Coach Trudi Lacey said it best during the post-game conference: “It’s becoming a repeated pattern”.
She was referring to the recent trend evolving around her Washington Mystics: failing to open and close ball games. For the second game in a row the Mystics found themselves trailing big early, cutting the deficit late, and finally falling short at the end, and this time it was at the hands of the visiting Connecticut Sun, 79-71.
It took over 3 minutes into the first quarter before fans could take their seats at the Verizon Center. It’s a common home team ritual amongst many NBA and WNBA teams where fans remain standing until their team scores its first points of the game. I was getting uncomfortable just observing the patches of 12 year old Mystics fans around the arena restlessly waiting for any kind of shot to drop. Finally, with just under 7 minutes remaining in the quarter, it was guard Matee Ajavon who settled them down with the first bucket for the Mystics. Unfortunately, Ajavon’s points weren’t enough to spark any kind of offense for the Wizards female counterparts as they carried on their dreadful opening quarter, shooting 30% from the field. It was a complete horror show featuring bricked lay ups, errant passes and terrible defense. Not to mention that God forsaken panda mascot that seems to do nothing but aimlessly run up and down the arena steps and into little kids.
Again, like the previous game against the Chicago Sky the Mystics overcame their slow start, and again it was my girls Ajavon and point guard Kelly Miller leading the way. This game was so similar to Saturday night that I feel like I might as well have just copied and pasted my previous blog to recap tonight. Riding on Ajavon and Millers second quarter offensive spurt, Washington was able to cut their 12 point deficit in half by intermission. This was all accomplished despite a dominant first half performance by Tina Charles, who scored 17 of her 26 in the first half for Connecticut as the Sun outscored the Mystics 20-8 in the paint.
The third quarter was a bit more pleasant. For one, the panda mascot had disappeared. But more importantly, the Mystics were able to trim the Connecticut lead down to 3 behind some key shots by Kelly Miller and some DEFENSE. Miller finished the game leading all Mystics scorers with 19 points. As shots began falling and the D got tighter, by midway through the 4th quarter the Mystics had taken their first lead of the game 65-64 on a field goal by Nikki Anosike. However, that lead was wiped away very quickly as the Mystics again made just the amount of bad plays needed to help seal the loss, their second in a row. A heavy dose of Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery was just enough for the Sun to fend off the Mystics and improve their record to 3-1, while Washington fell to 1-3.
ABBY’S QUICK HITS:
- Rookie Victoria Dunlap got some extensive minutes tonight, playing 11 minutes and scoring 4 points.
- Washington Wizards star John Wall was sighted watching the game alongside Sacramento Kings player Demarcus Cousins.
- I hate the panda.