Christon, New York top WashingtonMay 24, 2007 - 6:29 PM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Not even a late collapse could ruin the strong start for Shameka Christon and the New York Liberty.
Christon converted four free throws in the final 30 seconds and scored 17 points as the Liberty overcame the loss of a fourth-quarter lead for an 81-76 victory over the Washington Mystics.
Erin Thorn scored 17 points and Cathrine Kraayeveld added 16 for the Liberty (2-0), who began a season with two straight wins for the first time since 1999.
New York, which opened the season with an 83-71 victory over the Chicago Sky last Sunday, grabbed its largest lead of the game when Ashley Battle hit a jumper for a 58-49 advantage within the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 1998, the Mystics rallied, grabbing a 76-75 lead when Chasity Melvin completed a follow shot on a missed free throw by teammate Alana Beard with 1:43 remaining.
The Liberty reclaimed the lead on two free throws by Barbara Farris 19 seconds later.
Washington, which was coming off a 70-52 lopsided loss to the Sacramento Monarchs on Tuesday, had a number of chances to take the lead on its next possession but Nikki Teasley missed a layup, Melvin was off the mark on a follow shot and the Mystics turned over the ball after an offensive rebound by Beard.
Christon, who finished 6-of-6 from the stripe, made two free throws for a 78-76 edge with 30 seconds left.
Beard finished with 23 points and DeLisha Milton-Jones added 14 for Washington, which shot 6-of-21 (29 percent) on 3-pointers.
NEW YORK 81 FINAL
May 24 1:09 PM
NEW YORK 56 END, 3RD QTR
May 24 12:32 PM
NEW YORK 37 HALFTIME
May 24 11:54 AM
NEW YORK 19 END, 1ST QTR
May 24 11:29 AM
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