- The Washington Times - Friday, September 12, 2008

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. | Deanna Nolan scored 17 points, and Kara Braxton added 15 as the Detroit Shock beat the Washington Mystics 78-66 on Thursday night.

Plenette Pierson added 12 points for Detroit (21-12), and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had nine points and eight rebounds. Coupled with Connecticut’s loss at San Antonio, the Shock clinched first place in the Eastern Conference and will face Indiana in the first round of the playoffs next week.

The Mystics (10-22) have lost seven straight. Their last victory came in Atlanta on July 25.

Plenette Pierson added 12 points for Detroit, and Taj McWilliams-Franklin had nine points and eight rebounds.

Alana Beard led Washington with 16 points, and Monique Currie added 14. Rookie Tasha Humphrey, acquired from Detroit in an Aug. 12 trade for McWilliams-Franklin, finished with 12 points and nine rebounds.

After a close first period, Detroit took control by outscoring the Mystics 26-13 in the second. Braxton scored 11 points in the period, and the Shock went 10-for-15 from the free throw line while Washington didn’t have a single attempt.

The Mystics pulled to 49-39 midway through the third quarter, but the Shock had the margin back to 17 by period’s end and cruised to the comfortable win.

FEVER 74, LIBERTY 59: In Indianapolis, Tammy Sutton-Brown scored 16 points to lead Indiana to a victory over New York.

Tan White had 13 points, Khadijah Whittington scored 10 and Tamika Catchings added 10 points and eight rebounds for Indiana (16-17), which beat New York at home for the 11th straight time in the regular season. The Liberty haven’t won at Indianapolis since July 19, 2002.

Jessica Davenport finished with 12 points, and Erlana Larkins scored nine for the Liberty (18-14), who played without Janel McCarville (back spasms) for the second straight game and Tiffany Jackson (stress fracture) for the seventh time in a row.

SILVER STARS 78, SUN 74: Sophia Young scored 24 points to lead host San Antonio to a victory over Connecticut, clinching home-court advantage throught the playoffs.

Ann Wauters and Becky Hammon added 17 points each for the Silver Stars (23-10), while Erin Buescher scored 11. Wauters also had 12 rebounds as San Antonio finished a perfect 14-0 against the Eastern Conference.

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