- The Washington Times - Friday, June 18, 2004

Michael Adams’ vision finally became reality. Instead of barely squeaking by opponents, the Washington Mystics blew somebody out — with authority.

Chamique Holdsclaw scored 24 points and added 10 rebounds, and guard Stacey Dales-Schuman matched her season high with 12 points, as the Mystics rolled to an easy 76-60 win over San Antonio before an announced 12,203 at MCI Center.

The Silver Stars (3-8) established a franchise record with their seventh consecutive loss. Meanwhile, the Mystics (4-5) won back-to-back games and at home for the first time this season. The team’s other three victories had come by a combined five points.

“We can’t take any team lightly,” said Adams, the Mystics’ first-year coach. “We don’t have any right to take any team lightly. I told our players that we get a lead on this team we’ve got to be able to bury them. When we’re all clicking at the same time, we give ourselves a chance.”

It was the Mystics’ first victory in five games at MCI Center. The Mystics beat New York at the University of Maryland’s Comcast Center on Sunday.

The Mystics embark on a four-game trip Sunday in Connecticut, the team’s longest journey of the season.

Holdsclaw, the WNBA’s second-leading scorer at 20.3 points, made 11 of 21 shots. Holdsclaw had her mid-range game working and she received nice support from her teammates.

“Everyone stepped up tonight, we ran the offense through. Players made shots, and if they weren’t open [they] were making assists to other players who were scoring. So that’s what we needed, the basketball to move around the floor,” Holdsclaw said.

Dales-Schuman went on a one-woman run to break open the game late in the first half. She scored all seven of her first-half points in the final 1:11 before intermission.

In a game that was tied 31-31 with 3:10 left before the break, the Dales-Schuman-sparked surge helped the Mystics take a 41-33 lead into the locker room.

“Our defense, we figured out. The rebounding thing we figured out. We’ve got the bodies this year to do those things. And the offense just happens,” said Dales-Schuman, who made two of four 3-pointers in the game. “If you take care of the rebounding and the defense the offense happens. Today we scored early in transition. I think that really stunned the opposition a little bit.”

It took a 3-pointer from the right wing to jump-start Dales-Schuman’s scoring rhythm. With Holdsclaw resting on the bench, Dales-Schuman picked up the scoring slack along with forward Murriel Page (six points) in the final five minutes before halftime.

“Stacey Dales-Schuman stepped up,” Silver Stars coach Dee Brown said. “She’s been in this league for a few years and that’s what good players do, step up.”

The Mystics have patiently waited for someone other than Holdsclaw to score this season. Dales-Schuman came in averaging 6.5 points.

A third-year pro out of Oklahoma, Dales-Schuman gives the Mystics’ offense a perimeter weapon. Last season she was the Mystics best long-range shooter making 35.6 percent of her 3-pointers.

The Mystics entered last night as the worst 3-point shooting team in the 13-team WNBA at 28 percent.

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