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Archive for Sunday, July 29, 2001

WNBA Roundup: Liberty lick Comets

July 29, 2001

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— There was a time Crystal Robinson might have hesitated. She didn't Saturday.

Robinson's three-pointer with 19 seconds left and Vickie Johnson's two free throws with four seconds remaining gave the New York Liberty a 64-61 victory over the Houston Comets on Saturday.

"Crystal used to miss two or three shots and she'd get down on herself," New York coach Richie Adubato said. "We told her that we wanted her to keep shooting."

Teresa Weatherspoon fed Robinson the ball as Comets guard Janeth Arcain, who was guarding Robinson, pulled off.

"The person guarding Crystal left her to go after Spoon," Adubato said. "If you're going to leave somebody open, you don't want it to be Crystal. She can shoot."

Robinson led the Liberty with 15 points, and Tari Phillips and Sue Wicks each added 14.

Houston led 49-41 with 9:32 to play, but the Liberty rallied and took a 59-55 lead with 2:53 to play on a basket by Phillips.

Phillips scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter. She left the court briefly after being hit in the mouth by Thompson with 6:55 to play.

"I'm glad I had the opportunity to take the shot," Robinson said. "I think my percentage is probably better than probably anybody in the league to take a last second shot. I was looking forward to taking that shot."

Tina Thompson made only 4 of 20 shots for the game but her three-point basket with 1:03 to play and two free throws with 32 seconds remaining gave the Comets a 61-59 lead before the Liberty rallied.

"When it (Robinson's three-pointer) went in I thought we had 20 seconds," Coquese Washington said. "At that point, I thought we were still going to get a shot and a win."

The Comets lost for the sixth time in eight games. It was a franchise record third straight home loss.

"We have a different team," Thompson said. "We are going through some changes and I think this is one of them. At this point, I think we are either going to pick up move on and go or dwell on it."

Janeth Arcain led the Comets with 19 points, Thompson had 14 and Washington added 11. Thompson finished with 9 rebounds, joining Los Angeles' Lisa Leslie as the only players in the WNBA to surpass 1,000 career rebounds.

"Today was a big game for us," Weatherspoon said. "I think because we've been here quite a few times and left without the prize, and that is was a little more motivation for us to come out and play harder."

Sparks 88, Fire 83

Portland, Ore. Lisa Leslie had 31 points and 11 rebounds as Los Angeles won its 12th straight game. Mwadi Mabika added 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and Ukari Figgs had a career-high 17 points for the Sparks, who lost a 12-point halftime lead before taking control. Jackie Stiles scored 27 of her career-high 32 points in the second half for the Fire, who hit all 27 of their free throws. Tully Bevilaqua added a career-high 13 points.

Rockers 55, Shock 50

Auburn Hills, Mich. Merlakia Jones scored 12 points and Rushia Brown added 10 as Cleveland beat Detroit.

The Rockers (19-6) took the lead for good on a basket by Ann Wauters with five minutes remaining. The Shock, who held a late 50-49 lead, did not score in the final 5:28.

Wendy Palmer led the Shock with 14 points. Elena Tornikidou and Deanna Nolan each scored eight for Detroit, which lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

Sol 69, Fever 63

Indianapolis Sheri Sam scored 17 points as Miami withstood a second-half rally by Indiana.

Sandy Brondello added 15 points for Miami (15-10), which won for the ninth time in 10 games.

Alicia Thompson led the Fever (8-17) with 16 points. Angie Braziel added 14 and Jurgita Streimikyte 13.

Starzz 68 Lynx 60, OT

Salt Lake City Margo Dydek scored six of her eight points in overtime as Utah extended its winning streak to a season-high three games.

Marie Ferdinand scored 17 points for the Starzz, who outscored the Lynx 10-2 in overtime. Dydek added 10 rebounds.

Katie Smith shot 16-for-18 from the line and led Minnesota with 30 points.

Svetlana Abrosimva and Erin Buescher each had nine rebounds for the Lynx, who lost their fourth straight and for the 10th time in 13 games.

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