Mystics 66 Mercury 81

The Washington Mystics dropped their third straight game tonight, this time against the visiting Phoenix Mercury.

Despite the 81-66 score, it seemed as if the Mystics had a chance to pull off an important win to start off their homestand.

Emma Meesseman led the Mystics with 14 points and seven rebounds, while Brittney Griner led the Mercury with a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds.

Prior to tonight’s game, head coach Mike Thibault said that due to the Mercury’s skill and length, the Mystics “ [needed] to play almost perfect basketball to have a chance.” Washington did so for the first two quarters, but once again, it was the third quarter that lost the game for the Mystics.

Meesseman set the tone for the game and showed what was necessary for a Mystics win, coming out of the gates with 10 points after making her first five shots and grabbing six rebounds. Her production allowed Washington to keep up with Phoenix’s 52.6% field goal percentage in the first quarter, but foul trouble and a more physical Mercury defense plagued Meesseman for the rest of the game and she never regained her rhythm.

After outplaying and outscoring Phoenix 18-13 in the second, the Mystics went into the locker room with the game tied at 37.

However, the Mystics were sluggish coming out of the half and were outscored 10-0 for the first four minutes of the third quarter, at which point an upset Thibault called a timeout and substituted for all five players on the court.

The substitutions did provide a much-needed boost of energy as Washington outscored the Mercury 16-13 the rest of the quarter, and the Mystics entered the fourth with a manageable 60-53 deficit.

The Mystics unfortunately could not sustain the momentum and the lead was ultimately too big to overcome.

Next up, the Mystics (4-5) will stay at Verizon Center and take on the Chicago Sky Friday night.