The Mystics lost to the Connecticut Sun on Saturday night, 96-92. The worst part about the game is that there was no reason why they should have lost. Momentum was on their side.
Washington led at halftime 58-43, and even led 81-73 when the fourth quarter started though they turned the ball over five times in the period which turned into 12 Sun points.. However, the Mystics shot just 22.2 percent (4 of 18 shooting) while the Sun shot 50 percent from the field to more than make up the difference.
For the Mystics, Elena Delle Donne led all scorers with 28 points on 12 of 18 shooting with 6 rebounds. Emma Meesseman made her return to the starting lineup and added 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting. Kristi Toliver added 17 more points with 7 assists.
For the Sun, every starter scored in double figures, where Jonquel Jones continued her breakout 2017 season with 22 points and 9 rebounds.
Though Washington lost, this isn’t a bad game overall. So here are the main takeaways:
The Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman frontcourt can work out well together
We haven’t been able to see the two forwards play together very much this season. In the beginning of the year, Meesseman was checked out for EuroBasket Women and then missed a month. Then, she played two games off the bench before returning to the starting lineup.
The first half showed the two forwards at their best, as Delle Donne scored 19 points on 8 of 11 shooting while Meesseman added 9 more points onf 4 of 5 shooting. Both were taking a fair number of shots and were making them with regularity. In a nutshell, we saw both players show us why they are a matchup nightmare for opposing teams.
However, Tayler Hill may have to come off the bench for it to happen
If we’re going to see Emma Meesseman looking like her EuroBasket self, that means she’s going to need the ball in her hands more often. The Mystics have two high usage starters already with Delle Donne and Tayler Hill who have usage rates above 25 percent. We saw Meesseman come off the bench when she returned from EuroBasket to get reacquainted with life in America. But if Meesseman is going to score bunches of points without looking like she’s forcing the issue, you can’t have two other players with the ball in their hands all the time.
For what it’s worth, Hill came off the bench tonight and shot 3 of 4 from the field with 9 points. She didn’t play her usual burst of minutes, but shooting efficiency has been an issue for her throughout her career. Either way, I liked that she was able to doshow her abilities and be efficient at the same time.