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Mystics rough up Shock, 'under' connects

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Ivory Latta scored 15 points and the Washington Mystics posted their largest margin of victory in nearly three years in an 84-61 win over the Tulsa Shock on Sunday.

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Monique Currie scored 13 points, Crystal Langhorne added 11, and Matee Ajavon had 10 for Washington (5-6), which snapped a five-game losing streak with its second win over Tulsa this year.

``This was a must-win game for us,'' Currie said. ``We had lost five games in a row, and it was important for us to come out here and not only protect our home court but show we're capable of coming out here and winning games.''

The game marked Washington's fewest points allowed and Tulsa's fewest points scored this season.

The Mystics also held the Shock (3-10) to nine points in the third quarter, another season low for Washington's defense and Tulsa's offense. It was Mystics' first win by more than 20 points since defeating Tulsa 87-62 on Aug. 1, 2010.

``We just got to learn that we have to be a defensive team,'' Latta said. Before Sunday, Washington allowed an average of just over 90 points per game during its five game skid.

``It's all about trust,'' she added, ``and we've got to continue to build that trust. We've got to continue to build that chemistry out on the court.''

Roneeka Hodges scored 16 points to lead Tulsa, which has lost its first three games in a four-game road trip after winning two straight at home.

``This one, I think you just flush it down,'' Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ``You're going to have one game like this a year where, for whatever reason, you're fatigued or just shots aren't going down. You just try to flush it down and move on.''

Liz Cambage added nine points in her second game back from an ankle injury, but played just over 17 minutes while struggling through foul trouble. She picked up her third personal with 7:42 to play in the second quarter, and her fourth with 7:36 to play in the third.

The Shock matched the Mystics early, but after a first half with 11 ties and six lead changes, the Mystics closed the half on a 9-0 run to lead 44-34. Washington eventually built the lead to 24 points late in the third quarter.

Latta scored 10 of her points during that stretch, including a technical foul shot off Tulsa's second delay-of-game violation to close the first half. Her 3-pointer from the left pushed it to 53-36 midway through the third quarter, and a floating jumper stretched it to 62-40.

``You can't match that intensity that she brings,'' Currie said of the point guard who has been Washington's leading scorer after signing for the Mystics this offseason. ``When she's pumped up and she's playing well, I think a lot of us feed off her energy.''

Soon after, Currie hit a 3 off Ajavon's feed to stretch it to 65-41 with 1:24 left in the quarter.

Washington stretched its lead to 27 points three times during the fourth quarter.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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