- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 20, 2002

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Anything seems possible when the Charlotte Sting play at home.

The Sting crushed the Washington Mystics 78-64 at the Charlotte Coliseum last night, limiting the WNBA's best offense to a season-low in points.

Charlotte (4-5) is unbeaten in four home games, and stretched its winning streak to 11 at home in the regular season. It also snapped first-place Washington's (7-2) six-game winning streak.

The Sting rode splendid games from Andrea Stinson, who had a game-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, and Allison Feaster, who broke a shooting slump with 16 points, including four 3-pointers, and eight rebounds.

Dawn Staley added seven assists, and Tammy Sutton-Brown had 12 points and nine rebounds. Charlotte Smith, the other starter, had 10 points.

All five are on the All-Star ballot, and their cohesiveness at home is impressive.

"We just got a little rattled," Washington's Chamique Holdsclaw said. "We didn't play well on the defensive end. Offensively, we got shots, but tough shots."

The Mystics shot a season-low 39 percent from the field (23 of 59), and were outrebounded 40-35.

Stinson's 27 points were the most by a Sting player in 55 games, when she scored 33 against Washington on July 26, 2000.

"The ball found the open person," said Feaster, who has at least one 3-pointer in all nine games. "We played well together, we're not a selfish team by any means. We wanted to attack."

The Mystics began the game leading the WNBA in points (79.3), shooting percentage (48.9) and 3-point percentage (44.4).

The Sting harassed shooters, clogged passing lanes and had a 40-35 rebounding advantage. Charlotte played its usual solid game at home, and needs to translate it to the road, where it is 0-5.

"They got the lead and didn't let it go," Washington coach Marianne Stanley said. "We could never make the buckets. We were never able to mount a real threat or surge. We got beat in a lot of categories."

Holdsclaw, the WNBA's leading scorer, scored 21 points and had 14 rebounds, but most of her teammates struggled. Stacey Dales-Schuman, averaging 15.3 points, was scoreless in 32 minutes.

"I think we contained Chamique well in the first half, but the key was taking out some of their other players," Feaster said.

Charlotte broke the game open with a 15-5 run early in the second half. Stinson had two baskets and fed Sutton-Brown for a layup, and Feaster capped the rally with a 3-pointer that made it 53-36 with 13 minutes, 2 seconds left.

Washington went nearly six minutes without a field goal.

The Mystics cut the lead to 64-59 on two Holdsclaw free throws with five minutes left, but never got it below 10 again.

The Mystics' 27 first-half points was its lowest in a half this season. Washington struggled through 10 of 35 shooting (29 percent) and was outrebounded 24-17.

"We didn't rebound well," forward Vicky Bullett said. "We weren't aggressive enough. They ran their game plan."

Washington next plays at Miami at 12:30 p.m. tomorrow.


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