Washington snapped its three game losing streak with a convincing win on Friday night against Indiana. Washington’s second half defense allowed them to pull away against Indiana and win, 68-50.
The Mystics forced 17 turnovers and moved within 1.5 games of first place with the victory.
With Natasha Cloud starting at point guard, the Mystics moved the ball around early and got everybody involved. Washington’s first four field goals came from four different players.
Indiana and Washington traded buckets in the first period before Bria Hartley made a putback and-1 layup with 0.1 seconds left on the clock to give Washington an 18-15 lead after the first quarter.
Four minutes into the second quarter, tempers flared after Stefanie Dolson was called for an offensive foul, where it looked like she elbowed Indiana’s Lynetta Kizer. Head coach Mike Thibault was called for a technical foul after coming on the court and yelling an obscenity at the referee.
The Mystics struggled from beyond the arc in the first half, missing all six of its’ attempts but were able to stay in the game because of Indiana’s turnovers. Washington’s LaToya Sanders made another layup before the buzzard and went to halftime up, 34-29.
The Mystics took control of the game in the third quarter with an 18-4 run. Cloud gave Washington a 19 point lead when she hit a wide open three pointer from the wing off a Tierra Ruffin-Pratt assist. Indiana finished the quarter with just six points.
The fourth quarter was much of the same, Washington suffocated Indiana’s offense, holding them to 21 points total in the second half. Indiana’s veteran forward, Tamika Catchings went 0-7 from the field and finished with just two points.
Sanders, who the Mystics picked up less than two weeks ago and Emma Meesseman led the way for Washington with 14 points apiece.
Washington (7-6) plays Connecticut (7-6) on Sunday at the Verizon Center at 7pm.
1. Natasha Cloud looked comfortable running the point with the starting unit. For a rookie, Cloud plays a mature and in control game.
2. Sanders gives Washington a third big, who can be a difference maker on both ends of the floor. She led the Mystics in scoring on Friday and despite giving up a few pounds to Indiana’s Kizer, she still held her own.
3. Washington has a lot of weapons offensively but cant seem to shoot three pointers. The Mystics rank in the bottom half of the league in three point shooting percentage (30%) and went 3/17 against Indiana. The lack of makes was the only thing that kept the game close in the first half.