Sun too much for Liberty
Lindsay Whalen had 14 points and a career-high 12 rebounds to lead the Connecticut Sun to a 66-57 victory over the Liberty yesterday in New York.
Erin Phillips scored 13 points and Asjha Jones added 10 to help the Sun bounce back from a season-opening loss at home to Washington the previous night.
Shameka Christon scored 13 points and Janel McCarville had 10 for the Liberty, who dropped to 3-10 in season openers.
After trailing by 12 late in the third quarter, the Liberty pulled to 53-48 on McCarville's 3-pointer with about seven minutes left.
However, Phillips hit a three less than a minute later, pushing the Sun's lead back to 8.
Christon was down on the court for several minutes with 2:46 left in the game after she stepped on Whalen, who had fallen first. Christon got up, gingerly walked around favoring her right leg, and hit two free throws to pull the Liberty within 6, and then left the game. X-rays were negative and the Liberty said she had a mild right ankle sprain.
Whalen hit a running jumper 20 seconds later and Tamika Whitmore converted a 3-point play with 1:25 left to seal Connecticut's win.
Essence Carson's jumper in the opening minute of the third quarter gave New York a 34-30 lead. Connecticut then scored the next 16 points to take control.
Leilani Mitchell's buzzer-beating 55-footer, a flat-footed, one-handed toss from beyond halfcourt, gave the Liberty a 32-30 lead at halftime.
New York rookie Kia Vaughn, who attended high school two blocks from Madison Square Garden and then played at nearby Rutgers, received a strong ovation from the crowd during pregame introductions and again when she entered the game with about 2 1/2 minutes left in the first quarter. She was scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting in 15 minutes.
Mystics 77, Dream 71 - Alana Beard scored 16 of her 27 points in the third quarter after Washington's reserves sparked a big run in the second quarter, and the Mystics won their home opener against Atlanta.
Former Mystics player Coco Miller scored 17 points and fellow reserve Sancho Lyttle added 13 points for the Dream, who committed 25 turnovers. Chamique Holdsclaw scored 12 points and rookie Angel McCoughtry added 10.
Holdsclaw, who was selected by the Mystics with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, became the ninth player in WNBA history to score 4,000 points when she made the second of two free throws 1:46 into the game.
Lynx 96, Fever 74 - Charde Houston scored a career-high 23 points to lead visiting Minnesota past Indiana.
The Lynx shot a team-record 63 percent from the field and never trailed. Seimone Augustus scored 19 points and Nicky Anosike added 17 for Minnesota.
Yolanda Griffith scored 17 points and Katie Douglas added 16 for Indiana. Minnesota led by as many as 27 points in the third quarter.
Storm 80, Monarchs 70 - Playing her first home game since re-signing with Seattle in the offseason, two-time league MVP Lauren Jackson scored 25 points as the Storm beat Sacramento for the second straight night. Jackson scored Seattle's first 8 points.