Mystics (9-13): G – Cloud, G – Hill, F – Ruffin-Pratt, F – Meesseman, C – Dolson
Liberty (17-7): G – Wright, G – Rodgers, F – Cash, F – Charles, C – Swords
It’s been three weeks since the Mystics have last played a home game, but they are back at Verizon Center for a matinee camp day game today against the New York Liberty. They’ll then host the Sparks at home on Friday before going on the month long Olympic break.
After struggling to win home games earlier in the season, the Mystics had won four of five in their building before hitting the road for a five-game road trip. While it appeared that they were trending in the right direction before the trip, the five-game road swing set them back a bit, as they lost all five games away from home and now sit at 9-13, fifth in the Eastern Conference.
Starts on Defense
Head Coach Mike Thibault noted that his team needs to get back to playing strong defense and rebounding the ball, something he felt lacked a little when shots weren’t falling on the trip. He said last year they were able to win games when they weren’t making shots because of that defense and they need to get that identity back in 2016.
The Liberty are the WNBA’s best rebounding team (39.5 rpg) and limiting their effectiveness on the glass will be one of they keys for the Mystics. When Washington enters a game with a concerted effort into rebounding, they usually end up with good results. They outrebounded New York 39-34 in their first meeting in the season opener.
One area the Mystics will look to take advantage is in the turnover category, as New York leads the W with 14.9 turnovers per game and are just 8-6 when they lose the turnover battle.
Liberty 87 – Mystics 76
Today will be the first time these two teams meet since the season opener back on May 14th. In that game, the Mystics jumped out to an early lead, but scored just 31 points in the second half and could not slow down Tina Charles (24p-11r) as New York took the first game of the series. Tayler Hill led the Mystics with 20 points.
The two teams will meet for the final time on September 13th in New York.
Bria Hartley (broken left hand), Tayler Hill (left mid-foot sprain)
Mike Thibault said the team has discussed whether they want to shut down Hill until the Olympic break to give her proper time to heal, but that will likely be a gametime decision. Hartley is expected to play with a broken left hand. Natasha Cloud and Ivory Latta were also banged up this week during practice, and will both be questionable for Wednesday’s game.