Center Of Attention

When Tammy Sutton-Brown returned to her All-Star form on Tuesday night in Detroit, it was no coincidence the Charlotte Sting's season-high five-game losing streak came to an end.

After being held to 8.4 points, 4.0 rebounds and 37.8-percent shooting during the skid, Sutton-Brown exploded for 19 points and nine rebounds, while shooting 7-of-11 from the field against the Shock.

"We have missed Tammy (Sutton-Brown) quite a bit in the last few weeks," said Sting Head Coach Anne Donovan. "We need that inside presence. (She) did a great job of running the floor and being a presence inside."

While Charlotte's three-point shooting prowess has received the majority of the league's attention this season, it has been the inside play of Sutton-Brown that has driven the Sting's success.

"Our inside-outside game makes us function," said Sutton-Brown. "I try to be a presence underneath to open things up on the perimeter. We have so many threats outside, so it opens it up in the middle."

Sutton-Brown has already set a new team record for free throws made in a season with 116, and is closing in on the club mark for highest field goal percentage, which is currently held by Rhonda Mapp at 50.6 percent. With three games to play, Sutton-Brown is fourth in the WNBA at 54.2 percent.

She also ranks among the league's Top 20 in rebounds, blocked shots, free throws made and free throws attempted.

"She is the heart and sole of our post game," said Donovan. "Night in and night out, she has gone to battle for us and done a great job. She's very physical down there, she posts up and gets great position -- they have to send more than one player to defend her. Again, that frees up other people. When Tammy can't score herself, she's attracting enough attention that somebody else gets open."

With the 2002 WNBA Playoffs on the horizon, Sting fans can only hope Tammy Sutton-Brown continues to make her presence felt down the stretch.