The Washington Mystics sent Emma Meesseman and Kim Mestdagh off the right way, with another big win in their new home. The Mystics beat the visiting Chicago Sky 103-85, opening the new Entertainment and Sports Arena with back-to-back wins. Meesseman and Mestdagh are headed overseas for National Team commitments for Belgium.
All eleven players that entered the game for Washington scored at least once. Kristi Toliver led the way with 19 points while Elena Delle Donne, Natasha Cloud, and Meesseman scored 12 points a piece.
It was a balanced effort offensively for Washington, but where they shined was on the defensive end.
They held one of the WNBA’s better shooting backcourt tandems to just five points on a combined 2-for-14 shooting from the floor. Allie Quigley came into this game averaging 17.5 points and left this one scoreless in the 26 minutes she played.
Much of that was due to Washington’s gameplan, Natasha Cloud shed some light on that following the game. She was tasked with face guarding Quigley to keep her from getting going. The Mystics as a team took away nearly every starter outside of Diamond DeShields and Jantel Lavender who scored 24 and 15 points respectively.
After a back and forth first quarter in which Washington only led by two, the Mystics set the tone defensively to start the second.
It changed everything as their defense led to transition opportunities and opened up a 20 point lead at one point courtesy of a 24-8 spurt to start the quarter.
Aerial Powers saw her first game action of the season and had a solid outing, scoring nine points in just under 13 minutes of play.
Tianna Hawkins had a great night, her impact was much larger than it seemed in the box score. She was everywhere defensively and her versatility was on full display on both ends.
The Mystics will have to lean on their depth in Meesseman’s absence, but that depth has played well over the past two games.
Washington travels to New York to take on the Liberty on Friday night, then return home to host the Dallas Wings.