December 15, 2019

Washington Mystics Game 1 Recap: Mystics drop season opener to Lynx, 89-77

The Washington Mystics kicked off their 2014 season against the reigning WNBA champion Minnesota Lynx at Verizon Center Friday night, but fell 89-77. The Mystics trailed almost the entire game, aside from a brief 66-65 lead in the 4th quarter.

After trailing 0-17 during the first quarter, Coach Thibault credited the players who started the second half with jumpstarting the team’s offense.

”We made our own mistakes, but the effort particularly that second group in the first half that got us back in the game and brought some order out of the chaos was good,” Thibault said. ”When we got the lead I thought maybe we had turned the tide.”

Ivory Latta led the team in scoring with 25 points, and scored 7 three-pointers, a career-high, and scored 16 of Washington’s 23 points in the third quarter. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 17 points, and led the team in defensive rebounds, with 5.

First-round pick Stefanie Dolson scored her first career WNBA points in the first half on two consecutive jump shots. Dolson’s former University of Connecticut teammate and fellow first-round draft pick Bria Hartley finished the night with 4 points.

Thought the Mystics rallied from multiple deficits, they were simply outplayed by the Lynx, who excelled at the fundamental elements of the game.

“We did a few things well, but we got beat in almost every phase of the game,” said Thibault. “We got beat on the boards, the free throw difference was interesting, and we didn’t offensive rebound, which was a problem all preseason. We’re not making enough shots and we’re not getting second-chance points, which kills you.”

The Lynx finished with 10 rebounds to the Mystics 4, and 11 offensive rebounds to Washington’s 4. Minnesota was also better in the paint, scoring 44 points in the paint to the home team’s 26.

“I don’t know what to make of some of it, but I just try to look on the bright side and figure out a way.”

On a team full of rookies and second-year players, there was plenty of good and bad to take away from the loss. Coach and players echoed the same tune – the team is young, and needs time to develop chemistry on the court. They have a week to work on that, as they don’t play the Indiana Fever, their second matchup of the 2014 season, until May 23.

 

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