WASHINGTON (AP) - Crystal Langhorne had 22 points and 13 rebounds and the Washington Mystics held off the Indiana Fever 67-66 Friday night to snap a four-game losing streak.
Matee Ajavon added 15 in her first start of the season for the Mystics (2-6), who had an 11-point lead in the second half before Indiana made a run in the fourth quarter.
``We made some mistakes down the stretch, but it's a relief to pull off the win,' said Langhorne, who shot 7 for 11 from the field.
Tamika Catchings scored 15 points and Tammy Sutton-Brown had 13 for the Fever (4-3), who lost their third straight.
Catchings had a shot to win it, but her 3-pointer from the top of the key with 2 seconds left bounced off the rim. Katie Douglas got the rebound along the baseline, but her one-hander missed at the buzzer.
``We missed so many shots throughout the game, and me personally, I missed a lot of layups a lot of open shots,' Catchings said. ``You've got to credit them, they did a great job tonight.'
Catchings, the league's third-leading scorer (21.5 ppg), shot just 4 for 14.
Washington, which had lost four straight by average of 4.5 points, led by six at halftime and 10 after three quarters before the Fever rallied.
``It happens when you play a great team. They're gonna respond,' Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said. ``They punched and we punched back. We got stops when we needed to and made plays down the stretch. That's what had been missing in these close losses.'
Catchings hit a 3 with 6:55 left to play to pull Indiana within five and the Fever were still down five when Sutton-Brown was fouled on a drive and converted the three-point play to make 63-61 with 2:46 left.
Indiana had several chances to tie it, but Jeanette Pohlen missed a jumper and, after a loose ball foul gave the ball back to the Fever, Catchings missed twice from inside.
Washington then got baskets from Michelle Snow and Shannon Bobbitt around a free throw by Catchings to go up 67-62, but Indiana rallied one last time.
Briann January hit two free throws and, after a Washington timeout, the Mystics were unable to inbound the ball and turned it over. Pohlen's layup made it 67-66 with 28 seconds to play.
After a miss by Snow miss, the Fever had the game's final possession.
Both teams shot 37 percent from the field, but the Fever missed nine free throws and were outrebounded, 41-32.
Bobbitt, who was signed by Washington on Wednesday, was with Indiana during preseason, but was released before the season started. She provided a spark off the bench in her Mystics debut, finishing with eight points and five assists off the bench.
``I always tell everyone, one team's trash is another team's treasure and I was just able to come out and compete against a team that cut me,' Bobbitt said. ``I love those girls and the Fever's a great team, and I just wanted to help the team I'm on.'
After Natasha Lacy scored to put the Mystics ahead 21-19 with 6:43 left in the second quarter, Ajavon scored five straight points - on a 3-pointer and a driving layup - to make it 26-19.
The Fever got within three with under a minute left, but Ajavon's 3 with 11 seconds to go put Washington ahead 37-31 at halftime.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved