The Washington Mystics were coming off another tough home loss friday night, last night they were on the road against the team that ended their 2014 season in the playoffs. The Indiana Fever didn’t know what they were in for, Washington came into the game averaging just 68 points per game. That number is extremely misleading because the Mystics have shot horribly in every game prior to last night’s matchup with the Fever. Ivory Latta found her three point stroke that had seemed to be missing from their team of shooters. The two time All Star had 24 points, while going 6-8 from beyond the arc to lead the Mystics past the Fever 87-75.
While the Mystics have suffered two heart breaking losses at home this season, their only losses at that, they’ve been very good on the road. Picking up their third win in three tries last night in Indianapolis.
The home team had won their last two games by double-digits and looked to get their third consecutive win, but Washington had other ideas. The Mystics got another great night out of their young bigs as Emma Meeseeman and Stefanie Dolson continued their strong play in this young season. The duo combined for 27 points, 14 rebounds, and two blocked shots. Impacting the paint on both ends of the floor, keep in mind that the Mystics are 4-2 with their starting center playing just one game.
Washington used their strong defense to suffocate the Fever. Taking one of the best players in the league and Indiana’s best player out of the equation. The Fever’s Tamika Catchings mustered just 5 points on 1-8 shooting, the team shot an abysmal 36% from the floor and 25% from beyond the arc. Lynetta Kizer stepped up for her team in 20 minutes off of the bench, scoring 14 points and pulling down 6 rebounds.
The Fever led for a very short time last night, Washington took a 9-6 lead off of a Latta triple early on and never looked back. The Fever made several runs, but were only able to tie the game at most. It seemed like every time they were on the verge of regaining the lead, Latta would hit one of those daggers. She went 6-8 from deep against the Fever, of all the shooters Washington has at it’s disposal. She’s the first to really get it going this season.
Washington comes home to rest for a couple of days before hosting the Los Angeles Sparks Tuesday night on ESPN. The Mystics are in second place in the East while missing two starters and have a couple of key pieces banged up as well, the youngsters on this roster deserve a ton of credit for their record.
It was Natasha Cloud that started the season with regular minutes off of the bench, the second round pick has showed her worth as she’s able to impact the game in several areas with scoring not being a necessity. First round pick Ally Malott put back-to-back outing together, strong outings before last night’s game against the Fever. While she didn’t do as much in the scoring department as in the previous two games, she did show her ability to play center, power forward, and small forward.
The win over the Fever was the first step of what the Washington offense looks like when their shots are falling and only Latta was hitting from outside. When Tayler Hill, Kara Lawson, Bria Hartley returns, things should get interesting. This team is fully capable of scoring 80 points a game, easily. Shots will start to fall, but their strong defense has done well to get them off to a good start despite being short handed.