Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times,
published July 29, 2001
HOUSTON -- There was a time Crystal Robinson might have hesitated. She didn't Saturday.
Robinson's three-pointer with 19 seconds left and Vickie Johnson's two free throws with four seconds remaining gave the New York Liberty a 64-61 victory over the Comets on Saturday.
"Crystal used to miss two or three shots and she'd get down on herself," New York coach Richie Adubato said. "We told her that we wanted her to keep shooting."
Teresa Weatherspoon fed Robinson the ball as Comets guard Janeth Arcain, who was guarding Robinson, pulled off.
Robinson led the Liberty with 15 points, and Tari Phillips and Sue Wicks each added 14.
Houston led 49-41 with 9:32 to play, but the Liberty rallied and took a 59-55 lead with 2:53 to play on a basket by Phillips.
Phillips scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter. She left the court briefly after being hit in the mouth by Tina Thompson with 6:55 to play.
Thompson made only 4 of 20 but her three-point basket with 1:03 to play and two free throws with 32 seconds left gave the Comets a 61-59 lead before the Liberty rallied.
CLEVELAND 55, DETROIT 50: Merlakia Jones scored 12 and Rushia Brown 10 for the visiting Rockers, who took the lead for good on a basket by Ann Wauters with five minutes remaining.
The Shock, who led 50-49 at one point, did not score in the final 5:28.
Cleveland, which leads the Eastern Conference at 19-6, had its seven-game winning streak and record 16-game home winning streak snapped Friday in a loss to Indiana.
PHOENIX: General manager Seth Sulka said if Lisa Harrison posed for Playboy she would be in violation of the morals clause in her contract.
Harrison won the magazine Web site's "Sexiest Babes of the WNBA" contest and first prize was the opportunity to pose for the magazine for a reported $250,000, roughly equivalent to seven seasons of WNBA salary. Harrison earns about $35,000.
DIVERSE HIRING: The WNBA has the best record of diverse hiring in pro and college sports, according to a report released by a sports research center at Northeastern University in Boston.
The study, the Racial and Gender Report Card, gave the WNBA an overall grade of A under the evaluation system it used over eight other major organizations, including the NBA, NFL and Major League Baseball. The NHL had the worst scores.
HEAT: Forward LaPhonso Ellis is changing teams for the third time in four years, signing a three-year contract worth about $10-million.
Ellis, 31, resurrected his injury-plagued career last season, playing in all 82 games and averaging 9.4 points, 6 rebounds and 23.8 minutes for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
The 6-foot-8 Ellis could start at small forward or give Miami an experienced role player off the bench.
He was a candidate for the league's Sixth Man Award last season.
"I don't really have any expectations," Ellis said. "I'm coming to just serve, bring the talent I have to the table to try to do whatever it is necessary to help us win basketball games. Some nights that will be scoring, some nights that may be rebounding and some that may just be coming up with the big stop."
NETS: Sal DiFazio, the agent for the former star Jayson Williams, refuted rumors that Williams is hoping to return.
The 33-year-old Williams, forced to retire last summer because of a broken right leg, sparked the imaginations of some reporters by being in highly competitive games at the YMCA in Somerville, N.J., a few days a week.
"He can't come back," DiFazio said. "He told me the other day that he won't be playing for a while because his back was hurting him. He said, "Man, I'm getting old.' "
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