Houston Remains On A Positive Roll

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: July 2, 2008

Houston CometsHOUSTON — Rookie guard Matee Ajavon and veteran forward Sancho Lyttle made their presence felt all over the court as they displayed a fearless attitude in leading the Houston Comets to their fourth consecutive win, with a 75-61 victory over the Indiana Fever at Reliant Arena.

The crowd of 7,008 saw the Comets take control of the game from start to finish. Ajavon, a first-round draft pick out of Rutgers, came off the bench to score a season-high 24 points.

She also tied Comets forward Tina Thompson’s single-game franchise rookie record that was set in 1997.

“The record is great, but I’m just happy about how we performed as a team,” Ajavon stated. “We played with a lot of intensity and we were active on the boards throughout the game.”

“We forced 25 Indiana turnovers because of our defensive effort. Defense wins games and we feel good about winning right now.”

Houston, (7-8), started the season 0-5, but have now won six of their past seven games. They are currently tied for sixth in the Western Conference standings with the Sacramento Monarchs.

With another victory, the Comets will move to the .500 mark for the first time since May 22, 2006. “I’m excited about how we’re playing right now,” Comets head coach Karleen Thompson said.

“Our motto is “If we can’t score, they can’t either,”.

The Comets set a another record for the largest margin of victory, winning by 14 over the Fever. The previous record was nine, which was set on June 16th, when they defeated the Atlanta Dream 88-79 at Reliant Arena.

During the four-game winning streak, the Comets have outscored their opponents by a margin of 306-278 (a 28-point difference); and they have unleashed the former University of Houston forward Lyttle.

Lyttle, who has been starting in place of the injured Tina Thompson for the past two games, has played every minute on the court as if it’s her last.

Against the Fever, Lyttle recorded her first double-double of her career scoring 15 points, 10 rebounds, six steals and two assists. Of the 10 board, six were on the defensive boards and she played only 33 minutes , connecting on 7-of-9 from the field.

“I’m just out there to play hard every minute of the game,” Lyttle said. “Defense comes first for me and I try to focus on my strength.”

“I had no idea that I had achieved a double-double in the game until Coach Thompson showed me the stats. I’m just out there trying to do whatever I can to help the team win.”

Ajavon, who led the Comets in scoring for the game, shot 9-of-13 from the free throw line. Center Michelle Snow and Hamchetou Maiga-Ba added 12 and 10 points each in the victory.

Tammy Sutton-Brown led Indiana with 13 points and six rebounds. Forward Tamika Catchings added 10 points, including 3-of-4 from the three-point arc.

The Comets will take to the road to face the Eastern Conference-leading Connecticut Sun and the Atlanta Dream, before returning home on Saturday to face Western Conference rival, Sacramento at Reliant Arena.

Winning has been fun, but there’s still more work to be done.

“Basketball is a game of runs and winning builds confidence,” Coach Thompson said. “Being a game away from .500 is great and winning without Tina has been huge. However, we still have work to do and we’re just going to take it one game at a time.”