A midseason coaching change for the Charlotte Sting is paying off in the form of a run for the Eastern Conference title.

"It's all about fun, really. Everyone's playing a lot looser, and you're seeing the results," Andrea Stinson said after her season-high 27 points led surging Charlotte to an 84-65 victory over the visiting Detroit Shock last night.

Stinson scored 19 points in the first half, including 13 in a decisive run that helped Charlotte (11-10) move over the .500 mark for the first time since winning its season opener.

"We're bringing it all together now," Stinson said. "You've got to enjoy the game, and we're definitely doing that now. Everybody in this locker room feels it, and everyone is contributing for us."

The victory was the Sting's third in a row and sixth in nine games under new coach Dan Hughes, and it left them with a winning percentage of .523, just short of the .526 of the East-leading New York Liberty.

"I'm really pleased with our ability to raise our activity level and raise our focus," Hughes said. "They have a desire to be a better team."