Mystics 79 - Sky 68
Tonight, the Mystics got a much-needed win, 79-68, against the Chicago Sky. This win snaps Washington’s three-game losing streak and moves the team to .500 (5-5).
Forward Emma Meesseman tallied her first career double-double and had a team and career-high 16 points and 11 rebounds. Kara Lawson nearly added another double-double of her own, with eight points and 10 assists. Allie Quigley came off the bench and led Chicago with a game-high 18 points. The Mystics held the Sky, who were without leading scorer Elena Delle Donne, to 38.2% shooting and just 34 points in the second half.
When Meesseman was asked about the team’s game plan coming into tonight’s game, she stressed that this was a vital win. But, she remained very humble about her play, saying, “I could still be better. You could always be better, there’s no such thing as a perfect game. I’m going to keep working.” And when she was asked about how she expected to embrace the possible role as a go-to scorer, she responded, “Last year, I didn’t even expect to be here. So, I’m just going step by step. Step by step, that’s my motto.”
In the first quarter, it appeared as if the Mystics were going to have another low-percentage game shooting-wise, as they shot 38.9% in the quarter and held a 14-12 lead.
But the Mystics offense picked up, starting from the second quarter and they went on to shoot 47.1% for the game. However, despite the improved shooting, the Mystics lead at the half was just four, 38-34.
The third quarter began like many of the third quarters from the past four games, with the Mystics unable to get the offense going. But, Meesseman refused to have another sluggish third cost the Mystics another win.
She was efficient on offense, shooting 7-11 and grabbing big offensive rebounds. In addition to her scoring and rebounding, Meesseman added three assists, five steals, and two blocks.
After the game, both Thibault and Lawson praised Meesseman’s performance. Lawson added that “[Meesseman’s] fantastic. Hard to believe she’s 21. She’s just got great instincts. She’s more of a finesse player, but what we’re starting to see more now is she’s starting to be more physical… She’s a huge piece of what we do, and she’s a big reason why our offense moved and flowed so well, because of her ability to face up, pass, and score.”
Although the Mystics were outscored in the third, they went into the fourth quarter trailing 53-52 and with a manageable one-point deficit.
Washington then started the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run that gave them a lead they would not relinquish. Chicago made shots down the stretch, but Washington was able to stave off a Chicago comeback.
Step-by-step is indeed a motto that a young Mystics team will be wise to heed, and if its young Belgian forward keeps progressing step-by-step, the team will soon have a dangerous all-around player.
The Mystics will face the Atlanta Dream on Father’s Day Sunday at Verizon Center at 4:00 P.M.