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Alana Beard Leads Mystics to Another Home Win

John E De Freitas. | 6/25/2009, 9:43 a.m.

The Washington Mystics won their second home game of the season before 11,745 fans on Sat., June 20 at the Verizon Center in Northwest. Guard Alana Beard scored 31 points and the Mystics scored 52 second- half points to defeat the Chicago Sky, 81-72 during an evening of basketball dedicated to honoring fathers. The Mystics are off to a 4-1 start, with their only loss coming against the Atlanta Dream on Fri., June 19.

€I think tonight just showed the character of this team. The fact that we came back was a good feeling. We played with a lot of poise, we played with a lot of intensity, and we were smart,€ Beard said.

€Last year and the years before, that wouldn't have happened. Everyone stuck together and we got the job done together.€

Beard was named the WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week, for June 15 through June 21. Beard won her fourth career Player of the Week award following a week in which she tied for the league lead in both scoring with 25.5 ppg on 59.4 percent (19-32) shooting and steals (3.0 spg), while also averaging 4.0 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

€I thought Alana Beard put us on her back. I€ve coached some good players but she really is special. She knew how much this game meant to us,€ said Washington Mystics head coach Julie Plank.

Beard, a veteran in her sixth year, is a three-time All-Star and three-time All-Defensive Team selection. She is second in team history for career points, with 2,736, and is the franchise leader in career three-pointers made (194) and assists (506).

National Fatherhood Initiative's President Roland Warren (l) presents the 2009 Fatherhood award to Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis (r) for his commitment to family and for his efforts as a €Double Duty Dad€ by mentoring fatherless children. Photo by John E De Freitas - WI Sports Photo Editor
Award-winning artist Dan Dunn has a background in painting, design and caricature which spans 30 years. During halftime of the Washington Mystics vs. the Chicago Sky game on Sat., June 20, Dunn created a six-foot oil painting of President Barack Obama in less than 15 minutes. Photo by John E De Freitas - WI Sports Photo Editor
Washington Mystics guard Alana Beard (r) scores over Chicago Sky guard Candice Dupree (l). €She was feeling it tonight and we just kept giving it to her; kind of stepped out of her way and just tried to rebound for her,€ said Mystics guard Lindsey Harding. Photo by John E De Freitas - WI Sports Photo Editor
The Verizon Center had its share of fans who came to see University of Maryland graduate Kristi Toliver (l), now a guard for the Chicago Sky. Toliver, being guarded by Washington Mystics guard Lindsey Harding, scored 13 points in the Sky€s loss to the Mystics. Photo by John E De Freitas - WI Sports Photo Editor
Washington Mystics guard Matee Ajavon hits the floor as she fights for a loose ball against Chicago Sky guard Jia Perkins. Photo by John E De Freitas - WI Sports Photo Editor