Tina Charles collected 20 points and 13 rebounds as Connecticut returned to its winning ways with a 77-70 WNBA victory over host Washington on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center. The Sun (20-7) bounced back from Saturday's loss at Atlanta to maintain a two-game lead over Indiana in the WNBA Eastern Conference standings. Last-place Washington (5-22) suffered its fifth straight loss to Connecticut this season and saw its current losing streak reach six. The Sun trailed 67-66 after a Matee Ajavon 3-pointer, but jumped back ahead for good when Renee Montgomery answered with a 3-pointer with 3:39 left for a 69-67 lead. Charles hit a hook shot with 2:40 showing and added a layup with 46 seconds to play that opened a 73-70 lead. The Sun collected four free throws in the final 21 seconds to lock down the win. The Mystics led 23-18 after one quarter, but the Sun opened the second with nine unanswered points on the way to a 40-37 halftime lead. Connecticut opened its largest lead in the third quarter when Charles' layup made it 57-44 with 3:34 remaining. Washington fought back to cut the margin to 60-55 by quarter's end. Joining Charles in double figures were Kara Lawson (16 points) and Mistie Mims (15) while Montgomery added 11. Washington's Crystal Langhorne scored a game-high 23 points, while Noelle Quinn and Shannon Bobbitt each added 10. Both teams are back in action Friday with Phoenix playing at Connecticut, while Los Angeles visits Washington.
- Tina Charles