The defensive efforts of the Washington Mystics (5-1) gets them the win over the Atlanta Dream (4-2), 78-73, on the road. The battle of the rookies between Shakira Austin and Rhyne Howard took place early on as it seemed neither could miss from the floor. It really came down to whose shots fell and who could make the needed defensive stops.
The Mystics nearly lost control of the game as the Dream led by 10 in the third quarter and Washington rallied back in the fourth outscoring them 24-15. Ariel Atkins came through with some clutch shots as she finished with 18 points with Natasha Cloud right behind her with 16 points. Cloud even hit this game-tying shot at halftime because you know she’s a SHOOTER!
For the Atlanta Dream it was all potential rookie of the year Rhyne Howard who scored 21 points overall, but Washington ended all that by holding Howard to just two points in the second half forcing others to step it up. Cheyenne Parker had 13 points and six rebounds, while Nia Coffey and Erica Wheeler combined for 23 points.
Washington came into this game without Elena Delle Donne who was out due to rest and truly shows how they can be a threat in the league with their best player not in the game. It opens up a lot of options for the Mystics that opposing teams will have a hard time figuring out. All they need to do is work on their turnovers because 18 total during the game could’ve easily lost them the game.
The Mystics are now tied for first place in the league with the Las Vegas Aces at 5-1. They head back home and await the arrival of the Chicago Sky on Sunday afternoon. Game is scheduled for 3 p.m. ET.