10/25/2014

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Sports

Little scores 9 in OT, lifts Storm past Mystics

SEATTLE (AP) — After an overtime loss in their last game, Sue Bird and Camille Little were determined to get the Seattle Storm back on the winning track at KeyArena.

Bird hit the tying 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and Little scored nine of her 22 points in overtime to lead the Seattle Storm in an 89-86 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday night.

The Storm (6-9) snapped a two-game skid, including an 87-82 loss in OT to San Antonio on Thursday.

"San Antonio is a game we should have gotten," said Little, who shot 3 for 4 in the extra period after going 0 for 7 in the third and fourth quarters. "We just had to refocus and make sure we pulled out the game tonight and just work on the things we can do."

Little shot 3 for 4 in the extra period after combing to go 0 for 7 in the third and fourth quarters.

"Every basketball player can get caught up with what happened in the past," Bird said. "Camille, all things considered, did a lot of big things in overtime."

Bird finished with 21 points, including the tying 3-pointer with 1:18 left in the fourth quarter. Shekinna Stricklen scored 12 points and Crystal Langhorne had 11 against her former team.

Rookie guard Bria Hartley, selected by Seattle and sent to Washington in a draft-day deal for Langhorne, scored a season-high 26 points for Washington (5-9), which lost for the fourth straight time. Hartley's previous high was 20 on June 1 against Los Angeles.

"She's fantastic," veteran Mystics guard Kara Lawson said. "Forget that she's a rookie. She really doesn't have many weaknesses and is really good at every phase of the game. She's a good defender, a really good passer and, obviously as you saw tonight, she's a really good scorer. ... She gave us a lot of offense tonight, which is what we needed."

Monique Currie added 16 points for Washington and Lawson had 13.

The teams traded the first two baskets of overtime before Little scooped one in while falling to the floor. That put the Storm on top 79-77 with 3:37 left, and they stayed ahead the rest of the way. The lead grew to as many as five points at 84-79 on Little's lay-in with 1:40 remaining.

The Mystics pulled to 87-86 on an uncontested lay-in by Hartley with 10.2 seconds to go. Little hit two free throws less than 2 seconds later extend the lead, and a last-gasp 3-point try from the top of the key by Tierra Ruffin-Pratt bounced off the back of the rim and was still loose on the floor under the Washington basket as the horn sounded.

"What happened Thursday night (in the loss to San Antonio) helped us tonight," Storm head coach Brian Agler said. "I could just see a little bit more grit and determination and persistence down the stretch. Not that we didn't have that the other night, because we obviously had a great opportunity to capitalize then.

"But on big possessions tonight, when they needed a 3-point shot — which was about five or six times — we didn't give them that."

Seattle shot 43 percent (31 for 72), making a season-high 12 shots (on 24 tries) from 3-point range. The Mystics shot 52 percent (36 for 69), with 8 of 18 on 3s.

"It's just tough — we wasted a really good shooting effort," Washington coach Mike Thibault said. "We haven't had very many shooting efforts where we shoot over 50 percent in the game. We had a few turnovers in overtime that killed us, and they scored on all three. It's a tough one to lose when you play that well."
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