- The Washington Times - Monday, August 5, 2002

MIAMI (AP) Sheri Sam scored 13 points as the Miami Sol sent the Washington Mystics to their sixth straight loss, 55-50 yesterday.
Reserve Iziane Castro Marques had 11 points in the first half for Miami, which had lost four of five games on its recent road trip. Ruth Riley scored 10 points and had six rebounds.
"There is nothing like playing at home," Sam said. "Iziane came in and took people off the dribble. Ruth in the second half was big. She got some big rebounds and scored down low for us."
The Mystics, playing without injured All-Star Chamique Holdsclaw, were paced by Coco Miller, who scored 14 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Asjha Jones scored 11 and Murriel Page added eight. Page and Vicky Bullet each had eight rebounds for the Mystics (15-12).
"Anytime you have one of your star players out you lose something," Page said of Holdsclaw. "Anytime we have her in uniform it makes us 10 times better."
Washington has gone 5-10 after a 10-2 start, and has fallen behind the New York Liberty for the top playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. Miami (13-16) kept its playoff hopes alive with its first win in three tries against the Mystics this year.
"There is nothing to lose," Miami's Sandy Brondello said. "Every game is a playoff game [for us]. They had some good looks at the end of the game, but the ball bounced our way."
Castro scored six points in a 7-0 run for Miami to pull within 29-27 at the half.
Miami took the lead for good on a layup by Sam with 3:55 remaining.
A 3-pointer by Miller made it 51-50 with 1:12 left, but she and Page missed consecutive shots that allowed Miami to close it out at the free-throw line.
"We got a good look, got two rebounds and missed both," Washington coach Marianne Stanley said.
Washington committed 19 turnovers that led to 25 Miami points.
"You can't turn the ball over 19 times and expect to win the game," Stanley said. "That, combined with unforced errors, tells the story. What is it? Is it lack of focus? Are we trying too hard? I can't figure out why this is happening."
Notes
Asjha Jones started at forward for Washington in place of Holdsclaw, who sprained her right ankle in the last two minutes of Friday's 67-65 loss to Portland. Holdsclaw missed nine games and the WNBA All-Star Game with a sprained left ankle. Miami coach Ron Rothstein opted to start Betty Lennox at shooting guard instead of Brondello, who scored eight points. Lennox only played seven minutes and didn't score before re-aggravating a right shoulder sprain. Brondello and Mystics guard Annie Burgess were teammates on Australia's silver-medal winning team in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The Mystics are the subject of TV Guide's first WNBA cover story this week, by Hall of Fame player Nancy Lieberman, in the D.C., Baltimore and eastern Virginia areas.

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