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Mystics at Lynx final score: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scores 16 in 90-85 preseason win

I hope TRP answers the bell to the Mystics’ need to add wing scoring this season.

Stewart W. Small

Tierra Ruffin-Pratt scored 16 points on 6 of 8 shooting to lead the Washington Mystics to a 90-85 win over the Minnesota Lynx on Sunday afternoon in Des Moines, Iowa. For Minnesota, Danielle Robinson led the Lynx by scoring 18 points off the bench.

Washington raced to a quick 54-32 lead at the first half, but the Lynx began their inevitable comeback throughout the second half. They actually had a chance to even complete the win. That said, the second comeback was in part due to the Lynx starters playing more than their Mystics’ counterparts.

But the Lynx also took better care of the basketball in the second half. Minnesota turned the ball over 20 times, 14 in the first half. They shot over 46 percent in this game against the Mystics and outrebounded Washington 34-28. If they took better basketball in the first half, we’d be talking about a Mystics loss.

Here are some more takeaways from Sunday’s game:

  • Natasha Cloud must step up as a shooter - Cloud has great passing instincts and plays good defense, but is an unreliable shooter. Unfortunately, she played right into that narrative this afternoon. Cloud was scoreless and missed all six of her shots, four of them from the three-point line. Sure, this is a preseason game, but she must start making teams pay when she gets a chance to shoot the ball (which will be quite often).
  • Myisha Hines-Allen has a strong start for D.C. - The Mystics’ second round pick scored 13 points off the bench where she shot 4 of 5 from the field.
  • Dev Peters has a solid game on the boards - Though Peters was scoreless, she grabbed six rebounds, and blocked three shots.
  • Washington continues to struggle from three - Last year’s Mystics team was probably the most talented three-point shooting squad they had in franchise history, but they were among the WNBA’s least efficient team from deep. Today, they shot 22.7 percent (5 of 22) at the three-point line. Maybe it was a bad game, but this pattern has to reverse itself at some point.

Next Preseason Game

The Mystics head to Newark, Delaware this Saturday to play the Indiana Fever in their last preseason game. Tip off is at 7 p.m. EDT.