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Emma Meesseman and Tayler Hill continue to shine as the Mystics move up the standings

Stewart W. Small

Let’s go through the latest week of Mystics basketball and hand out Keys to the Palace, guest passes, and lockouts. Remember we're subjective handing these out based on the types of roles and expectations players have. Emma Meesseman has to do more on the court than Tianna Hawkins would, for example.

The games in consideration for this past week were last Tuesday's triple-overtime win against the Connecticut Sun and last Saturday's blow-out win at home against the Atlanta Dream. The end result of these efforts also helped surge Washington to fifth in the latest WNBA power poll that was released earlier Tuesday.

So without further ado, let's hand out some awards.

Keys to the Palace

Emma Meesseman

Key Stats: 18.5 ppg, 67% from 3

Meesseman's attempts have leveled at 14 for each of her last two games. Her most notable stat during that stretch was that she shot four of five from 3 point range against the Sun in a triple-overtime road victory.  Meesseman hit a TOTAL of 6-of-13 three-pointers for the entire 2015 season. She already has hit 12-of-22 for 2015 at a blistering 54 percent.

Her arsenal is expanding at quite an efficient clip. And that is translating into wins at home and on the road for the Mystics.

Tayler Hill

Key Stats: 18 ppg, 52% shooting percentage

The good news is that Hill remains a consistent scorer for the Mystics, and made a combined 9 of 10 free throw attempts in the two games last week, as well. She has shored up her 3 point shooting a bit, going 3 for 8, from deep, which is quite an improvement on zero from the two previous games that we are considering.

Jamie Weisner

Weisner played five minutes last week, all in the blowout win over Atlanta. During her time on the floor, she scored two points, grabbed two rebounds, and also made an assist to Ally Malott who I'll get to later.

On the one hand, the Mystics were blowing out the Dream and almost everyone had a field day. But the reality is that these kinds of spot minutes are the only time that Weisner's going to get. When she makes mostly positive contributions -- even in spot minutes -- that's a good thing, and it could keep her on the roster for the rest of the season.

Guest Passes

Bria Hartley

Key Stats: 13 ppg, 2.5 apg

Hartley's minutes have indeed gone up over the last two games, averaging 23. She shot 7-of-16 from the floor, and went 10-of-10 from the line.  Solid contributions in both of the Mystics wins. Albert wrote a highlight post showing off her favorite move, (and Albert's) the crossover.

Ivory Latta

Key Stats: 8.5 ppg, 2 apg

Latta had a bumpy week, only playing 13 minutes in the game against the Sun, and overall going 6 of 14, for a 43% shooting average. I am hoping that the Latta we knew and loved from last year, shows up with more consistency soon.

Kia Vaughn

Key Stats: 8 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 2 spg

Vaughn has been a steady performer off the bench this season for Washington and continued to be that way this past week. Game in and game out, Vaughn has been delivering. In the Mystic's last two wins she doubled her point production from 3.5 per game to now, eight. Very helpful.

Stefanie Dolson

Key Stats: 8 ppg, 3 rpg

Dolson committed one turnover in the last two games, and dished 4 assists in the win over Atlanta on Saturday. That is good news, considering her minutes have dropped from averaging about 23 to 17 in the last two wins.

Tianna Hawkins

Key Stats: 7 ppg, 3.5 rpg

Hawkins’ best performance came against the Dream on Saturday, when she scored twelve points on 5-of-6 shooting, hitting both of her 3 point attempts. Hawkins also reduced her number of turnovers to four total, for both games. She is improving nicely as the season wears on, and she's getting more minutes for it.

Natasha Cloud

Key Stats: 6 ppg, 4.5 apg, 4rpg

Cloud shot 40 percent from the floor over the last two games on ten total attempts. Clearly, her assists and rebounding have improved, but Washington is the worst in the association in capitalizing on fast break points. I would like to see her be more helpful in that department.

Kahleah Copper 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg

Copper played an average of 15 minutes the last two games with only one turnover in both contests. She is definitely a spark plug off the bench, and continues to impress on both sides of the floor, in particular, shooting 57 percent from the floor, including a 3 pointer.

Locked out

Ally Malott

Malott had two points on five shots in five minutes during Saturday’s game against the Dream. With LaToya Sanders potentially coming back after the Olympics in late August, I am not sure if there's going to be a spot for Malott on the bench then. She originally came to Washington as a "stretch-four," but Meesseman is doing a great job at that now, so... yeah.

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt

Key Stats: 7.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.5 apg

Even though her shooting efficiency (5-of-11) is an improvement over her previous two games, her offensive production is still low for a starter, regardless of how good her defense is. I expect a couple of 20 point games from her, like last year, sooner than later.