Marlies Askamp scored a career-high 23 points as the Phoenix Mercury snapped a six-game losing streak with an 80-66 win over the Utah Starzz yesterday in Salt Lake City.

With Jennifer Gillom, the Mercury's leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, held to four points, Askamp joined Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil, who had 18, to pick up the slack for Phoenix.

Phoenix (4-10) used a 12-0 run to take a 26-11 advantage with 6 minutes 1 second left in the first half. The Mercury led 38-19 at halftime, thanks to 10 points from Askamp and nine from Davis-Wrightsil.

Utah (5-8) opened the second half with a 12-0 run of its own as Phoenix missed its first six shots. That sliced the lead to 42-37 with 12:56 to play.

But the Mercury responded with a 21-5 run to push the score to 63-42 with 6:23 to go. The lead reached 22 points twice as the Starzz lost their second in a row.

Margo Dydek and all-star Natalie Williams, named WNBA player of the week earlier in the day, each scored 22 points for Utah, which had only four points from its reserves.

SHOCK 78, MIRACLE 67: In Orlando, Sandy Brondello scored 22 points and Val Whiting grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Detroit.

Astou Ndiaye scored 14 points and Claudia Maria Das Neves added 11 for Detroit. The Shock shot only 39 percent from the field but was 6 for 11 from three-point range.

Nykesha Sales made a three-pointer with 8:27 remaining to pull Orlando to 54-48. Detroit then went on a 10-2 run, with Ndiaye scoring five of those points to take a 64-50 lead with 3:23 remaining.

Brondello was 7 for 10 from the field and hurt Orlando down the stretch, scoring 10 points in the final 7:10.

Orlando shot 48 percent from the field, but committed 17 turnovers. Detroit held a 35-27 rebounding edge.

Orlando had four starters in double figures. Andrea Congreaves and Taj McWilliams scored 14 points each, and Sales and Shannon Johnson each had 11.

Orlando's other starter, Sheri Sam, missed 9 of 12 shots and had nine points.

ROCKERS 67, LYNX 55: Host Cleveland won its second in a row as Merlakia Jones scored 21 points.

The Rockers (4-12) got off to a fast start, shooting 56 percent (14 for 25) in the first half and outrebounding Minnesota 20-12. Cleveland's 38-21 halftime advantage enabled it to withstand a Lynx run midway through the second half.

Cleveland's biggest lead of 22 points came after two free throws from Jones, the team's only all-star representative, with 15:11 remaining.

Minnesota (7-6) got back into the game thanks to seven three-pointers in the second half, but it never seriously threatened.

The Lynx held the Rockers scoreless for nearly four minutes and scored 10 straight points to make it 57-47 with 6:30 remaining.

Katie Smith, making her WNBA debut in Ohio after three seasons with the now-defunct ABL's Columbus Quest, made four three-pointers and scored a team-high 17 points.

Tonya Edwards, who also played for the Quest, added 15 and Brandy Reed matched the Lynx's season-high with eight rebounds.

Susie McConnell Serio tied the Rockers' season-high with eight assists.

Box scores on Page D8

CAPTION: Sheri Sam of Orlando finds way to basket blocked by Korie Hlede of Detroit, which pulled away late for the road win.