- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 7, 2008

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored 21 points in her return to Washington, Deanna Nolan added 17 points and 10 rebounds, and the Detroit Shock used a 26-11 advantage in the fourth quarter to beat the Mystics 84-69 Saturday night at Verizon Center.

Katie Smith and Plenette Pierson each scored 13 points for the Shock (19-12), who snapped a two-game road losing skid and pulled to within 1 1/2 games of the first place Connecticut Sun in the Eastern Conference.

One night after a 22-point win over Indiana, Detroit was sluggish from the floor much of the game but finished with a 27-11 edge on free throws.

Monique Currie scored 15 points and Alana Beard had 14 for the Mystics (10-20), who lost their fifth straight. Crystal Smith added 12 points and Andrea Gardner 10 for Washington.

Beard, Washington’s leading scorer on the season, missed her first nine shots from the floor and finished 4-for-15. In three games against the Shock this year, she shot a combined 22 percent (7-for-32) from the field.

Tied 58-58 after three quarters, Beard’s free throw gave the Mystics a one-point lead. However, the Shock took control with a 14-3 run, capped by Smith’s jumper and a technical free throw by Nolan with 5:21 left to move ahead 72-61.

McWilliams-Franklin, playing in her first game against the Mystics following a trade last month, hit her first three shots from the floor and scored nine points in the first half as the Shock led 44-40 at the break.

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