August 15, 2020

Washington Mystics Game 5 Recap: Mystics rookies lead the way in thrilling 92-84 3OT win over LA Sparks

Bria Hartley goes up for a shot during Sunday's game against the LA Sparks. Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Bria Hartley goes up for a basket during Sunday’s game against the LA Sparks. Image courtesy of Monumental Network.

Led by first-year players Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson, the Washington Mystics secured the first ever triple overtime win in franchise history, defeating the Los Angeles Sparks 92-84. Hartley posted a career-high 20 points, and Dolson put up 14 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. It was their second consecutive win of the season, and their second consecutive win at home.

The Mystics bench outscored the Sparks 63-29, went 20-for-22 at the free-throw line, gathered 52 rebounds (a franchise record) and had 31 turnovers, which Coach Mike Thibault though was surprising.

“Well, I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a score where you win a game in three overtimes and can have 31 turnovers,” he said.  ” [It took ] a lot of heart to win a game like that, when I’m looking at all the young players and I’m going ‘holy smokes.’ You got to get tested somewhere and they survived the test.”

Thibault also mused that high-pressure games are what aid the maturity of the younger players. “…game situations where you have score and time and fouls to give situations, inbounding against pressure, and all those things you have something to teach off of. Both on film and on the court, the things you preached at them that sometimes they may not always believe all come out in a game like this.”

“And we learned some valuable lessons while you’re doing it. I’d rather much learn the lessons and get a win at the end, than saying it was a great learning lesson and having a loss. It was really ugly for a while but really good in many ways too.”

Ivory Latta added 14 points and a team-high 8 assists, Monique Currie and Jelena Milovanovic had 12 points apiece, and Emma Meesseman scored 8 points and had 4 rebounds.

“I feel good and especially that we got a win in front of our crowd. It’s always a great feeling; we just have to continue the streak and play together and play hard,” said Latta. “To be honest this is what I train for, stuff like this. We pulled it out, we dug down and got it together.”

About Katie Brown

Katie Brown is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Capitals. She resides in Arlington, VA, and developed a love for the sport of hockey as a youngster while watching her brothers play. Katie works at a nonprofit organization by day but the rest of her time is devoted to watching, writing, and talking about hockey and perfecting her mean one-timer. She is co-host of Girls Just Wanna Have Puck podcast. You can follow Katie on Twitter @katie_brown47.

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