The plea came from Section 111, in the form of a sign held by fans with a direct view of the Washington Mystics’ bench.
“Can we just win,” asked the sign created by 15-year season ticket holders Cathy Woods and Arlene Blaha.
On Sunday, the Mystics had a satisfying answer to that question, holding off the Phoenix Mercury, 90-77, to snap a five-game losing streak and win for the first time since June 15.
The win came with a price. Guard Shannon Bobbitt, who had helped fend off a third-quarter Mercury rally, left the game early in the fourth quarter after colliding with a Mercury player during a transition. She finished with five points and five assists. Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey said Bobbitt was a little shaken up.
“She got hit pretty hard, I just saw her on the floor,” forward Crystal Langhorne said. “So hopefully she’ll be all right and nothing will be lost.”
Phoenix had whittled a 14-point second-half deficit to six when Bobbitt came off the bench with 2 minutes 3 seconds remaining in the third. She quickly led a pair of fast breaks before dishing off to Noelle Quinn and Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton for easy layups.
Bobbitt finished the quarter by banking in a leaning jumper with 9.6 seconds left. The Mystics entered the fourth leading by nine and Bobbitt’s impact was clear.
The Mystics were able to keep the Mercury at a distance throughout the fourth, as they played most of the quarter with a double-digit lead. Natalie Novosel and Jasmine Thomas combined to limit Mercury guard Samantha Prahalis to two points in the fourth. The rookie finished with 20 points.
Monique Currie started for the Mystics for the first time in six games. She finished with four assists.
Langhorne and Quinn dominated the low post and combined to score 40 of the team’s points. Langhorne finished with six rebounds, Quinn grabbed four and Michelle Snow added nine.
“Quinn played with great confidence tonight,” Langhorne said. “She hits shots where he needed them.”
Quinn said her task Sunday was simple: play like she does in practice. Late in the second quarter, she was fouled as she hit a jumper from the left side of the key. Her three-point play put the Mystics ahead by 10 en route to a 50-41 halftime lead.
Quinn said she hoped the win could turn into a string of victories before the Olympic break. The losing streak was difficult to comprehend, she said, because of the team’s work ethic.
“The monkey’s off our back. We can’t stop now,” Quinn said. “We haven’t really done anything, this is just one win and we have to continue it.”
●SILVER STARS 93, LYNX 84: Becky Hammon scored 23 points and Sophia Young added 22 to lead San Antonio over the visiting WNBA champions.
The Silver Stars (7-5) never trailed, extended their home winning streak to five and won their fifth in six games overall.
Reserve Monica Wright led the Lynx (13-2) with 18 points,.
●SKY 71, DREAM 69: In Rosemont, Ill., Sylvia Fowles scored 21 points, including two go-ahead free throws with 33 seconds to play, and Chicago snapped a four-game losing streak.
The Sky (8-5) rallied from a 14-point third-quarter deficit and led by seven in the fourth before Atlanta (7-8) briefly reclaimed the lead at 69-68.
●STORM 89, SUN 83: In Uncasville, Conn., Camille Little scored five of her game-high 27 points in overtime and added nine rebounds as Seattle beat Connecticut. It was the sixth win in seven games for the Storm (7-8).
Tina Thompson had 20 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for Seattle.
Asjha Jones had 15 points and 11 rebounds for Connecticut (10-4).