Coming off a big win Sunday against the Lynx, the Mystics once again came out of the gates with a lot of energy and took command early, leading to an 84-67 win over the the San Antonio Stars on Wednesday afternoon in Washington. With the win, the Mystics improved to 9-8 on the season and finished off their five-game homestand 4-1. Washington is over .500 for the first time this season and remains third in the Eastern Conference.
Starting forwards Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Emma Meesseman led the Mystics with 14 points apiece. TRP finished with three rebounds, five assists, and one steal, along with going 4/6 from the field and 6/6 from the line. Meesseman shot 6/9 from the field and came out with four rebounds, four assists, and three steals.
Ivory Latta led the bench with 12 points, including going 2-for-2 from deep. Natasha Cloud also put up an impressive 11 points, while going a perfect 3-for-3 outside the arc.
In the first quarter, Washington shot 52.6% from the field, while their defense held the Stars to a measly 16.7%. An early 18-0 run put the Mystics up 18-2 five minutes into the game. Meesseman put up the first seven points for the Mystics, including two jump shots and a 3-pointer. Cloud and Tayler Hill (5 points) also contributed 3’s to the run. At the end of the quarter, the Mystics led the Stars 27-7. The Stars seven points were the team’s season-low for points scored in a quarter.
“I think we’re focused on coming out of the games with really high energy. Pushing the ball in transition is what we’re doing best right now,” said Cloud of the start.
The momentum did not let up in the second frame, when the Mystics put up another 26 points on the board to increase the lead to 23. At the end of the half, the Mystics were outshooting San Antonio from the field 56% to 32%. Tianna Hawkins led the Mystics with seven points in the second quarter. All players with playing time put up points during the first two frames.
The third quarter began with Cloud sinking her third 3-pointer of the day. TRP then hit two jump shots followed by a basket from Meesseman to bring the lead to 20. TRP put up four more points to reach double figures by the end of the quarter.
The Mystics started off the fourth slowly, but maintained a comfortable lead. Although the Stars put up 24 on the board during the final quarter, the Mystics offense never allowed San Antonio to get closer than 14.
Washington’s defense kept San Antonio’s top scorer, Kayla McBride, to only seven points. With the loss, the Stars drop to 3-12 and remain winless on the road.
Said Meesseman of the win, “Especially now going on the road five games, it’s a big boost for our confidence.”
The Mystics next play on July 1 against the Chicago Sky to start off their five-game road trip. They will return to Verizon Center on July 20 to play the Liberty in another 11:30 a.m. game.