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WNBA ROUNDUP

Shock beat Sting, stay in hunt in East

Coach Bill Laimbeer called it the biggest game of the year, and defending champion Detroit responded with five players in double figures.

Swin Cash scored 17 points and Cheryl Ford had 10 points and 14 rebounds to lead the visiting Shock past the Charlotte Sting, 66-58, yesterday.

Ruth Riley added 13 points for the Shock (14-15), who ended a two-game losing streak and are battling to make the four-team playoffs. Deanna Nolan added 12 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists.

The Shock are one game behind the New York Liberty, who lead the tightly bunched Eastern Conference.

"It was the most important game of the year because we gave away a lot of games early," Laimbeer said. "We really needed this one, and they responded great."

Dawn Staley and Charlotte Smith-Taylor had 16 points apiece for the Sting (13-15), who shot 37 percent and blew a 10-point lead. The Sting had just two players in double figures.

"We come out and execute a game plan in the first half and then we get away from what has worked for us," Charlotte coach Trudi Lacey said. "We did it in New York [on Thursday], and we did it again today."

Detroit overcame 17 turnovers in a physical game that included a technical foul on Riley for throwing an elbow during a rebound. Staley's ensuing free throw cut Detroit's lead to 49-47 with 5:54 left.

Fever 69, Mystics 42 -- Natalie Williams scored 16 points to lead host Indiana past Washington. The victory, combined with Detroit's win over Charlotte, moved the Fever into second place in the Eastern Conference. Indiana (15-15) became the first conference team with 15 wins, and moved within a half-game of New York.

Mercury 63, Storm 55 -- Diana Taurasi scored 14 of her 18 points after halftime as Phoenix pulled away for the home win. Taurasi added seven assists and six rebounds. Sue Bird, who like Taurasi is a University of Connecticut product, had 12 points and 3 assists for Seattle.

Monarchs 80, Silver Stars 70 -- Yolanda Griffith had 17 points to lead visiting Sacramento to its second consecutive victory over San Antonio (6-23), which set a franchise record with its ninth straight loss.

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