The Washington Mystics won their first game of the season in a thrilling 64-61 victory over the Tulsa Shock who have now dropped their third consecutive game
The Mystics were led by guard Matee Ajavon who led all scorers with 19 points off the bench, scoring 10 points in the second quarter alone. Ajavon shot 5-for-11 from the field and 8-for-10 from the free throw line. Ajavon also collected four steals and dished out three assists in 25 minutes of play
Mystics forward Crystal Langhorne played a game high 38 minutes, posting a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Langhorne shot 5-for-9 from the field and 4-for-6 from the charity stripe and collected four steals. Langhorne is now 13 rebounds away from 1,000 career rebounds
Mystics forward Monique Currie added 15 points, shooting 7-for-8 from the free throw line and pulled down five rebounds for the Mystics
The game featured 10 lead changes and 10 ties with the Mystics leading by as much as 16 points in the third quarter
The Shock outscored the Mystics 18-8 in the fourth quarter, bringing the score within one point at the 2:44 mark; however the Mystics never lost the lead
The Mystics outrebounded the Shock 40-27 and shot .457 from the field while the Shock had a field goal percentage of .305
The Shock were led by guard Ivory Latta who scored 16 points, shooting 5-for-12 from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line. Latta also dished out three assists
The Shock bench contributed 25 points led by rookie forward Glory Johnson who scored nine points and forward Jennifer Lacy who added eight
Mystics Head Coach Trudi Lacey
Thoughts on the game
Its good to win, however I am not pleased with the types of turnover or the number of turnovers. We definitely have to make better decisions with the basketball. The turnovers were silly, I dont know any other way to put it, and we have to continue to work on that. I felt like our defense was very good, especially our three-point field goal percentage defense. That is something we wanted to take away from them, because they have been shooting very well from there.
On Matee Ajavons performance:
It was very nice to have Matee back. She provides a lot of energy and shes tough and thats what Ive asked of the team, she has stepped up and shown a lot of heart and a lot of toughness. It was a team effort, (Crystal)Langhorne came up good with lots of rebounds, Noelle didnt score but she had nine rebounds. So again, its about being a team first, they do what it takes to win and I think they did that tonight.
On the strong start of the second half:
I think we came out very focused and determined, and again there is a different feel from playing from behind and then playing from a lead.
WASHINGTON MYSTICS GUARD MATEE AJAVON
On the first win of the season:
We didnt particularly play well but we were able to come out with the win. We have a lot of things to work on and we will practice and come out better.
On playing the first game of season and playing aggressive:
I felt pretty good. My teammates were behind me the whole time and I just felt confident.
Expectations for next game Minnesota
We have to get ourselves together. Minnesota is a great team and we have to cut down on our turnovers. I think we had 28 turnovers as coach pointed out, so we just have to cut down on turnovers and respect the ball as she said.
Washington Mystics Forward Monique Currie
Thoughts on the game
It feels good to get our first win of the season. It was a battle but Im glad that we found a way to win. We still have a lot to work on especially playing against the world champions next week.
On fourth quarter:
We knew Tulsa wouldnt give up. They came back from being down 11 in the fourth quarter in their last game against Phoenix. They trap a lot and pressure the ball and we need to get to practice on breaking the presses and taking care of the ball because we didnt do a great job of doing that tonight.
Character to still come out with a win:
Last year we lost so many games in the fourth quarter and so many by six points or less so being able to come out with a close win will give us some confidence.