- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 4, 2002

MINNEAPOLIS The last time Coco Miller was this impressive on a basketball court in Minnesota, she was leading her high school team to a state championship.
Miller scored a career-high 22 points to lift the Mystics to a 64-63 win over the Minnesota Lynx last night at Target Center. But it was Vicky Bullett's two free throws with 22.7 seconds remaining that gave the Mystics (12-4) the victory.
The Mystics played their second successive game without Chamique Holdsclaw, who sprained her left ankle Friday and will miss at least two weeks.
Asjha Jones fouled Minnesota's Katie Smith, who made both free throws to put Minnesota up 63-62 with 30.5 seconds to go. Lynn Pride fouled Bullett, who made the two free throws, and Tamara Moore's shot at the buzzer missed.
Miller, a second-year guard from nearby Rochester, Minn., also had six rebounds and four assists despite picking up her fourth foul with 14 minutes remaining and her fifth with a little more than four minutes to go.
"She couldn't have played a better game for us tonight," Mystics coach Marianne Stanley said. "You couldn't write a better script for her."
Miller and her twin sister, Kelly who plays for the Charlotte Sting were heavily recruited prep stars for Rochester Mayo High School, which they led to an undefeated season and a state championship in 1997. After a disappointing rookie season she averaged 6.9 minutes and 1.7 points Miller has started all 16 games this year for the Mystics and is developing into a premier player.
"It's always exciting to come and play at home," Miller said. "I think this is huge, especially because Chamique's not with us. We have a lot of good players on this team."
Holdsclaw's absence and the Mystics' inability to shut down Minnesota's transition offense kept the margin close and set up the frantic final minutes. Still, Stanley was pleased.
"What's gratifying as a coach is to see how our players respond to every situation," Stanley said. "They don't get despondent or discouraged or down. What our team is doing is not letting things they can't control bother them to the point where they're paralyzed."
Jones had 10 points and Bullett had seven rebounds for the Mystics, who shot 44 percent. The Lynx (6-9) hit 45 percent of their shots.
The Mystics took an eight-point lead with 11 minutes remaining, but it was largely because of Minnesota's offensive ineptitude rather than strong defense. Minnesota made only two field goals in the first nine minutes of the second half.
With the first half of the season completed, the Mystics are two wins away from eclipsing their single-season victory total of 14, accomplished in 2000.


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