Mohegan - Two days after they faced a few arrows about their fourth-quarter disorder against Minnesota, the Connecticut Sun did the following in the final period Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena:
They tied a franchise record with 35 points.
They shot 64 percent from the field.
They set a franchise record in the final quarter with 19 free throws, making a crisp 19 of 20.
And their efficiency turned the franchise record 36 points they allowed into a mere postscript.
The Sun stayed unblemished in the Eastern Conference, too, earning a 94-86 win over Washington before 7,065 fans.
Connecticut scored a season high in points and shot a season-high 53 percent for the game, helped along by making 10 straight shots in the third period.
"I thought our brains offensively finally turned on in the third quarter," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "We threw the ball to a person who was hot (Tina Charles), and when our other person got hot (Asjha Jones), we threw the ball to her and she quit playing at the 3-point line and got down near the basket."
Charles scored a season-high 30 points and tied a franchise record with 13 field goals. Kara Lawson scored 14 of her 18 points in the fourth period on a pair of 3-pointers and eight free throws. Lawson has made a habit of clutch shooting for the Sun, particularly in games at home.
"In the first quarter, everyone is fresh and tuned into the scouting report," Lawson said. "In the fourth, people are a little more tired, maybe they forget your tendencies and go for fakes a little more. I've found that the windows to shoot and pass are a little bigger in the fourth."
The Mystics (1-4) made 13 of 23 shots (56 percent) in the fourth period, nudging as close as three points two times. Matee Ajavon's 3-pointer with 2:01 remaining cut the Sun's lead to 78-75.
The Sun, however, made all 14 free throws in the final two minutes, which included contributions from Renee Montgomery, Lawson, Allison Hightower and Daniele McCray.
"It felt good to play good late-game situations like that," Thibault said. "We were forced to learn about handling presses, fouls, 3-point heaves, all those things, and we survived them. Obviously, Tina had an incredible offensive game, but we had a few other people chip in pretty well today, too. Kara, I thought making the 3s she did down the stretch, took the pressure off of everybody else."
Jones, who didn't score in the first half, finished with 10 points. She didn't make her first field goal until 7:57 remained in the third period.
Crystal Langhorne led Washington with 25 points. Jasmine Thomas had 17 (seven in the final period) and Noelle Quinn had 10.
"Every conference win is a huge win. They're a pretty good team and they've had a little bit of bad luck this past week," Thibault said, alluding to a pair of two-point losses. "I expect that they're going to make life miserable for a lot of teams, so it's good to get the first win against them."
The Sun (4-1) are in a three-way tie for first place atop the conference, play at Indiana (4-1) Friday night. They return home Sunday to play two-time defending Eastern Conference champion Atlanta.