Mystics let Comets overcome 10-point deficit for 72-69 victory

June 26, 1999|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,SUN STAFF

WASHINGTON -- It will be tempting for Washington Mystics fans to look at last night's 72-69 loss to the Houston Comets and see improvement. After all, the Mystics dropped their last two to Houston by a combined 70 points.

But the Mystics will no doubt rue the fact that they had the two-time defending champions in a 10-point hole with less than 12 minutes to play and let them slip away before a boisterous MCI Center crowd of 19,458.

"We have to get over that edge that's been holding us back. We played hard against a very good team, but we just came up short," said guard Nikki McCray.

The Comets (7-0) put together a 20-2 run in the middle of the second half behind their two superstars, forward Sheryl Swoopes and guard Cynthia Cooper, to seize control.

Cooper had a game-high 28 points, hitting a back-breaking three-pointer with 6: 55 to go to punctuate the run.

Swoopes, who hit two of nine shots in the first half, was splendid in the second, going 7-for-9, including five in the decisive run. "For us to play the way we did and get a win is the sign of a fairly good team," said Swoopes. "But they [the Mystics] are so much better than they were last year."

For the second time this week, the Mystics, who won three of 30 games last year, held a double-digit, second-half lead at home on a 1998 WNBA finalist. But, as they did Tuesday, when they frittered away a 19-point advantage to Phoenix, the Mystics collapsed.

Pub Date: 6/26/99

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