Storm wins fourth straight, beats Mystics 72-55
Ann Wauters had 14 points and seven rebounds and Sue Bird added 14 points, five assists and four rebounds in Seattle's victory over Washington at KeyArena.
Seattle Times (staff reporter
Storm @ Washington, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Don't let the final score fool you.
True, the Storm defeated Washington 72-55 at KeyArena on Sunday, shooting a season-high 56.3 percent from the field. But Seattle's fourth consecutive WNBA victory, before a crowd of 6,979, wasn't as breezy as the sparkling percentages, including 5-of-12 three-point shooting, would lead you to believe.
Early in the first quarter, with the Mystics in the midst of a 7-0 run, Storm coach Brian Agler had to trust his intuition and call a timeout to get the Storm rolling.
"It wasn't necessarily a X's and O's type thing," Agler said. "It was more about competing harder and being more aggressive offensively. Not making it so easy for them. ... I think we responded pretty good."
The response was a highlight reel of plays led by Storm point guard Sue Bird.
She cut through the lane for a quick kick-out pass to center Ann Wauters, who sank a 17-footer. Camille Little drove through the gut of Washington's defense for a layin. Later, a Katie Smith steal led to a short Tina Thompson jumper to accent an 11-2 run before a Mystics timeout. The Storm led 31-20 at halftime.
The lead allowed the coaching staff to run different lineups for an extended period. Wauters was on the floor with fellow 6-foot-4 center Ewelina Kobryn of Poland, allowing Wauters to play her finesse game and finish with 14 points and seven rebounds.
"It's the European connection," said Wauters, from Belgium. "In practice we already played a little bit together, but now it's kind of the first time that we had some playing time together. She's a smart player, so I like to play with her."
Bird warned that the Storm (5-7) hasn't reached its potential. Seattle was outrebounded 29-23 and committed 12 turnovers against Washington. The Mystics converted the turnovers into only seven points, however, as the Storm held them to a season-low 34.9 shooting percentage.
The Storm plays the Mystics (2-8) again on Tuesday to open a four-game trip. The teams are scheduled to be on the same cross-country flight Monday morning.
"As long as we get the exit seats," Wauters said with a smile.
Former Storm guard Svetlana Abrosimova worked out with the coaching staff before the game. Agler said her signing with the team remains a possibility, with salary cap, team needs and budding team chemistry also being considerations.
Abrosimova was part of Seattle's 2010 championship team. Agler would need to make a roster cut to remain within the 11-player limit. Signing her to a seven-day contract is also an option.
• Victoria Dunlap missed her second consecutive game because of a concussion suffered in practice.
• Former Storm center Ashley Robinson played four minutes for Washington, getting a standing ovation when she entered the game in the second quarter.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or email@example.com.
|Washington||11||9||17||18 — 55|
|Seattle||15||16||21||20 — 72|