- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS When the Washington Mystics look back on their 50-45 loss to Indiana last night at Conseco Fieldhouse, they can file it under the one that got away.
Despite holding Indiana to 32 percent shooting from the floor, the Mystics were not able to generate any consistent offense, turning in their worst shooting night (19-of-56, 34 percent) of the season. The Mystics (12-5) saw their two-game winning streak come to an end, while Indiana improved to 7-9.
"We missed plenty of opportunities," Mystics coach Marianne Stanley said. "We just missed a lot of shots. You have some nights like tonight."
Despite the loss, Washington's hold on first place in the Eastern Conference remains strong. The Mystics are two games ahead of Orlando and play at Orlando tomorrow.
Last night's setback will be bitter because the Mystics had plenty of chances to pull out a win.
With 11:48 remaining in the game, the Mystics trailed 45-37, and just more than two minutes later, they trailed by four.
That's when the offense for both teams stalled dramatically.
Indiana scored two points over the next 11:06, but Washington didn't take advantage. During that same period, the Mystics scored only four points all by Stacey Dales-Schuman.
"We didn't play together as we could have," said Dales-Schuman, who led the Mystics with 13 points. "When we play as a collective unit, we are successful. We didn't have that tonight."
During that critical span, Washington missed five of six shot attempts and turned the ball over five times. The Mystics, now 2-1 with leading scorer Chamique Holdsclaw on injured reserve, desperately missed her presence.
After former Mystic Nikki McCray missed a pair of free throws with 42.9 seconds remaining, Dales-Schuman rebounded a Washington missed shot, scored on the putback and was fouled with 28.1 seconds left.
She failed to convert the free throw, allowing Indiana to put the game out of reach.
McCray, who scored 13 points, made amends by making two free throws with 26.9 seconds left.
Washington turned the ball over on its ensuing possession and Indiana's Tamika Catchings, who led all scorers with 18 points and five 3-pointers, closed out the scoring with a free throw.
The Mystics struggled shooting from long range, making just two of 14 3-point attempts.
"You have to give Indiana's [defense] some credit," Stanley said. "They didn't make it easy for us."
Vicky Bullett grabbed a career-high 14 rebounds. Point guard Annie Burgress missed the final four minutes after straining her left calf muscle. She is listed as day-to-day.

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