Mystics 68 - Liberty 60
The Mystics got a much needed win tonight, their first home win, against the New York Liberty, with Ivory Latta, Kia Vaughn, and Jelena Milovanovic leading the scoring, 15, 14, and 14 respectively.
Despite the loss, New York was led by an impressive effort from Cappie Pondexter, who scored a game-high 20 points.
The Mystics started the game with great energy, with Kia Vaughn scoring 10 of the Mystics’ first 15 points. During that span, a 9-0 Mystics run forced the Liberty to call the game’s first timeout, and the first quarter ended with the Mystics holding a 22-17 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, the Liberty turned up the pressure against the Mystics and started forcing turnovers. The Mystics remained composed, however, and maintained a 38-30 lead going into the half.
The Liberty outscored the Mystics 18-12 in the third quarter and the Mystics’ lead was cut to two.
It was hard fought in the fourth quarter, with numerous lead changes, and the game was ultimately decided in the fourth. Milovanovic hit a crucial three with less than five minutes to go to give the Mystics a 57-54 lead. Latta then took over the game and followed with seven points in the next three Mystics possessions, and the Mystics held on to the lead from that point on. Latta put the dagger in the Liberty when she made a three with 26.6 seconds left in the game.
Throughout the week leading up to this weekend’s games, Coach Thibault emphasized having more energy on the court and crashing the offensive glass, which has paid off as the Mystics picked up 13 offensive rebounds and outrebounded the Liberty 41-26. The increased energy was also seen by the 10 steals the Mystics forced, especially the ones in the first half that propelled the Mystics to their first half lead.
This win now sets the Mystics (2-2) to face the Los Angeles Sparks (2-1) on Sunday.