For the first time this season, the (8-8) Mystics will host the (3-11) San Antonio Stars, at the Phone Booth on Wednesday morning.
When: Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 11:30 a.m. EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, D.C.
TV: WNBA League Pass, Monumental Sports Network
Kahleah Copper missed the last game due to a hip injury.
Keys to the Game
The Mystics are back to .500 and would no doubt like to treat the hometown crowd to back-to-back wins to conclude their successful home-stand on Wednesday.
The San Antonio Stars are sitting at the bottom of the Western Conference. They won their last game at home, which happened to be the game that the Stars organization retired Becky Hammon's number 25 jersey, very nice for the fans.
The nice thing for the D.C. hometown fans is the fact that the Stars are 0-6 on the road. The bright spot for them is clearly Kayla McBride. The third year Notre Dame alum is averaging 14.3 points and 3 rebounds a contest. In her last outing, she had 28 points on 9-of-23 shooting from the floor, including four three-pointers.
In the Mystics last contest, against the Minnesota Lynx, it was once again, Tayler Hill and Emma Meesseman going HAM on a smaller, unfocused team. Meesseman had 16 points in the first quarter alone. They combined for 15-of-22 shooting, in about 21 minutes a piece. In contrast, Natasha Cloud, Bria Hartley and Ivory Latta combined for 8-for-24 shooting in about the same amount of minutes.
Tierra Ruffin-Pratt has not broken double digits this year averaging 24 minutes a game. She has scored a TOTAL of nineteen points in the last four games, and that has to change.
Kia Vaughn has been doing a great job off the bench. Coach Thibault calls her number often and she has shown up game after game, so she may get another chance to start soon, but she and Kahleah Copper have been lethal with Coach T's current rotations.
The Mystics have been rolling downhill in the month of June, very similar to last year. They seem to have found a nice balance of minutes for everyone, especially when the Styx are blowing someone out. I always feel like Coach Thibault wants to give everyone a chance to prove themselves, which is very egalitarian of him.
I have to admit that I would like to see Meesseman and Hill get their full compliment of minutes even when they have double-digit leads. Much of the criticism that is levied against Meesse in particular is her 'aggressiveness' and I really think the fact that she has not had the opportunity to get 35 points on someone has a lot more to do with rotations than her ability to get there. And the same goes for Hill.
I definitely think this is a game that both of them could do that very thing. However, as I have said before, if the Mystics lose their focus, forget to hang on to the ball or get distracted in general, as illustrated in their home losses, they will not beat a team as thirsty as the San Antonio Stars.
I think they should have this one, and head out on the road with another win streak, and feeling very confident.