Monarchs hand Mystics fifth straight loss

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Nicole Powell scored a season-high 28 points and Kara Lawson added a season-high 22 as the Sacramento Monarchs held on for a 79-76 win over the Washington Mystics on Wednesday night.

Powell's turnaround jumper from the right baseline with 1:18 remaining gave the Monarchs (4-4) the lead for good at 77-75.

After Alana Beard hit one free throw, the Mystics turned the ball over on the following possession and were forced to foul. Lawson made two free throws with 11 seconds remaining to put the Monarchs, who have won back-to-back road games and three of four overall, up by three.

Laurie Koehn's three-point attempt from the left baseline in the waning seconds was short as the Mystics (2-7) dropped their fifth straight game. The Mystics had rallied from a six-point deficit to take a 73-72 lead with 2:56 remaining.

With WNBA president Donna Orender in attendance, Powell connected on 4-of-5 three-pointers and 12-of-19 field-goal attempts overall. Ticha Penicheiro added 10 points for the Monarchs (4-4).

Taj McWilliams-Franklin shot 10-of-11 and led the Mystics with 23 points while Beard had 17 points and a game-high seven assists. Monique Currie added 16 points and first-round pick Crystal Langhorne came off the bench to record her first career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

Trailing 21-18 at the end of the first quarter, the Monarchs strung together a 17-4 run to start the second capped by back-to-back 3-pointers by Lawson and they led 43-37 at halftime.