Using a zone defense against the Houston Comets wasn't a good move by the Charlotte Sting. Getting physical with Cynthia Cooper didn't work out too well, either.

With three players battling a stomach virus, Charlotte coach Marynell Meadors figured the best way to help compensate for their reduced minutes was to switch to a zone midway through Monday night's game against Houston.The Comets responded by making 3-pointers for their first three baskets of the second half, turning a one-point deficit into an eight-point lead on the way to a 79-65 victory.

Leading the way was Cooper, who sat out the last 4:44 of the first half after getting scratched in the left eye in a tangle with two Charlotte players.

Cooper scored 23 of her 31 points in the second half, including a 2-for-3 showing from 3-point range and 9-for-10 from the line.

"I was very determined to come out in the second half and show that I'm not a little baby," she said. "I'm not going to just go away."

Houston broke it open by hitting five of its first six 3-point attempts in the second half, helping the Comets improve to 5-1 in two seasons against the Sting.

ROCKERS 96, SHOCK 85: At Auburn Hills, Mich., Suzie McConnell-Serio is making up for lost time with the WNBA's Cleveland Rockers.

McConnell-Serio, returning to basketball this season after a six-year break, had 16 points and 11 assists in the Rockers' 96-85 victory over the Detroit Shock on Monday night.

"Suzie has been great for us," Rockers coach Linda Hill-McDonald said. "She gives us another coach on the floor, and she is one of the most intense players I know. And that intensity rubs off on her teammates."

Detroit led by a point with 9:30 to play, but McConnell-Serio dominated the finish of the game, slicing through the Shock defense for baskets of her own and easy layups for her teammates.

Janice Braxton led Cleveland (2-0) with 18 points, and Merlakia Jones added 15. Korie Hlede topped the expansion Shock (0-2) with 17 points, and Carla Porter had 16.

MERCURY 69, MYSTICS 54: At Phoenix, Jennifer Gillom isn't totally satisfied with the Phoenix Mercury's 3-0 start.

"We expected a little more to happen tonight," said Gillom, who had 19 points and 11 points in the Mercury's 69-54 victory over Washington on Monday night. "We did okay. It's hard to be satisfied but a win is a win."

Gillom and Toni Foster combined to score eight straight points as Phoenix opened an 11-0 lead with 14:39 left in the first half. But the Mystics, led by former ABL star Nikki McCray, rallied late in the first half.

Foster finished with 13 points, and Umeki Webb added 11 for the Mercury. McCray led Washington with 20 points.