Instant Reaction: Mystics vs. Storm

History was made Saturday night at Verizon Center. Mystics coach Mike Thibault is now the winningest coach in WNBA history with 212-career victories. Before Saturday’s 62-59 route over the Seattle Storm, Thibault was tied at 211 with Van Chancellor.

The Mystics’ win tonight puts them back at .500 with a record of 6-6. Last season, Washington never reached the six game win mark, ending the season at 5-29. The Mystics have moved into third place in the Eastern Conference — a half game over the New York Liberty.

After a dominant defensive performance last Sunday, the Mystics were back at it again. Washington forced 26 turnovers in the game including 11 in the first quarter. The Mystics also held Seattle to 37% shooting in the game including 27.3% shooting in the first quarter.

Crystal Langhorne led the way for Washington with 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added five rebounds. In addition Michelle Snow was a monster on the boards grabbing 13 rebounds to go along with her eight points.

Both teams started the game off with a turnover during their first offensive possession, but from there, the Mystics stormed ahead to a 10-2 start and never looked back in the first half.

Washington ended the first quarter up 21-7. The Storm’s seven points are the fewest points in a quarter the Mystics have allowed all season. Washington continued its dominance in the second quarter and at halftime led 35-21. Seattle’s 21 points are the fewest points in a half the Mystics have allowed all season.

The largest lead of the game was Washington by 18. The Storm cut their deficit to eight after the third quarter, and got one point away in the fourth, but the Mystics were able to hold on and outfought Seattle in the closing seconds.

The whistle was heard a lot on Saturday night. In the third quarter alone 14 personal fouls were called. Ultimately 41 personals were called throughout the game. Free throws ended up being a huge factor and a miss from the Seattle with 20.5 seconds left followed by two makes from Ivory Latta sealed the game. The Mystics finished the game 23-of-29 from the line.

It had been six days between games for the Mystics, which is their third longest break between games all season. Washington will next play Wednesday July 10 on the road against the Chicago Sky (7-4).