Monday, August 08, 2005

WNBA: Mystics 61, Indiana Fever 60 (August 7)

WAS: 14-12 (3rd in East, 6 behind Connecticut, 1 behind Indiana)

The Mystics moved a step closer to the playoffs on Sunday by beating the team directly ahead of them in the standings, the Indiana Fever, 61-60.

Washington trailed by two at the half after trailing by as much as 12. Indiana started on a 10-0 run, but the Mystics closed the gap before the half ended.

Alana Beard led the Mystics with 17 points, but Delisha Milton-Jones and Chasity Melvin were the heroes, with clutch free throws late in the game to win it for Washington.

The game was tied at 57 with 7.3 seconds to play when Milton-Jones was fouled. After making two free throws, Fever forward Tamika Catchings missed a baseline jumper and Indiana couldn't hold on the the rebound, losing it out of bounds to the Mystics.

Melvin was then fouled with 1.1 seconds on the clock, and she hit both of her free throws to give the Mystics a 61-57 lead and seal the victory. Catchings hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer for the Fever, but it was only good enough to cut the defecit to one.

The Mystics are in sole possession of third place, and only one game behind Indiana for second, with eight games left before the playoffs.

The Mystics will get their crack at the top team in the East on Thursday when they take on the Connecticut Sun at MCI Center at 7 p.m.

The Mystics look poised to make the playoffs, showing some clutch shooting from the charity stripe to take the victory yesterday.

After falling down 10-0 early, the team rallied to cut the defecit to two at the half, then won a battle in the second half to take the win.

This team clearly has some spirit, and that was a big win against a team that they may very well be facing in the first round of the playoffs. We will learn a lot about the Mystics in their next game, though, when they face the 20-6 Connecticut Sun, who have won five of their last six and eight of 10.

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