Sting 59


Mercury 51

(4-4, 3-2 home)

    10:00 PM ET, June 11, 2004

    US Airways Center, Phoenix, AZ

    1 2 3 4 T
    CHA 33 26 59
    PHX 25 26 51

    Top Performers

    Charlotte: T. Sutton-Brown 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 4 Blk

    Phoenix: D. Taurasi 20 Pts, 4 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Blk

    Sutton-Brown leads Charlotte with 18 points

    PHOENIX (AP) -- Tammy Sutton-Brown made sure the Charlotte Sting's losing streak didn't reach five games.

    Sutton-Brown had 18 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots Friday night to lead the Sting past the Phoenix Mercury 59-51.

    "It's a great feeling to get a 'W," Sutton-Brown said. "It's perfect timing because we definitely needed this one."

    Allison Feaster added 12 points, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range, for Charlotte.

    No. 1 draft pick Diana Taurasi had 20 points to lead Phoenix, which has lost three of its last four.

    "We weren't really executing," said Penny Taylor, who added 10 points for the Mercury. "We had some patches, but they were making us play a lot of defense and then they would make a lot of shots ..."

    The Sting, who are 12th in the 13-team league in rebounding, outrebounded the Mercury 25-19 and outshot Phoenix.

    The Mercury shot 38 percent from the field (21 of 55), while Charlotte made 54 percent of its shots (22 of 41).

    "I'm thinking we finally put two halves together," Sting coach Trudi Lacey said. "We played a very good half at L.A. and kind of got away from what we did in the first half and turned the ball over.

    "Here, we were able to put 40 minutes together. It's just taken us some time to figure out our rotations. I think we're getting that down a little bit better."

    Charlotte ran out to an early lead, taking advantage of poor Mercury shooting.

    Sutton-Brown scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead Charlotte to a 33-25 advantage at halftime.

    Phoenix missed 17 of its first 22 shots and fell behind 25-13.

    In the second half, the Mercury erased a 10-point deficit with an 11-2 run to get within 50-49 with 4:42 left. But Charlotte Smith-Taylor and Sutton-Brown each scored baskets while Phoenix missed its next six shots, including a 3-point attempt by Taurasi with 25 seconds left and Charlotte leading 54-51.

    Dawn Staley made two free throws with 16 seconds remaining and Smith-Taylor added another with 11 seconds left.

    "They gave us a lesson in how to control the game," coach Carrie Graf said. "We didn't commit to executing plays. They clearly outplayed us tonight."

    Charlotte also held the league's best 3-point shooting team to 4 of 14 from beyond the arc.

    "We took care of the ball and we played defense for 40 minutes, two things we haven't been doing," Lacey said.

    No. 3 overall pick Nicole Powell, who played high school basketball in Phoenix, had seven points and four rebounds in 13 minutes for the Sting.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

      Charlotte Phoenix
    Points 59 51
    FG Made-Attempted 22-41 (.000) 21-55 (.000)
    3P Made-Attempted 2-10 (.200) 4-14 (.286)
    FT Made-Attempted 13-15 (.000) 5-5 (.000)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 6-25 9-19
    Assists 9 9
    Turnovers 9 10
    Steals 1 8
    Blocks 6 4
    Fast Break Points 1 3
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 17 (0/0) 20 (0/0)