<
>

New coach doesn't help San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Despite a coaching change, the losing ways
continued for the San Antonio Silver Stars.

The Phoenix Mercury beat the Silver Stars 68-59 Friday night,
just hours after San Antonio coach Dee Brown announced his
resignation after a 6-18 start.

Anna DeForge scored 23 points for the Mercury, winners of four
straight games. Penny Taylor had 18 and Plenette Pierson added 10.

San Antonio, which lost its fifth straight, was coached by
assistants Shell Dailey and Vonn Read. LaToya Thomas led the way
with 17 points, and Adrienne Goodson and Agnieszka Bibrzycka added
12 apiece.

"It was a good effort and I liked what I saw," Read said.
"They played hard and had a chance to win. We had some lapses in
the second half and they hit some big three's to pull away."

Rookie Diana Taurasi, who entered the game as the Mercury's
leading scorer (17.7), scored seven points in limited action
because of a hip pointer injury.

"In the second half we handled the pressure much better,"
Phoenix coach Carrie Graf said. "With Diana Taurasi only playing
16 minutes, that is a big change to our team and says a lot about
our team effort."

Read was on the spot after Brown resigned earlier in the day.
The former 12-year NBA player apologized for the team's record, the
worst in the WNBA.

"We talked about it," Read said. "Everyone was disappointed,
but they bonded together. They came out focused and wanted to play
this one for Dee."

Phoenix led 27-22 at halftime. Trailing by as many as eight
points, San Antonio rallied to tie the score at 42 on a jump shot
by Goodson with 11:14 to play.

Consecutive 3-point field goals by Tamara Moore and DeForge
fueled an 8-0 run that gave the Mercury a 54-46 lead with 6:01 to
play.

San Antonio closed within 58-54 after a 3-point basket by
Bibrzycka, but Taurasi answered with a 20-foot jump shot to give
Phoenix a 60-54 lead with 2:44 left. The Silver Stars could get no
closer than four points the rest of the way.