Ivory Latta and the Washington Mystics (13-13) extended their win streak to four games and their record to .500 after a 77-67 win vs. the Atlanta Dream (15-9).
The win was the third straight at home for Washington and puts them only three games back of the top seed Atlanta Dream in the Eastern Conference.
Atlanta played without head coach Michael Cooper for the third straight contest. The Dream’s coach underwent surgery on Thursday due to tongue cancer.
Guard Ivory Latta led the way with 21 points, six rebounds and six assists. Latta was efficient to say the least, connecting on seven of thirteen shots including a three ball to seal the game late.
The Mystics outrebounded the Dream 34- 33, thanks to the contributions of Emma Meesseman who lead Washington with eight boards.
Scoring was spread out for the Mystics as four players scored ten or more points and eight different players registered at least one made field goal.
Washington ranks third to last in three point shooting average (30%) but the Mystics shot 46% (7/15) on Sunday from beyond the arc.
Mike Thibault’s team committed more turnovers than the Dream but Washington was able to offset this with free throwing shooting: making seven more shots on 12 more attempts.
What I liked
1. The defensive intensity: Tianna Hawkins set the tone taking a hard charge in the second quarter and the Mystics never looked back. Atlanta shot 37% from the field, 14% from beyond the arc and scored 14 points less than their season average. Worth noting, Washington held Atlanta’s star player Angel McCoughtry to 12 points on 5/17 shooting.
2. Emma Meesseman: Meesseman’s stat sheet isn’t going to blow you away but she does the little things necessary to win like diving on the floor for a loose ball and deflecting a pass that leads to a steal.
3. Attack mentality: The Mystics had a few lulls in play but for the most part they were active and engaged, the 12 shot disparity in free throws is credit to their attack mentality.
4. Bench production: Washington outscored Atlanta’s bench 33-12. Tierra Ruffin- Pratt led the bench brigade with 13 points, four rebounds and two steals.
What I didn’t like
1. Hartley foul trouble: Starting shooting guard Bria Hartley only played 15 minutes due to early foul trouble and was the only player who saw action that didn’t score (0/5 from the field).
2. The sloppy turnovers in the second quarter: I mentioned the Mystics had a few lulls in play and the second period was one of them. Atlanta was able to convert on easy buckets and cut the lead to one in part because of careless mistakes from Washington.
Troy’s game ball: Ivory Latta
Outlook: The Mystics are in second place in the Eastern Conference (3 games back of Atlanta). Washington now heads on a mini road trip to play the New York Liberty (10-14) and the Chicago Sky (10-15). So far this season, Washington is 1-1 vs. New York and 2-0 vs. Chicago.