After a slow start, the New York Liberty went to a zone defense early in the second half and it paid off.

Ann Wauters had a career-high 24 points (9-of-12 shooting) and nine rebounds, leading the Liberty to a 67-53 victory over the Indiana Fever in New York yesterday.

Elena Baranova and Shameka Christon scored 14 points apiece, and Becky Hammon added 11 to help the Liberty (12-11) win for the fourth time in six games.

"Whether it's junk, zone, man . . . if it helps us win, I'll play it as much as we can," New York Coach Pat Coyle said. "If we can just play them zone and not give them second shots. We gave them too many in the first half, but in the second half we did a better job."

Natalie Williams had a season-high 15 points, and Tamika Catchings added 10 points and 10 rebounds for her 35th career double-double to lead the Fever (14-9).

New York, which squandered double-digit halftime leads in losses to Houston and Connecticut in its last two games, started off sloppy against Indiana. The Liberty, averaging 14.1 turnovers per game, committed five in the first five minutes and 11 in the first half.

"In the first half, we weren't always ready," Wauters said. "We could have picked up our intensity. They had some easy rebounds, and that was killing us."

* SHOCK 66, MERCURY 63: Kara Braxton scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds, helping Detroit overcome a 17-point, second-half deficit and win at home.

Deanna Nolan scored 12, and Ruth Riley finished with 10 points and eight rebounds for the Shock (10-12), who have won two straight following a 40-point loss to Sacramento.

Anna DeForge had 20 points, and Diana Taurasi added 16 and seven assists for Phoenix (10-13), which lost for just the second time in nine games.

* STORM 77, SPARKS 72: Betty Lennox made a three-pointer with 27.4 seconds left, despite a sore shooting wrist, and host Seattle won a franchise-record tying sixth straight.

The Storm (14-10) held a 71-70 lead, when Lennox -- who has tendinitis in her wrist -- knocked down her fifth basket to stretch the lead to four points.

Los Angeles (11-12) has lost five of six.

Lennox's injury flared up last week and she attempted only two shots in Seattle's win over Charlotte on Friday. She finished with 17 points on 5-of-13 shooting against Los Angeles.

* MONARCHS 67, LYNX 54: Playing its first game since trading Katie Smith, visiting Minnesota was no match for Sacramento. Rebekkah Brunson had 14 points and seven rebounds to lead the Monarchs to their fourth straight win.

Minnesota traded Smith, the last player from the franchise's original 1999 team, to Detroit on Saturday, and the Lynx struggled from the outset.

"It was definitely a little different, playing without Katie," Minnesota center Nicole Ohlde said.