Mercury Sweeps Series Against Silver Stars
Pondexter Powers Phoenix Past San Antonio

PHOENIX, September 1, 2007 (AP) -- Cappie Pondexter scored nine of her 33 points in the final five minutes and the Phoenix Mercury advanced to the WNBA finals with a 98-92 win Saturday over the San Antonio Silver Stars.

"I was just thinking to attack,'' Pondexter said. "Thats what I was doing. But I cant just look at myself, I think everybody made incredible plays down the stretch in the last three minutes.''

The Mercury, who have swept both their playoff series, will play beginning Wednesday against Detroit or Indiana. The Fever lead the best-of-three series 1-0.

The Mercury have only been in the WNBA Finals once, in 1998.

"Our players would not be denied,'' Phoenix coach Paul Westhead said. "They just werent going to let it go. It wasnt an easy one because San Antonio played about as well as they can.''

Phoenix outscored San Antonio 17-10 over the final 3:12. Penny Taylor added 23 points and Diana Taurasi had 18 for the Mercury, who have won 15 of their last 16 games.

Phoenix beat San Antonio 102-100 in Game 1 Thursday night.

On Saturday, Shanna Crossley made six of 10 3-pointers and led the Silver Stars with 20 points. Sophia Young scored 19 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Becky Hammon had 14 points and eight assists while Helen Darling added 13.

"Im disappointed we didnt close the deal and force a third game,'' San Antonio coach Dan Hughes said. "Because I think a third game was really deserved in this series.''

Pondexter drove for a layup and made a subsequent free throw to give Phoenix the lead for good at 87-84 with 2:09 left.

Kelly Miller then stole a pass on the other end, was fouled by Hammon and made the two free throws to put the Mercury up by five.

Young made a pair of free throws to cut it to three but then Taylor made a 3-pointer and was fouled by Marie Ferdinand-Harris and the free throw with 1:05 left gave Phoenix an insurmountable 93-86 lead.

"It was the one,'' Hughes said. "Penny's play, I saw the ball coming out to her, having had a history with Penny, I knew that probably wasn't a great scenario we were about to defend ... but that was a backbreaker.''

Crossley made four of her first five 3-pointers to help San Antonio build a 28-16 lead with 1:38 left in the first quarter. But Phoenix scored the last seven points of the period and then started the second period on an 11-4 run to regain the lead, 34-32, with 6:17 left.

Crossley hit two more baskets during a four-minute span to get the Silver Stars a 47-42 lead at the break.

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