So you’re saying there’s a chance. The Washington Mystics have staved off being eliminated from the 2016 postseason with a big win over the New York Liberty last night. Typically a team that starts slow, the visiting Mystics packed their defense and got off to a quick start. There was a rough period as New York fought back, but Washington was able to put them away, winning 75-62 to keep their postseason hopes alive.
On a night where both of Washington’s most consistent players struggled a bit, it was good to see others pick up the slack. Emma Meesseman has been one of the few constants for the Mystics on the offensive end, part of a 1-2 punch with Tayler Hill. She made up for a tough shooting night by pulling down 7 rebounds and getting a couple of steals. Hill got to the line a few time, but she missed several open shots she typically makes.
Stefanie Dolson picked up the scoring slack, going for a career high 23 points. She scored both inside and outside, knocking down three of her six attempts from deep. Along with 7 rebounds, Dolson continued her great passing out of the post. Over the past four games, she’s done a remarkable job of swinging the ball to open shooters.
The Liberty were led by Tina Charles, she had another double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Regardless of the result, the Liberty will clinch the third seed in the playoffs.
The Mystics got a big game out of Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, while known as a good defender first, she’s really stepped up on the other end. Without Ivory Latta, Washington has needed to get that point total from somewhere. This Tarheel has been very aggressive attacking the basket off the bounce and last night she had the long ball going. Knocking down four triples in the win and Washington needed everyone of those baskets.
Neither team shot exceptionally well, but Washington made the difference from the great beyond. They would knock down 10 of their 27 attempts on the night, coupled with good defense, the Mystics would leave the Garden with a win.
Up next for Washington on their quest to make the postseason, is the Atlanta Dream tomorrow. The Los Angeles Sparks did the Mystics a solid last night, rallying to beat the Mercury. That loss makes the difference between the two teams just one game, but Washington needs a bit more help. They must win their remaining two games and need the Mercury to lose their next two. Phoenix plays Seattle and San Antonio to end the regular season, so there’s a chance.