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Mystics vs. Stars final score: Hill scores career-high 26, but Washington loses 85-74

San Antonio Stars forward Monique Currie drives to the basket while Washington Mystics guard Tayler Hill looks on. NBA/Getty Images

The Washington Mystics dropped their first home game back from the Olympic break to the San Antonio Stars, 85-74. With now eight games remaining until the playoffs, this was a very painful game to lose to a team not even in the playoff hunt. Washington is now 10-16 while San Antonio is 6-19.

The Good News

Tayler Hill scored a career-high 26 points on 7-of-16 shooting, mostly in the second half once again. Despite the result, this was a very strong performance that she can build on.

The Bad News

The Mystics scored six points in the second quarter. That is not a typo.

In the first half, the Mystics could not pry the lid off the basket. Emma Meesseman and Stefanie Dolson couldn’t convert at the free throw line. The team shot 65 percent from the stripe for the game, well below their average of 81 percent.

Perhaps the fact that the team got up at 4:30am to fly back to D.C. for the game tonight had something to do with their poor shooting. Perhaps it was the very haphazard way the game was called. Meesseman picking up two fouls in the first five minutes is very rare.

But by my estimation, I saw the Styx resorting to bad habits. There is a fine line between having guards just drive to the basket looking for their own shot, and a team that recognizes mis-matches and takes advantage. Tonight was the former. Copper managed to exploit that in a good way at one point, but it became crystal clear that Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Tayler Hill weren’t looking around.

It should come as no surprise that Meesseman was double teamed the whole game, absorbing a LOT of contact not called, but had limited resources to work with in terms of kickouts, etc. She absolutely had a terrible shooting night, but she literally got smacked in the face and there was no flagrant called. I bring this up because Mystics fans have seen the exact same thing happen with Kia Vaughn as the perpetrator and get a flagrant called on her, twice. So that was weird and inconsistent.

The Neutral News

My dog, Lulu, has been sick, but she felt better today. Oh wait, right, the Mystics are 10-16 and certainly not out of the playoff hunt, but this should have been a gimme.

I said last night that I was suspicious of their big win over the Fever. I had already watched 24 Mystics games, so I was perfectly aware that the other shoe might drop, and it did.