Lyttle leads Dream past Mystic, 93-81Jun 20, 2009 - 5:24 AM By JONATHAN LANDRUM Jr. Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA(AP) -- With steady playing time, Sancho Lyttle is sure she can keep filling up the stat sheet.
Lyttle scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds Friday night to lead the Dream to a 93-81 victory and the Washington Mystic's first loss of the season.
Washington was the only unbeaten team left in the WNBA.
"People are going to start to see now that I can put up good numbers," said Lyttle, who had 20 points and 15 rebounds in Atlanta's last game against Connecticut on Sunday. "I'm just going to keep on hustling and getting on the boards."
Chamique Holdsclaw, selected by the Mystics with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1999 draft, scored 13 points and had 10 rebounds. Erika DeSouza had 13 points and Iziane Castro Marques and Nikki Teasley each added 12.
The height of DeSouza, Lyttle and Michelle Snow - each at least 6-foot-4 - gave the Mystic trouble all night. Washington was outrebounded 46-31. The Dream also shot 34-for-74 from the field (46 percent) for the game, holding Washington to 39.7 shooting (25 of 63).
"They killed us on the offensive boards and in the paint," said Alana Beard, who led Washington (3-1) with 20 points and three steals. "We have to protect the paint. Those are the easy baskets and we did not do that tonight."
Matee Ajavon had 13 points for the Mystic. Monique Currie, Nakia Sanford and Crystal Langhorne each added 10 points.
Marques' layup and mid-range jumper with 5:15 left in the third quarter to give the Dream a 53-42 lead, prompting Washington coach Julie Plank to call a timeout.
But the timeout didn't stop the surging Dream, who are one victory away from tying last season's win total. Atlanta finished with a 4-30 record in 2008, setting a league record for losses.
"Our defense carried us through," Dream coach Marynell Meadors said. "We just get after it. Our height and size and energy on the boards gave them problems. That's going to be our key for the rest of the season."
Atlanta (3-2) pulled ahead by 16 points with 2:33 left in the third quarter after Lyttle's layup, Holdsclaw's jumper from the corner and a 3-pointer by Teasley. DeSouza's layup off Coco Miller's no-look pass with 9:10 left in the fourth quarter gave the Dream a 70-49 advantage - their largest of the game.
The Dream's 93 points was the second-highest point total in the history of the second-year franchise.
With the score tied at 28-28 in the second quarter, Atlanta went on a 13-6 run to close the first half.
- ** CONFIRMED **
ATLANTA 93 FINAL
Jun 19 9:58 PM
ATLANTA 20 END, 1ST QTR
Jun 19 8:05 PM
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