Mystics 79, Mercury 86

NOTEWORTHY:

  • The Washington Mystics have now dropped their eighth consecutive game after being defeated by the Phoenix Mercury for the first time at home since June 25, 2009
  • The Mystics were led by forward Crystal Langhorne who scored 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, notching her fifth double-double this season. Langhorne shot 12-for-24 from the field, posting a new career high in field goal attempts (previously 23)
  • Mystics guards Matee Ajavon and Jasmine Thomas added 15 and 14 points respectively. Thomas posted a career high with 14 points, shooting 5-for-9 from the field and 2-for-5 from three point range. Thomas also tied a career high with five assists for the third time this season
  • The Mercury led by as much as 22 points in the third quarter with the Mystics only coming within as close as five with 13.8 seconds left in the game after a three-point shot from Ajavon
  • The Mercury were led by forward Candice Dupree who scored a season-high 27 points (previously 22). Dupree shot 10-for-14 from the field and a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Mercury guard Diana Taurasi added 21 points for the Mercury
  • The Mercury dished out 25 assists compared to the Mystics 17. Mercury guard Temeka Johnson dished out eight assists while Taurasi followed close behind distributing seven assists of her own
  • Former Mystic Nakia Sanford led the Mercury with nine rebounds and added six points for the Mercury who snapped a two-game losing streak

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS HEAD COACH TRUDI LACEY:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “In a nut shell there has been a pattern here. The last five or seven games we have gotten off to a really slow start. Phoenix came out on fire, shot sixty percent from the field. The Chicago game was the same thing. So their mindset has to be a lot better coming out the gates because we use a lot of energy to get back into the game and again we as always play with a lot of fight and a lot of heart. But it is the little things that make the difference. Tonight it was our free throws. It is a different ball game.”

    Jasmine Thomas’ performance:
    “I love her defensive pressure on the ball and it is something that we need. It allows us to do more defensive schemes and also it is on the job training for her. To have the opportunity to put her in game situations where she can learn and improve, that is some of the focus. Really just finding a combination that could play well together, and play well for long periods of time.”

    Crystal Langhorne’s Double-double:
    “Crystal is Crystal. She has been a model of consistency all season. I think she takes a lot of hits, she gets banged around a lot, but she is like the energizer bunny, she keeps coming back. Obviously she is our go to and she delivers. We just have to find some other people that can be as consistent as her.”

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS FORWARD CRYSTAL LANGHORNE:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “[We] came out really slow. With Phoenix, you have to score with them, you can’t be down ten points early on or you will be fighting your way back the whole game.”

    On Jasmine Thomas’ contribution to the game::
    “She’s a great player, she’s really good and plays great defense on the ball. I also think she is learning so she is going to continue to grow.”

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS GUARD JASMINE THOMAS:

    On her season overall:
    “It’s been tiring. It has been a learning experience being in different situations and learning how to handle those situations and just perform.”

    On her role on the team:
    “For me that was something I felt all year, needing to perform and learn. I wanted to just get better, improve and show that I can contribute this year as well as next year. It’s a different mindset. Just because we know we didn’t make the play-offs we can’t settle and be satisfied and I think at times you can see us doing that, which is disappointing. For me as a rookie, I need to be the one that’s always bringing that energy.”

    Mystics at a glance:
    Points: Crystal Langhorne - 27
    Rebounds: Langhorne -12
    Assists: Matee Ajavon, Jasmine Thomas - 5
    Steals: Kerri Gardin - 3

    PHOENIX MERCURY HEAD COACH COREY GAINES:

    Overall thoughts on game:
    “It was a tough game. Washington is a tough team, they always play hard defense and have always been in each game they play. They come in at the worn in of the game, but they’re always tough. It was a hard win for us; they never stop playing.”

    Fourth quarter adjustment after Mystics cut leads:
    “We were in the bonus already, we just wanted something to the basket to just try and get an easy shot.”

    Going into the next games and playing Seattle for a two seed for playoffs:
    “We have Tulsa first, so we have to be on our P’s & Q’s. San Antonio is after that. We will get to Seattle eventually and that will be a tough game too.”

    PHOENIX MERCURY GUARD DIANA TAURASI:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “It was really a tough game. I think we did really well playing with the stretches. We controlled the tempo both ways which really helped us. Then Washington got back in. Crystal was really good today. I think we did a pretty job of containing her.”

    Thoughts of Mystics fourth quarter rally:
    “That’s when you really have to settle down, get stops and have an offensive possession. I think Temeka [Johnson] did a really good job as to getting into a good set, space of flooring, and just trying to make a play for someone.”

    Mercury at a glance:
    Points:Candice Dupree - 27
    Rebounds: Nakia Sanford - 9
    Assists: Temeka Johnson - 8
    Steals:Penny Taylor, Ketia Swanier - 1