throw.

On the ensuing inbounds play, Michelle Snow missed an open layup for the tie, and Taj McWilliams-Franklin got the rebound and hit two free throws with seven seconds left to seal it.

Currie finished with 12 points and six assists, and Blue scored 10 points for Washington. Maiga-Ba scored 15 points to lead the Comets, and Thompson added 12.

Houston pulled ahead in the third quarter, closing the period with a 9-2 run.

After Washington pulled to 45-42, the Comets closed the third quarter on an 8-2 run, including five consecutive points by Ajavon, to take a nine-point lead.

Maiga-Ba scored 10 points in the first half to help lead the Comets to a 34-30 halftime lead. After trailing early, the Mystics went on a 7-0 run to knot the score at 15 on Crystal Langhorne's layup, but the Comets scored the final four points of the first quarter to take a 19-15 lead.

Houston opened up a 24-17 advantage with 7:16 left in the first half on Mistie Williams's layup capping a 7-0 run, but the Mystics came back with an 8-0 run to take a 25-24 lead on Beard's three with 5:57 left in the half.

The Comets outscored Washington 10-5 to end the half.

· FEVER 83, LIBERTY 69: Tamika Catchings was back to her old tricks, doing the little things that has made her one of the WNBA's most versatile players.

The forward had 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals to help Indiana beat visiting New York for its fourth straight win against the Liberty (5-5).

Catchings, who suffered a torn right Achilles' tendon in last year's Eastern Conference finals and underwent surgery in September, came off the bench to play nearly 14 minutes in her second game of the season. She had two points and one rebound in Sunday's loss to San Antonio.

Katie Douglas had 16 points and eight rebounds, Tan White scored 11 and Tammy Sutton-Brown chipped in 10 for the Fever (6-4).

· SILVER STARS 81, DREAM 66: Whenever point guard Becky Hammon drove into the lane, San Antonio Coach Dan Hughes knew that positive results would follow.

"She has three levels," Hughes said. "Yes, she can score and distribute the ball well. But another is when teams give her a lot of attention, she has this knack of not doing too much. That's just her game."

Hammon had 25 points and a season-high nine assists, Ann Wauters added 18 points and 14 rebounds, and visiting San Antonio beat winless Atlanta.

It was the second straight road win for the Silver Stars (7-4). The last time they won consecutive road games was July 29 at Seattle and Aug. 14 at Los Angeles.

Stacey Lovelace led Atlanta (0-11) with 18 points, while Tamera Young had 9 points, 13 rebounds and 7 assists. Betty Lennox, who scored in double figures in nine of the first 10 games, had nine points for the Dream.

Atlanta is two losses from becoming the second team in WNBA history to open a season with 13 straight losses.

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