Before June 18, the Mystics were a dismal 0-5 at Verizon Center. If they were to make headway within the Eastern Conference, the next five games — all at home — were going to be crucial in order to re-establish a sense of homecourt advantage.
On Wednesday afternoon, Washington accomplished that mission by blowing out the San Antonio Stars, 84-67 to improve to 9-8 on the season and third place in the Eastern Conference. They also are fourth place in the WNBA’s most recent power poll. Not bad.
In the game, Emma Meesseman and Tierra Ruffin-Pratt led all scorers with 14 points each. For San Antonio, Kayla Alexander scored 12.
Now that the homestand is over, the Mystics are 4-6 at Verizon Center. It could be better, but the last five games went about as well as we could have hoped.
Key Stat 1: Stifling Defense
The key run that set the tone in this game was Washington’s stifling defense which held San Antonio to just seven points and 17.6 percent shooting in the first quarter. The Mystics meanwhile shot 52.6 percent from the field and made four three pointers to reach a commanding lead that they wouldn’t let go.
Key Stat 2: Dimes, Dimes, Dimes
The Mystics dished 24 assists and only committed seven turnovers today. The Stars on the other hand only dished 15 assists and committed 11. When things like that happen along with stifling defense, it’s not hard to see why the Mystics would win by such a large margin. In fact, they were winning by 31 points at one point.
Key Stat 3: Natasha Cloud is developing her three point touch
Cloud scored 11 points today and made all three of her three point attempts. She has made nine of her last 12 three point attempts over the last three games. With Cloud developing more consistency as a shooter, this is definitely a plus for Washington moving forward.
The Mystics play the Sky on Friday at 8:30 p.m. on the road.