Game Preview: Dream vs. Mystics (07/25/08)

ATLANTA VS. WASHINGTON
JULY 25, 2008 AT 7:30 PM EST
PHILIPS ARENA
RADIO: 1230/1340 AM

The Dream and Washington Mystics go head-to-head in an Eastern Conference battle. This is the third and final matchup between the two teams.

The Dream returned home to Philips Arena on Tuesday afternoon following a two-week, six-game road swing. The Dream were unable to recover from a slow start in a 79-66 loss to the Sacramento Monarchs. The Monarchs jumped out to a 22-13 lead in the first quarter and never trailed. Scholanda Robinson led the Monarchs with a career-high 17 points and rookie Laura Harper pulled down a career-high 12 rebounds. The Dream were led by Ivory Latta and Kasha Terry with 15 points apiece. Terry recorded 15 points, nine rebounds (including six offensive) and two blocked shots in 18 minutes. The Dream were held to 34.8% shooting from the field and 15.8% shooting from three.

The Mystics got off to a good start under interim head coach Jessie Kenlaw with a big win over the Seattle Storm, but suffered an 80-73 loss to the New York Liberty on Wednesday. Kenlaw assumed head coaching duties after Tree Rollins was relieved of the position on July 19, 2008. Taj McWilliams-Franklin scored a game-high 19 points in the loss and three other starters scored in double figures for the Mystics. Alana Beard added 16 points, Nakia Sanford finished with 14 points and ten rebounds, and Monique Currie chipped in with 14 for the Mystics. Tiffany Jackson led the Liberty with a team-high 14 points off the bench.

The Mystics lead the series with the Dream 2-0. The Mystics recorded an 80-74 victory in the first matchup between the two teams on May 27, 2008 in Washington. Alana Beard recorded 25 points, four rebounds and five assists to lead the Mystics and Taj McWilliams-Franklin added 19 points and nine rebounds. The Dream nearly rallied from a nine-point fourth quarter deficit behind 29 points from Betty Lennox. In the most recent action between the two teams, the Mystics defeated the Dream 72-61. Alana Beard scored 18 points, all in the second half, and Monique Curry added 17 points and eight rebounds. Betty Lennox led the Dream with 18 points and nine rebounds and Ivory Latta added 16 points in the loss.

Dream coach Marynell Meadors is familiar with the Mystics. Meadors served as an assistant for the team from 2005-2007. The game will have an Atlantic Coast Conference flavor to it, featuring seven former ACC players. The Dream have four players who played collegiately in the ACC (Alison Bales-Duke, Ivory Latta- North Carolina, Chioma Nnamaka- Georgia Tech, Kasha Terry- Georgia Tech). The Mystics have three former ACC standouts (Alana Beard- Duke, Monique Currie- Duke, Crystal Langhorne- Maryland). Bales, Beard and Currie were teammates together at Duke.