Postgame: Sky 73 - Mystics 68

WINNETKA – After shaking off the cobwebs accumulating during the offseason, the Chicago Sky hit six free throws in the final minute of Thursday’s preseason opener, defeating the Washington Mystics, 73-68.

Monique Currie showed no sign of last year’s torn ACL as she led Washington with 12 points while newcomer Ashley Robinson stood toe-to-toe with All-Star and Olympian Sylvia Fowles for most of the game. Robinson scored eight points, grabbed five rebounds and swatted two shots in her Mystics debut.

Currie led a stingy Mystics defense in limiting Swin Cash, Chicago’s prized acquisition from the Seattle Storm on Jan. 2nd, to 1-of-7 shooting in the first half and just seven points.

Offensively, Noelle Quinn, who arrived in an offseason trade from Los Angeles, provided a spark with deft playmaking skills as she led with three assists and added four points in her first game for Washington. But it was Natasha Lacy who turned in the Mystics best all-around performance with 10 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals.

Washington held Chicago to an abysmal 32.4 percent shooting performance, but Sky guard Epiphanny Prince nailed two treys out of the gates in the third quarter to establish momentum and overtake the Mystics’ 29-28 halftime lead.

The Sky proved too clutch for Washington down the stretch as Felicia Chester-Wooten picked the pockets of Crystal Langhorne and then sank two late free throws. Chicago’s Shay Murphy and Courtney Vandersloot capped the Sky’s final four points with four straight freebies as Washington fell into a desperate foul situation.

Washington coach Trudi Lacey’s new-look lineup proved a viable threat in the paint to counter the Sky’s vaunted bigs as Crystal Langhorne contributed 10 points, seven boards and two blocks.

The Mystics host Connecticut on Monday in one final preseason game (BUY TICKETS) before opening the season at home against Chicago on Saturday, May 19.

Mystics Head Coach Trudi Lacey

Thoughts on the game
“I thought it was a hard fought game on both ends, very physical. At the end of the game, Chicago beat us to the 50-50 ball [and] executed down the stretch and we had some turnovers down the stretch that cost us the game. “

On the Lack of rebounding
“That was very disappointing. Execution down the stretch was not where we wanted it to be.”

On rebounding from this loss
“Its exhibition season, it’s early and we have a lot of newcomers on our team and we go back to work. Keep working at it.”

Washington Mystics Forward Crystal Langhorne

Thoughts on the game
“We played hard but the last two minutes we had some breakdowns. I had some turnovers so unfortunately we didn’t come out with a win.”

Turnovers at the end of the game
“It’s tough but all you can do is learn from this game. It’s an exhibition game and get ready for the next one.”

Improvements for the next game
“Just offensively getting more in sync and taking care of the ball and getting rebounds at the end of the game when we need them.”

Not allowing this game to be a letdown)
Just pick my head up and as a team make sure we’re focused for the next one.

Washington Mystics Forward Monique Currie

Thoughts on the game
“I think we fought hard, there were some good things but there were also some things that we need to work on. Rebounding, not rushing [and] taking care of the ball are a few. Good thing it’s a preseason game, we have some time to practice and get ready for the next game. “

Preseason Jitters
“We’ve been professionals for a while, most of us, we just need to be more careful with some of the things that we do.“

Focus on the next game
“We still have practice; we’ll work hard and learn from this game. Everybody’s still getting a feel for each other; we’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for our next game.”