Washington Alana Beard had 27 points, a career-high seven steals and six assists, leading the Washington Mystics to a 73-58 victory Thursday night over the San Antonio Silver Stars.
"It was the Alana Beard show tonight," Mystics coach Richie Adubato said. "Her performance was unbelievable. Our team goal is to get 10 steals per game, and Alana almost did that on her own. She was phenomenal."
Beard matched her career-high in points on 11-for-18 shooting. She left the game with 3:17 remaining one assist shy of another career high.
"This is probably the first game all year that I've been satisfied simply because I did it on both ends," said Beard, who has been bothered by ankle and hamstring injuries.
"I feel like I'm getting back to where I was before my injuries. This game was a huge step for me getting back to where I was."
"I had the confidence in my offense and the confidence in my defense, and it all flowed."
Shannon Johnson led San Antonio with 15 points. Shyra Ely added 12 for the Silver Stars (6-18), who have lost six of their last seven games and are 1-12 on the road.
"We played a very good All-Star tonight," Johnson said. "It is her team. She put them on her shoulders."
Beard scored 14 points in the first half, and Washington led by eight at the break. She scored six straight points that gave the Mystics (12-11) a 58-40 lead with 12:22 remaining.
Even the opposing coach was gushing about Beard's talent.
"That was the best performance we've seen this year by anybody," Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. "She shot it well, penetrated well, read what we did to her well. She's got another level of ball pressure."
Sun 73, Liberty 70
Uncasville, Conn. - Nykesha Sales scored 10 of her 21 points in the first nine minutes of the second half, helping Connecticut rally from its biggest deficit of the season.
Sales also finished with five steals as the Sun (18-5) turned to defense to rebound from a 10-point halftime deficit. Connecticut remains perfect at home this season (10-0) and has won 15 straight at Mohegan Sun Arena dating to last season.
Ann Wauters had 19 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Liberty (11-11), who were coming off a last-second loss Wednesday night to Houston at Madison Square Garden.