Mystics vs. Mercury Recap

The Washington Mystics did everything well tonight, but the Phoenix Mercury played just a little bit better.

The Mystics lost 101-97 tonight to the Mercury, falling under .500 for the first time this season. Crystal Langhorne led the team with 27 points on 12 of 13 shooting and 5 rebounds.

I’m just trying to be aggressive,” Langhorne said. “I felt like my guards did a great job of giving me the ball, easy opportunities. I’m just trying to be more aggressive on my game.”

In a very efficient offensive game, the Mystics had four players in double digits, leading to their highest final score of the season. Forward Monique Currie posted 17 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists; guard Matee Ajavon added 17 points and 5 assists; and guard Ivory Latta did it all, with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists.

Diana Taurasi once again led Phoenix, scoring 26 points and adding 8 assists. This year’s top draft pick, Brittney Griner, found herself in foul trouble for most of the game, but still managed to add 11 points and 7 rebounds.

“I feel we [defended Griner] way better than we did in the first game,” center Michelle Snow said. “Other people made big plays down the stretch and it wasn’t necessarily her, and that’s what our goal was.”

Washington controlled the contest for the majority of the game, holding the lead from the mid-first quarter until the middle of the fourth quarter. Both teams traded the lead back and forth throughout the final minutes until the Mercury made a few big shots to push ahead of the Mystics.

The Mystics did not go down without a fight, however. Three pointers by Ivory Latta and Matee Ajavon in the final minute of the game kept the Mystics close, while fouling the Mercury to stop the clock.

Both teams were clutch down the stretch, but the player who performed best under pressure tonight was undoubtedly Matee Ajavon. She sunk a buzzer beating shot from deep beyond the arc at the end of the third quarter, and after making one huge three pointer from the left wing in the last minute of the game, she brought the ball down the court in the Mystics’ second to last possession. A Mercury player fouled her more than 35 feet away from the basket, and she sent up a shot in hopes of a continuation call.

Somehow, she made the shot, which would have tied the teams with less than ten seconds left and left Ajavon with a go-ahead free throw, but the officials decided she did not shoot in time, and left her with two free throws. The Mystics could not come overcome the deficit after this tough blow.

The loss was a tough blow to the Mystics and have a quick turn around tomorrow, traveling to Atlanta for a game against the league-leading Dream.

“We don’t have time to think about it,” Ajavon said. “We have a game against the number one team in the East tomorrow, so we just have to be ready to play and get the win tomorrow.”