RECAP OF MYSTICS’ 88-79 WIN OVER CHICAGO
- The Mystics (3-2) defeated the Chicago Sky (1-4), 88-79, behind a game-high 20 points from forward Elena Delle Donne. It was the second consecutive 20-point game for Delle Donne and her fourth of the season.
- Guard Tayler Hill finished one point shy of her season high, tallying 19 points on 5-13 from the field and 6-6 from the free throw line.
- Center Krystal Thomas grabbed a game-high 10 total rebounds in her first start of the season.
- The Mystics outscored the Sky 34-28 in the paint and 12-6 on second chance points, while the Chicago topped Washington 12-2 in fast break points.
- Five Mystics scored in double figures – Delle Donne (20), Hill (19), Toliver (12), Hawkins (12) and Latta (10).
- Leading 40-38 with 1:18 remaining in the second quarter, the Mystics went on a 21-0 run, extending their lead to 61-38 with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter.
- At half, Mystics led 47-38, led by a trio a double-digit scorers – Delle Donne (10), Hill (10) and Hawkins (10).
MYSTICS HEAD COACH MIKE THIBAULT
On the game:
“I had to double blink looking at what we gave up in the third quarter. I don’t know how you go from giving up eight in one-quarter to 33 in the next, but we figured out a way to do it. It’s a really good win. Anytime you play a team in consecutive games and teams have a chance to adjust, it feels a little bit like a playoff series. They made a few adjustments, we made a couple and I thought for three-quarters we did a lot well, but the fourth quarter is going to be tough to watch.”
On being better off the glass this season:
“For those of you who talked to us during preseason, one of our goals was to be a better rebounding team, and we’ve been consistent about that since the start of the season. I don’t even look at numbers, I look at offensive and defensive rebound percentage, and right now we’re leading the league. If you had told me that a year ago at this time I would have shook my head because we were at the bottom. Holding them to three offensive rebounds is a really good night. The defensive end in the fourth quarter will be something that we have to fix.”
MYSTICS FORWARD ELENA DELLE DONNE
On what led to the 21-0 run between the second and third quarters:
“When we are disruptive like that on defense, our offense just flows right through it. If we can continue that type of defensive effort we can be a really good team, we just have to extend that through four quarters.”
On the team’s performance without forward Emma Meesseman:
“Yeah, everybody just has to step up and do a little bit more in their role. No one can replace Emma. We’re definitely going to miss her for a full month, but if everybody can do just a little bit more, hopefully, we can hold our own until she comes back.”
MYSTICS CENTER KRYSTAL THOMAS
On stepping into the starting lineup:
“The rotation didn’t really matter to me. My job was going to be the same whether I started or whether I came off the bench; to bring energy, to defend and to rebound. That’s just going to be my focus every time I’m out there, no matter where I’m coming from. As long as I’m on the floor, that’s what I am going to do.”
On holding them to eight points in the third quarter:
“Not anything specific in the third quarter, it’s been a focus of ours in general for the season is that we know we’ve got to get stops. We challenge ourselves to get three stops in a row as many times as possible, so it was just a defensive focus throughout the game. Obviously, we were a little lax in the fourth quarter, but overall we did some good things on the defensive end.”
Points: Elena Delle Donne – 20
Rebounds: Krystal Thomas – 10
Assists: Kristi Toliver, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt – 5
Steals:Tierra Ruffin-Pratt – 3
SKY HEAD COACH AMBER STOCKS
On the former Mystics players making their return to D.C.:
“Kahleah [Copper] and Stefanie [Dolson] are pros. It is business as usual. Not only for them but for the countless other players in this league and in professional sports who are traded and continue to play, and thrive, in their new teams.”
On facing Kristi Toliver for the second time in a few days:
“Kristi Toliver is a phenomenal talent. She is clearly one of the best players in the league but in the world. She is one of the best perimeter players. She is hard to guard and she is very smart and calculated with the ball. She is a very good off the ball defender as well. So we needed to be aware of her presence, not only when she had the ball in her hands but also when she was helped side on defense.”
On the Sky’s fight in the fourth quarter:
“We were able to pick up the pressure defensively and we also got our legs underneath us and get shots in rhythm. I think our pressure defensively threw Washington off balance, just a hair. We got them out of sync just enough, to where we were able to capitalize on that with some ball movement on the other end.”
SKY CENTER STEFANIE DOLSON
On being back in D.C.:
“It was exciting to be back and seeing everyone. I just had to keep that separate, being friends with everyone but once we got on the court we play hard and focus on trying to win.”
On her memories of playing in Washington D.C.:
“The fans, coaches, and team were great. The city itself. Great food, great history, it’s a beautiful city. I miss living here a little but I am enjoying Chicago a lot.”
On the Sky’s fourth quarter:
“Our pressure, we really turned it up. We couldn’t score in the third but in the fourth quarter, we had to take no prisoners. Defensively we locked up and offensively we started knocking down shots.”
SKY GUARD COURTNEY VANDERSLOOT
On the Sky’s fourth quarter success:
“I think we picked it up a little bit. We came out flat in the third quarter, I think they came out on a 9-0 run or something to start the third quarter. We just can’t start that flat. We dug ourselves a hole but we showed a lot of fight to come back. If we play four solid quarters, this is a different ball game.”
On her first game back with Chicago:
“It’s nice to be back. My teammates make it easy on me to just step in and fill in wherever I need. I am not quite as comfortable, it is a new system. It’s a process and it is going to take some time but my teammates make it easy on me and I am really happy to be back.”
Points: Allie Quigley – 17
Rebounds: Jessica Breland, Cappie Pondexter – 6
Assists: Cappie Pondexter – 8
Steals: Cappie Pondexter – 2