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Silver Stars hold off late rally from Taurasi, Mercury

PHOENIX (AP) -- Kendra Wecker is making up for lost time after
missing most of her rookie season last year with a knee injury.

Wecker scored 18 points, going 4-of-6 from 3-pointer range, and
the San Antonio Silver Stars beat Phoenix 82-76 Wednesday night,
keeping the Mercury winless.

"Wecker is like a rookie in a lot of the things she's doing,"
San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "We like what we see. We just
need more time on the court. We certainly like what we are seeing,
especially Wecker. She's really grown."

Wecker hit her fourth 3-pointers with 4:01 left to give the
Silver Stars (2-2) a 75-70 lead. Vickie Johnson followed with a
12-footer with 3:24 left and the Mercury (0-3) never got closer
than five.

"Everything is in the flow of offense," said Wecker, who tore
a ligament in her right knee in last year's season opener.

"I was just taking shots. I took a couple bad shots in the
second half, but we overcame that. Vickie hit a big shot and then I
was able to knock down that 3 in the corner. I think that really
kind of put us over the edge."

Phoenix's Diana Taurasi had 28 points, 17 in the second half,
and led the charge from an 18-point first-half deficit. However,
the Mercury never could overtake San Antonio in the second half.

"Third quarter we played extremely well, but we need to be
consistent for a 40-minute run," Phoenix coach Paul Westhead said.
"Hopefully that is the learning process that we are in."

Sophia Young had 13 points and seven rebounds and Johnson added
12 for the Silver Stars.

Rookie Cappie Pondexter added 26 points and 10 rebounds for the
Mercury.

"They came at us really aggressive in the second half," Wecker
said. "We took probably their best shot. Diana and Cappie really
went off in the second half. We just have to try to contain those
players because they are very good offensively. We tried to make it
tough on everybody else and tried to put as much pressure on them
as possible."

Outside of Taurasi and Pondexter, the Mercury made only 11 of 35
(31 percent) field goals.

Phoenix missed 12 of its first 14 shots and fell behind 12-4 as
Wecker hit a pair of shots, including the first of her 3-pointers.

Wecker hit two more 3-pointers -- one from each baseline -- and
Young added four points late in the first half as the Silver Stars
opened a 50-32 lead.

Taurasi hit a 3-pointer right before the halftime buzzer to cut
the Mercury's deficit to 50-36.

Phoenix opened the third quarter with a 16-6 run and closed to
62-61 with 1:28 left in the third quarter on Taurasi's off-balance
3-pointer with 1 second left on the shot clock.

"They made a good run and had all the momentum," Hughes said.
"We regrouped enough and made some plays at the end to hold them
off."