SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Tangela Smith hit a 3-point shot with 4
seconds remaining as the Charlotte Sting defeated the struggling
San Antonio Silver Stars 68-65 on Tuesday night.
Charlotte rookie Monique Currie scored 18 points to help the
Sting (9-20) rally from a 13-point first-half deficit. Smith added
12 points, including five in the fourth quarter.
"Tangi (Smith) is a big-time player who's not afraid to take
the big shot," Sting coach Muggsy Bogues said.
The Silver Stars (12-16) have lost eight of their last 10 games
and took a major hit in pursuit of the final playoff spot in the
San Antonio is 2½ games behind Seattle. The Storm won at
Minnesota on Tuesday.
"We are on a playoff run and we need to find a way to win,"
Silver Stars center Katie Feenstra said. "We have to get it done
any way we can."
The Silver Stars had a chance to send the game to overtime, but
rookie Shanna Zolman missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as
the buzzer sounded.
San Antonio point guard Shannon Johnson scored 16 points and
Feenstra added 13 points along with a career-high 18 rebounds.
Smith, who had missed all of her three previous 3-point shot
attempts, got the ball on the left side after Currie was double
teamed in the left corner. Smith fired the shot over the
outstretched arm of Sophia Young.
"It was a play designed for Mo (Currie) and she got doubled, so
she put the confidence in me and thankfully I was able to
deliver," Smith said.
The Silver Stars outrebounded Charlotte 51-40 and had a 40-20
edge scoring points in the paint. But the Sting were 7-of-16 from
3-point territory compared to 2-of-11 for San Antonio.
Charlotte took a 49-47 lead in the final seconds of the third
quarter. It was the Sting's first lead since late in the first
The Sting went ahead by five when La Toya Bond sank a 3-point
shot with 8:39 remaining in the game.
But San Antonio tied the game after Vickie Johnson was fouled by
Helen Darling on a layup attempt. Johnson hit both free throws with
16 seconds left.
"We were playing catch-up in the fourth quarter, but when we
tied it I thought we had a chance to win it," San Antonio coach
Dan Hughes said. "I thought we battled, but we just didn't get
control of the game. It's a tough loss."
The Sting, whose 17.2 turnovers per game are a league worst,
gave away the ball enough in the first half to blow an early lead
and watch San Antonio build a double-digit advantage.
San Antonio built a 31-18 lead with 5:20 remaining in the first
half, but the Silver Stars committed five turnovers and shot 1-of-6
to end the half with a five-point lead.
Charlotte ended the game with 15 turnovers.