WASHINGTON – Matee Ajavon tied a career high with 32 points to help the Washington Mystics cruise to an 91-81 victory over the New York Liberty on Saturday night.
Crystal Langhorne added 20 points for Washington (4-14), which set a season high for points in regulation and hit 28 of 29 free throws while snapping a four-game skid.
Cappie Pondexter scored 21 points and Plenette Pierson added 20 for New York (12-9), which lost for the fourth time in 12 games. The Liberty were a perfect 18 for 18 on free throws.
The Mystics also scored a season-high 50 points in a first half during which they shot 56 percent (15 of 27) from the floor and 95 percent (18 of 19) from the line, and outrebounded the Liberty 18-7. Washington finished at 29 for 58 (50 percent) from the field and 28 for 29 from the line.
Washington outscored New York 32-15 in one first-half stretch, eventually pushing the lead to 44-25 when Ajavon hit a 3-pointer from the left wing.
New York closed to it to 50-38 by halftime, but Washington again seized control in the third quarter. Langhorne found Ajavon for another 3 to stretch the lead to 20, and a couple possessions later put back Ajavon's airball miss to make it 68-46 with 2:57 left in the third. It was the second-largest lead Washington had held all season.
New York edged no closer than nine points during the fourth quarter.
Newly acquired Kara Braxton did not play for New York, two days after a trade that sent forward Sidney Spencer to the Phoenix Mercury. Braxton, a 2007 All-Star who is averaging 10.6 points and 4.9 rebounds this season, is expected to debut Tuesday against Seattle.