Monarchs Move Within One Game Of WNBA

September 19, 2005
By ODU Athletics

Sept. 19, 2005

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Former Lady Monarchs Ticha Penicheiro and Hamchetou Maiga moved moved within one win of a WNBA title as Sacramento defeated the Connecticut Sun in Game Three of the WNBA Finals, 66-55.

Yolanda Griffith had 19 points and 11 rebounds and the Monarchs withstood a comeback by the Sun. The Monarchs, who lost Game 2 in overtime after allowing a tying 3-pointer before the regulation buzzer, can claim their first championship with a win here Tuesday in Game 4 of the best-of-five series.

Griffith had a pair of baskets in a 9-0 burst that gave Sacramento its largest lead at 50-36 with just over 12 minutes to play. However, Connecticut used a 12-0 surge to get back in the game.

Two free throws by Nykesha Sales, who scored 17 points, made it 57-55 with 3:16 left. But those were the last points for the Sun, who appeared to wilt down the stretch.

After Kara Lawson went backdoor for a layup, Jamie Carey missed a fast-break layup and Sales missed underneath. Ticha Penicheiro split a pair of free throws for a 60-55 lead with 59 seconds to go.

Griffith rebounded Penicheiro's missed foul shot, beginning a parade to the foul line by Lawson, who sank six in the final 54 seconds.

Lawson scored 16 points off the bench and Nicole Powell added 12 for the Monarchs, who overcame 37.5 percent (24-of-64) shooting by committing just seven turnovers.

Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 16 points and 13 boards for the Sun, who committed 16 turnovers and made just 10-of-19 free throws.

Connecticut All-Star guard Lindsay Whalen, who sat out Game 2 with knee and ankle injuries, returned but managed just two points and two assists with five turnovers in 23 minutes.

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