Charles helps Sun rally past Silver Stars

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- The struggling Connecticut Sun came up with a much-needed win on Sunday. Tina Charles had 20 points and 10 rebounds while Allison Hightower scored a career-high 23 points to help the Connecticut rally in the fourth quarter to beat the San Antonio Silver Stars 86-84. Kara Lawson, playing her second game since returning from a knee injury, came off the bench and had 14 points and six assists for Connecticut (4-9), which had dropped six of its previous seven games. ''Knowing how hard it is to win in this league, you never take it for granted,'' Lawson said. ''No matter how you get it, it makes you feel good and you try to collect as many as possible. Just as losses can pile up, wins can pile up.'' Jia Perkins had 23 points and seven rebounds for the Silver Stars (4-10) and Danielle Robinson had 10 points and eight assists. Shenise Johnson added 12 points and five rebounds. Connecticut fell behind 67-59 with over seven minutes left in the game before going on a 17-4 run. Hightower concluded the run with a 3-pointer to push the Sun ahead 76-71 with over four minutes remaining. ''We have a very strategic way of digging ourselves into some holes for that dramatic ending,'' Connecticut's Kalana Greene joked. ''Hopefully we can use that for momentum going into Tulsa (Friday).'' It was the Silver Stars ninth loss in 11 games. ''It felt like we were kind of pulling away in that fourth quarter,'' Perkins said. ''We turned the ball over a few times. They got some easy layups, and that started their run. And I think every time we tried to get back in it, they made some big plays. They made some big shots. Hightower with that three, and her just getting into the lane and Tina. They really stepped up at the end and pulled their team through.'' Reserve Mistie Bass started the Sun's run with a hook shot. Greene followed with a steal and layup. Danielle Adams made two free throws on the other end to give San Antonio a 69-63 lead. Connecticut responded. Charles hit a turnaround jumper, Hightower made an open 3-pointer, and a steal and layup by Charles gave the Sun a 70-69 edge. Lawson extended Connecticut's run with a 3-pointer. Jayne Appel had a putback for the Silver Stars. Hightower answered with a 3-pointer to give the Sun a 76-71 lead with four minutes, 18 seconds left in the game. ''Our defense wasn't going,'' Hightower said about the run. ''Our offense wasn't going. Coach (Anne Donovan) told us we have to get our defense back and really locked in. We buckled down and got some stops.'' San Antonio had the ball in the closing seconds, but Perkins missed a 19-foot jumper. ''We had a couple of turnovers, and we hadn't had many turnovers in the game,'' Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said about the fourth quarter. ''Charles made a couple of plays that MVPs make, then I thought we didn't finish on a couple of plays near the rim. ''We stayed right there, but we could never wrestle the lead back.''