The Mystics beat the Indiana Fever on Friday night, 72-58 to snap their three game losing streak. They improve their record to 11-8 before facing the New York Liberty on Sunday.
Emma Meesseman led the Mystics with 15 points, while Krystal Thomas added 14 points on 5 of 6 shooting. For the Fever, Briann January scored 15 points, while Tiffany Mitchell added 10 more.
Washington closed this game thanks to a very strong first half performance where they outscored Indiana, 50-28 and never trailed. The Fever also shot 27.3 percent for the entire game which did them no favors tonight.
Anyway, here are three main takeaways from tonight’s game:
Elena Delle Donne and Tayler Hill were hurt in the same game
Four players were injured during this game from both teams. For the Fever, Jazmon Gwathmey suffered a right leg injury in the second quarter and did not return. Erica Wheeler also had a head injury, but she did return.
But for us, the bigger story is on the two Mystics who were hurt tonight: Elena Delle Donne and Tayler Hill.
Delle Donne rolled her right ankle in the middle of the first quarter and did not return. As for Hill, she landed awkwardly and hurt her right knee after attempting a layup. In a nutshell, the Mystics are going to have their work cut out of them if they have to miss significant time:
Emma Meesseman takes the reins when her number’s called
Meesseman was in excellent form in EuroBasket Women. And she’s willing to brag a little that she carried Belgium to the bronze medal:
But for fans on this side of the Atlantic, we’d like to see her high scoring and efficiency performances in a Mystics jersey as well.
We had a chance to see that in full display, especially in the first half when she scored 11 of her 15 points on 4 of 6 shooting. Given that Delle Donne was out for this game, it was a good thing to see that Meesseman took the reigns from the get go.
Should Delle Donne have to miss significant time, Meesseman’s right back where she was last season: the number one option on the Mystics. Now that we’ve seen how effective Meesseman can be from EuroBasket Women, there’s no reason why she can’t play with that same intensity here in the USA.
The second half performance needs to improve
The Mystics won this game by a healthy margin, but they played poorly in the second half as they turned the ball over nine times and shot 8 of 30 (or 26.7 percent) from the field. Thankfully, the Fever shot an awful 27.6 percent from the field themselves, which is why they were not able to seriously threaten Washington in the second half.
Nevertheless, the Mystics lost two of their last four games despite holding large leads early. If the Fever didn’t shoot so poorly tonight, the Mystics would have probably lost this game as well.