Mystics 91, Liberty 81

NOTEWORTHY:

  • The Washington Mystics broke a four-game losing streak, winning their second game at home and their first home game against an Eastern Conference team.
  • The Mystics scored a season-high 50 points in the first half, their previous record was 41.
  • The Mystics outrebounded the Liberty 18-7 in the first half and 32-20 overall. Mystics forwards Crystal Langhorne and Nicky Anosike pulled down nine rebounds apiece in the Mystics win.
  • Mystics guard Matee Ajavon scored her 1,000th career point 4:57 into the first quarter and finished the first half with 18 points. Ajavon tied her career high in points, finishing with 32. Ajavon shot 10-for-16 from the field, 10-for-11 from the free throw line, and 2-for-5 three-point range.
  • Three Mystics players scored in double figures. (Ajavon-32, Langhorne-20, Kelly Miller-10).
  • The Liberty were led by guard Cappie Pondexter who scored 21 points. Forward Plenette Pierson added 20 points in the Liberty loss.

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS HEAD COACH TRUDI LACEY:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “It was our best game of the season. We played consistently for two halves. I thought we did an outstanding job on the boards, 32-20 [rebounds]. We shot the ball well, 50% from the floor. We took care of the ball for the most part, but I think the main thing for this team is that they have continued to work and get better and play together. They’ve got a lot of fight in them and they continued to fight, especially when things were not going their way. It was a good win for us.”

    On the effect of the team having a week in between games:
    “I don’t know if it’s because I gave them a couple days off and they appreciated it or what, but it did and we came back. It was just a different vibe about us and I think that they’re starting to understand what we want and what it takes to win. They’re starting to understand what it is to play as a team. It’s starting to come together, but it’s one game and we have to build on it and do the things that helped us be successful tonight.”

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS GUARD MATEE AJAVON:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “It is a great win for our team. We played hard and got it done.”

    Thoughts on the team’s offensive improvements:
    “Tonight we were all just clicking. We are starting to gel and it is all coming together.”

    On reaching 1000th career-points:
    “I feel it is a great accomplishment. I still have ways to go.”

    WASHINGTON MYSTICS FORWARD CRYSTAL LANGHORNE:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “I think we played a great game. We controlled the game and we played real hard tonight.”

    Key to executing defensive plays and getting the Liberty to have shot clock violations:
    “Really being focus. There was not a lot of time to mess up our schemes and we were just really aggressive.”

    Thoughts on the team’s offensive improvements:
    “I think we are running through our plays better, a lot of our sets we are really realizing what we need.”

    Mystics at a glance:
    Points: Matee Ajavon - 32
    Rebounds: Crystal Langhorne, Nicky Anosike - 9
    Assists: Matee Ajavon - 5
    Steals: Langhorne - 3

    NEW YORK LIBERTY HEAD COACH JOHN WHISENANT:

    Overall thoughts on game:
    “They did a great job. I told our team that we’ve been playing a game every other day the past week and that they had basically a week off. So we knew coming in that they may only have three wins but obviously is much more talented than that. It was obvious they were going to click at some point.”

    On playing the Mystics’ offense and rebounding:
    “[Matee] Ajavon had a pretty good game and really shot it in, [Crystal] Langhorne, the whole defense made the stops they needed to. They also had great offensive rebounds, 45 percent, which means they got almost half of their misses back. With all those shots that they got back, you can’t win against that. We lost and deserved it.”

    LIBERTY GUARD CAPPIE PONDEXTER:

    Overall thoughts on the game:
    “I mean they played well. In the beginning we just let them really get going and we couldn’t keep up. We didn’t play that well we were up and down the whole game. When you play like that, you don’t win.”

    LIBERTY FORWARD KIA VAUGHN:

    On half time adjustments:
    “Coach didn’t really tell us anything specifically; just stick to the game plan. Get the rebounds, play tough defense and run our best offense.”

    Liberty at a glance:
    Points: Cappie Pondexter - 21
    Rebounds: Quanitra Hollingsworth - 7
    Assists: Pondexter - 7
    Steals: Leilani Mitchell - 5