FINAL: Mystics 93 | Aces 96
Mystics: Myisha Hines-Allen (32), Ariel Atkins (29), Tina Charles (16)
Aces: Liz Cambage (24), Jackie Young (22), Riquna Williams (20)
The Mystics were defeated 96-93 by the Aces on Saturday afternoon for the two teams first matchup of the season. Myisha Hines-Allen led the Mystics in scoring with 32 points and 13 rebounds, which marked her third consecutive double-double of the season and the second 30/10 game of her career. Ariel Atkins scored a career-high 29 points, her third 20+ point game this season. Natasha Cloud led both teams in assists with 11, helping the team get their season-high 26 assists. Liz Cambage led the Aces with 24 points.
After starting the game off with 3 turnovers, the Mystics were able to get into a groove and end the first quarter leading the Aces 29-24. Riquna Williams had a hot start for the Aces, putting up 12 first quarter points. Hines-Allen led the Mystics with 10 first quarter points and continued to shine in the second quarter for a total of 21 points in the first half. The Aces outscored the Mystics in the second quarter, but the Mystics held onto the lead going into the half, leading the Aces 57-56. Washington’s 57 first-half points are the most by the Mystics in a half this season.
Throughout the second half, the Aces had Tina Charles double teamed, making it difficult for her to get clear shots. Early in the third quarter, Liz Cambage’s hand collided with Hines-Allen’s head, knocking her to the ground and forcing an offensive foul on Cambage. Hines-Allen returned to the game before the quarter ended and had a double-double with 25 points and 10 rebounds going into the fourth quarter, with the Mystics trailing the Aces 78-75.
Despite the Aces’ having their largest lead late in the game, the duo of Hines-Allen and Atkins fought their way back with a 13-0 run with 4:11 remaining. After Kelsey Plum’s free throws in the final minute of the game, the Mystics trailed 94-90. With only 3.9 seconds left, Atkins hit a clutch 3-pointer, making it a one-point game. Shortly after, A’ja Wilson was fouled, making both free throws, and had a steal, leading the Aces to a 96-93 victory over the Mystics.
Though they couldn’t pull off the win, the coaches and players alike are confident in the Mystics future this season. With Myisha Hines-Allen’s return, this served as the Mystics’ first week of practice as a full team. It’s clear that the confidence and skillset of players like Hines-Allen and Ariel Atkins continues to grow and working alongside star players like Tina Charles and Elena Delle Donne both on the court and from the sidelines might be the key to the Mystics’ success. “Coach said it in the locker room…we feel a win streak coming.,” said Hines-Allen following the game.
Wear Orange Theme and Nike Rebel Edition Uniforms
In honor of Wear Orange Weekend (June 4-6), the Mystics partnered with Everytown for Gun Safety and the National Building Museum to host the team’s Wear Orange game. In conjunction with social justice issues, the team also debuted their Nike Rebel Edition uniforms. The players, staff, and fans were encouraged to wear orange to raise awareness about the impact of gun violence in our communities.
When asked about the importance of Wear Orange, Ariel Atkins said, “It’s important. It’s not just a fad. It’s not something we’re just talking about. It’s something that we live every single day. We’re part of this community, and we’re part of the community back home. It’s not a matter of us just being like, ‘Oh we should wear this shirt today.’ We live this stuff every single day. We have friends, family who have been affected by gun violence. So it’s not just a t-shirt.”
The Mystics next game is on Tuesday, June 8 at 7:00 PM against the Minnesota Lynx at Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC. Click here to purchase tickets to the best homecourt advantage in the WNBA and cheer on your Washington Mystics!