May 10, 2005

Sparks 77, Mystics 67

WASHINGTON -- Chamique Holdsclaw opened her WNBA preseason against her former team, scoring 15 points to help the Los Angeles Sparks to a 77-67 exhibition victory over the Washington Mystics on Tuesday night at the MCI Center.

Doneeka Hodges led the Sparks with 16 points on 7-for-9 shooting. Tamika Whitmore added 15 points.

Holdsclaw, a three-time WNBA All-Star, left the Mystics midway through last season for undisclosed medical reasons. She started 22 of Washington's first 23 games, averaging a team-leading 19 points and 8.3 rebounds.

After the season, Holdsclaw revealed that she had been battling depression. She played in Italy before the Mystics traded her to the Sparks in March for DeLisha Milton-Jones and a first-round draft pick.

Charlotte Smith-Taylor and Tamicha Jackson each scored 12 points for the Mystics. Holdsclaw missed five of her first six shots but made a turnaround jumper that gave the Sparks a 53-41 lead with 13:33 left.

Monarchs 103, China 79

SACRAMENTO, California -- Cristi Greenwalt led five players in double figures with 17 points Friday, taking the WNBA's Sacramento Monarchs to a lopsided 103-79 victory over China.

It was the Chinese national women's team's only preseason game against a WNBA team. China scrimmaged against Seattle earlier this week and is scheduled to have another scrimmage May 14 at San Antonio.

Miao Lijie and Nicole Powell each scored 12 points for the Monarchs, who led 59-37 in the first half. Kara Lawson and Erin Buescher had 11 points apiece.

Ji Xiao scored 22 points for China. Zhang Xiaoni scored 13 points before fouling out early in the second half and Song Liwei added 10 points.

Greenwalt made all five of her shots and had 10 first-half points. Miao had nine points for Sacramento, which used an 8-0 run to take a 21-12 at the 13:18 mark of the opening half, when it shot 59 percent.

It was a reunion of sorts for Sacramento players Sui Feifei and Miao. Sui led the Chinese Olympic team in scoring during the 2004 Games in Athens and Miao was the second-highest scorer for that team.

They are trying to become the second and third Chinese players to make a WNBA team. Zheng Haixia played for the Los Angeles Sparks during the 1997-98 seasons.

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