Sting 62, Liberty 58
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Dawn Staley had 13 points and seven assists and the surging Charlotte Sting passed New York atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 62-58 victory over the Liberty on Friday night.
Andrea Stinson added nine of her 11 points in the second half to help Charlotte (12-10) run its best winning streak of the season to four games and win for the seventh time in 10 games under new coach Dan Hughes.
The Sting also got 14 points and 10 rebounds from Rhonda Mapp in a game that featured the kind of tight play expected from two teams battling for the conference lead late in the season. There were 18 ties and 16 lead changes, with neither team ever going up by more than five points.
New York (11-10) forced 19 turnovers and converted them into 24 points. But the Liberty didn’t score in the final three minutes and were held to just 14 rebounds _ the lowest total in the WNBA this season _ on the way to losing for the seventh time in 10 road games this season.
Tamika Whitmore had 13 points to lead New York, which missed three shots and turned it over twice on its final four possessions.
There were three lead changes and two ties in the last four minutes alone before Staley stole the ball from Teresa Weatherspoon, was fouled and made two free throws to put the Sting up 60-58 with 1:09 left.
Vicky Bullett sealed it with a foul-line jumper at the 21-second mark.
Stinson set a club record by scoring in double figures for the 11th consecutive game.