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Mystics Keep Playoff Hopes Alive

September 12, 2004

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Alana Beard scored 21 points to help the Washington Mystics keep their playoff hopes alive with a 75-63 victory over the Houston Comets on Sunday. The Mystics, winners of three straight, closed on a 6-0 run, capped by Beard’s layup with 34 seconds remaining.

Beard shot 10-of-15, grabbed six rebounds and added four steals. Chasity Melvin and Tamicha Jackson both added 11 points for the Mystics (15-16).

Tina Thompson scored 17 points to lead the Comets (12-18), who got 11 points apiece from Felicia Ragland and Dominique Canty.

Houston lost Sheryl Swoopes with 13:24 remaining in the first half when she sustained a left-eye contusion while battling Chasity Melvin for a loose ball. Swoopes returned to the bench for the second half but did not play.

Beard scored eight points during the Mystics’ 10-2 run early in the second half to open up a 49-40 lead.

Sheila Lambert pulled Houston within one point at 54-53 early in the fourth, but the Comets never got any closer.

Thompson scored seven of Houston’s first 11 points, and the Comets led most of the first half before the Mystics took their first lead at 28-26 on two free throws by Stacey Dales-Schuman with 3:04 remaining.

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