Sun 94, Mystics 86
UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP)
Tina Charles was determined to atone for her previous effort.
The Sun's star center had 30 points, nine rebounds and four assists as Connecticut held off the Washington Mystics 94-86 on Sunday.
Kara Lawson had 18 points and four assists for the Sun (4-1). Asjha Jones added 10 points, four rebounds and two steals.
Charles had 20 points and 12 rebounds against the defending WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx. But she was scoreless in the fourth quarter, however, and had just one rebound as Minnesota won 85-72.
''I definitely wasn't happy with that,'' Charles said. ''I know my role on this team. I know my team looks to me offensively and defensively, so I'm just going out there and playing hard.''
Charles made eight of 14 field goals in the first half for 18 points.
Crystal Langhorne had 25 points and five rebounds for Washington (1-4). Reserve Jasmine Thomas made three 3-pointers and scored 17 with three steals.
It was the third straight loss for the Mystics. To their credit, they continue to play hard.
Washington trailed the Lynx by 24 points in the third quarter of Wednesday's game before falling on a last-second shot. The Mystics led Chicago by seven points with 1:22 left on Friday before losing at the buzzer.
Washington trailed Connecticut by as much as 14 points (57-43) with less than two minutes left in the third quarter. The Mystics cut their deficit to three points (78-75) with a little over two minutes left in the game.
''We have a lot of fighters on our team and we're going to keep on fighting,'' Langhorne said. ''We're going to keep playing hard and we're going to get a win.''
Both teams shot exceptionally well from the field. Connecticut shot 52.5-percent (32 of 61).
The Mystics shot almost as well. They made 32 of 66 shots (48.5-percent).
Connecticut was clinging to a four-point lead with less than two minutes remaining in the game when it managed to get a little breathing room. A Lawson layup and two free throws by Kalana Greene pushed the Sun ahead, 84-76, with 1:06 remaining.
The Mystics continued to fire away at Connecticut, though. Thomas and Noelle Quinn made back-to-back 3-pointers to cut their team's deficit to 90-86 with 19.5 seconds left.
The Sun's Allison Hightower and Danielle McCray each made two free throws to end the scoring.
Connecticut made a franchise-record 19 free throws (on 21 attempts) in the fourth quarter. It made 17 free throws against the now-defunct Charlotte Sting on July 6, 2006.
''We knew when we got a double-digit lead in the third quarter that we'd have to execute and play well in the fourth,'' Lawson said. ''They made a good run at us and made some threes down the stretch, but we made our free throws.''
Neither team could stop the other in the fourth quarter with the Mystics outscoring the Sun, 36-35. The 35 points tied a Connecticut franchise record.
The Sun also set a franchise record for points in a half with 60 in the second half. They scored 59 against Minnesota on Aug. 3, 2010.