Mystics top Stars 81-70 in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Washington Mystics needed a win to reaffirm their game plan after four straight losses.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt had 16 points and Ivory Latta 14 points, helping Washington snap its skid with an 81-70 victory over San Antonio Stars on Tuesday.

“We’re pretty desperate,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said. “We lost four in a row, we had played well for most of those games, but just didn’t finish. So, today, we finally finished one.”

Emma Meesseman had 10 points and 13 rebounds and rookie center Stefanie Dolson scored all 10 of her points in the fourth quarter to help Washington (6-9) snap San Antonio’s three-game winning streak.

“It feels great,” Dolson said. “Knowing we had a tough road trip, a tough few games, to end it on a good note with a win, playing really well and everyone contributing, it feels really great.”

After dropping the first three games of a weeklong road trip, including an 89-86 overtime loss in Seattle on Sunday, the Mystics never trailed in the fourth quarter .

Kayla McBride scored 17 points, Danielle Robinson added 16 points, Danielle Adams had 12 and Sophia Young-Malcolm 11 for San Antonio (7-7).

Washington shot 50 percent from the field, leading by as many as 13 points behind the strong frontcourt tandem of Meesseman and Dolson. After twice making her way into the paint for short jumpers, Dolson sank an 18-foot jumper over Adams in a personal 10-0 run that started at 65-60 and put Washington ahead 73-64 with 4 minutes left.

Dolson was questionable after spraining her right knee against Seattle, but played 16 minutes. She was 5 for 7 from the field, helping the Mystics’ bench outscore San Antonio’s 36-22.

“Going in at first, I was a little nervous,” Dolson said. “I didn’t know how I would feel, but then after playing the first half I felt more comfortable in the second half. I give credit to the guards for getting me the ball.”

San Antonio lost for the fourth time at home this season.

“We know that we can play better than we did today,” Young-Malcolm said. “Our shots weren’t really falling.”

The Stars shot 39 percent from the field, struggling for much of the game despite having open looks. Robinson made her first three shots, but was the only San Antonio player to make a basket in the opening 5 minutes.

“We didn’t make shots, especially from 3,” Stars coach Dan Hughes said. “It has been a part of what we do. We had a hard time. I don’t know if it was that we didn’t get shots. I just don’t think that we converted the shots we got.”

San Antonio, which was shooting 39 percent on 3-pointers, finished 2 for 15 from long range on Tuesday.

Washington went on an 11-2 run bridging the first and second quarters, much to the dismay of Hughes. The Mystics were 3 for 3 on free throws in the run, despite Hughes’ protests that “they’re flopping.”

McBride’s 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer pulled San Antonio within 36-33. She scored the Stars’ first six points in the second half to tie the game at 39.

Young-Malcolm had three three-point plays in the third quarter, drawing contact in the paint while rising for a short jumper each time.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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