Starzz 61, Sting 58

Game 18: Wednesday at Charlotte Coliseum

Utah 27 34 - 61

Charlotte 40 18 - 58

First half: Rookie LaTonya Johnson gets her first start. Utah leads 15-10 on free throws from Margo Dydek and an out-of-control fast-break layin by Kim Williams that gets Charlotte coach Marynell Meadors upset enough for a technical foul. Dydek picks up three fouls in little more than a minute and has to sit. The Sting cruise with steals and resultant fast-break layins and inside work from Rhonda Mapp (11 points).

Second half: A Dydek miss sends Traci Reid for a Sting layin and 42-27 lead 33 seconds into the half, but Utah begins a slow resurgence with a Wendy Palmer free throw, Dydek rebound and Williams layin followed by a Williams jumper and Johnson free throw. A Chantel Tremitiere three cuts Charlotte's lead to eight; a Palmer free throw cuts it to seven. Utah's not catching up fast, but it's starting to slow the Sting, which will score only 18 second-half points. A Dydek rebound leading to an Erin Alexander three gives Utah its first lead of the half, 57-56, and Palmer's rebound basket with :29 left makes a 60-58 lead all Utah will need.

Records: Starzz 6-12, Sting 14-5

Quotable: "Nobody likes to lose. I don't think so. Everyone prefers to win. It's why you practice, why you play basketball, why you play some sport." - Starzz center Margo Dydek, quoted in a Charlotte Observer feature Wednesday as saying she dislikes losing so much she thinks sometimes of going home to Poland.

Next up: At Cleveland Saturday, 5 p.m. MDT