Wendy Palmer had 24 points and Kim Williams added 19 as the Utah Starzz snapped their four-game losing streak with a 99-88 victory over the Washington Mystics on Sunday.
Palmer went 8-for-13 from the field and also tied Margo Dydek with a team-high nine rebounds. Dydek finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks for Utah (5-12).Dydek, a 7-foot-2 center from Poland, caused problems for Washington (2-14) from the start. She knocked the opening tip to Elena Baranova, who quickly passed to Palmer for an easy layup at the four-second mark.
Dydek then got Washington center Heidi Burge into foul trouble, as the former Virginia star picked up four fouls in the first 9:19 and went to the bench.
A 19-0 run gave Utah command midway through the first half. After Burge gave the Mystics a 12-11 lead on a layup with 15:23 left, Washington did not score again until 7:04 remained.
The Mystics committed five turnovers during that stretch while Williams scored six of her 19 points.
Dena Head came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers while reserve LaTonya Johnson added five points during the run as Utah took a 47-25 halftime lead.
Chantel Tremitiere added 16 points for Utah, which shot 56 percent (33-for-59) from the field.
Utah's worst moment came when leading scorer Baranova went down with 1:01 left in the first half after colliding with Washington's Keri Chaconas on a fast break.
Baranova, who played for Russia and was named MVP in last month's World Championships, did not return after spraining the joint below her ankle, and is listed as day-to-day. She finished with six points.
Nikki McCray returned after missing Friday's loss at Charlotte with bursitis in her right knee and led the Mystics with a game-high 26 points.
Chaconas, who had 13 points, came off the bench to hit four three-pointers and help Washington draw closer in the second half. But the Mystics could not overcome their 8-for-28 first half.