The Washington Mystics took down the Las Vegas Aces in an overtime nail-biter 87-86 on Saturday.
Earlier this week the WNBA revealed the starters in its upcoming All Star Game, and no Mystics were selected. In contrast, three Las Vegas players were named starters, and Aces head coach Becky Hammond was named the Western Conference’s All Star head coach.
Neither the jarring discrepancy in All Star representation nor the Aces’ league-best 13-3 record seemed to phase the Mystics, who won the opening tip-off and controlled the pace of the game for its entire 40-minute duration.
The Mystics dominated the first half, outscoring the Aces 46-40 and notching five more rebounds and eight more assists than Las Vegas. Washington was red-hot over the first two periods, shooting a blazing 40.0% from three and 52.9% from the field overall.
Alysha Clark put up 12 points in the first half, already far outplaying her 8.8 per game season average. Ariel Atkins added an efficient 11 and had a smart tip-in at the second-quarter buzzer that the officials ultimately disallowed.
Did it count? No.— Washington Mystics (@WashMystics) June 26, 2022
Was it tuff tho?? Yes
Elena Delle Donne scored just four points in the first half but came out guns blazing in the second, finishing with 19 total points. Clark continued to dominate, finishing with a season-high 20 points on unreal 72.7% shooting, including four-for-six from three.
Though the Aces surged late behind a coast-to-coast and-one finish by Kelsey Plum, it looked like Atkins put the game away by burying two free throws with 14 seconds left.
The Aces, however, refused to fold. Down by three points, Jackie Young drained a step-back three to send the game into overtime as the Las Vegas crowd erupted into cheers.
Though the Aces held all the momentum heading into overtime after a wild finish to regulation, the five-minute extra period belonged entirely to the Mystics. Elena Delle Donne recorded two monster blocks to anchor the Washington defense that held the Aces scoreless over the first half of overtime.
Both teams struggled mightily on the offensive end during the extra period, and the game came down to the wire, but Natasha Cloud sunk three free throws down the stretch to ice out Las Vegas.
Two of the Aces’ four losses have now come at the hands of the Mystics, who improve to a 12-9 record after this win.
The Mystics head back to Capital One Arena to face the Atlanta Dream on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. ET.