Mystics Clinch Playoff Spot
Everybody can breathe a collective sigh of relief as the Mystics have finally clinched a spot in the 2014 playoffs with a tough 71-67 win in Connecticut. It wasn't easy as the Sun played a tough second half to make things interesting, but the Mystics locked down on D late and hit their free throws (10/10 in the 4th) to get the W. Meesseman stole the show late, at one point scoring eight straight in the fourth quarter on her way to a game-high 16 points (along with Latta and Bentley). The game came to a head with 23 seconds to go and the Mystics up one, as Kalana Greene played the role of unsung hero, deflecting a Renee Montgomery pass into the arms of Mo Currie to quell the Sun rally. Currie iced the game at the line by going 6/6 from the charity stripe in the final 23 seconds.
Despite having nothing to play for, the Sun made it difficult for the Mystics. At multiple points in the ballgame it looked like the Mystics were going to run away with it, but the Sun kept creeping their way back in with big shot after big shot. Even at the end of the first half it looked like the Mystics might put the game out of reach, but the Sun closed on a 9-3 run to make what was once a double digit lead for Washington just four at the half. No shots were bigger for Connecticut though than a rainbow three from the corner by Alex Bentley with 48 seconds to play to cut the lead to one. From there, a questionable offensive foul was called on Kia Vaughn which gave the Sun a chance to take the lead late, but the aforementioned Greene to Currie steal occurred and the Mystics escaped.
Meesseman and Latta each scored 16 points, with Meesseman doing it on 6/9 shooting while Latta was 5/11, including 4/7 from long distance. Hartley scored 13 points on 6/12 shooting while Currie chipped in 10 points and nine boards. For the Sun, Alex Bentley tied Meesseman and Latta with a game-high 16 while former University of Maryland standout Alyssa Thomas had 15 on 7/8 shooting.
The Mystics have one more game left, Saturday night against the Liberty, which has a whole lot less meaning than if the Mystics had fallen in Connecticut. All that it matters for now is seeding for Washington as New York has been eliminated. The Mystics sit in 2nd now at 16-17, with the Fever and Sky both at 15-17 and two games left to play.