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Liberty Defeat Mystics, 65-60

August 22, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Reserve guard Elena Baranova had 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists Thursday night as the New York Liberty rallied from an early 19-point deficit and beat the Washington Mystics 65-60.

Baranova replace Vickie Johnson, who sprained her right ankle with 14:54 remaining in the first half and did not return.

Chamique Holdsclaw led the Mystics with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Tamika Whitmore scored 13 for New York, and Crystal Robinson and Kristen Sharp each added 10.

Washington took a 10-0 lead as the Liberty missed their first six shots. Holdsclaw and Muriel Page each scored four points in the run.

Helen Luz’s two 3-pointers and another by Coco Miller helped the Mystics build a 23-4 lead with 8:18 remaining in the half. The Liberty pulled within 33-19 at halftime.

Trailing 54-43 with 8:28 left in the second half, the Liberty needed little more than four minutes to pull within 56-55 behind 3-pointers by Baranova, Sharp and Linda Frohlich and a jumper by Whitmore.

Washington’s Asjha Jones and Dales-Schuman sandwiched buckets around Tari Phillips’ missed layup to give the Mystics a 60-54 lead with 2:48 left.

The Liberty answered with an 8-0 run, capped by Whitmore’s layup for a 62-60 lead with 40.1 seconds left. Sharp added two free throws and Phillips one in the final 29 seconds to seal the comeback.

The Liberty threatened to match a franchise-low 15 points in the first half until Baranova’s 3-pointer with 36 seconds left. She finished with 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, including 5-for-6 from 3-point range.

Baranova scored 11 first-half points, including three 3-pointers.

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