Mystics fall to Sparks, head to Olympic break

The final game before the Olympic stretch proved to be another tough one for the Mystics, who lost to the league-leading Los Angeles Sparks 95-75 on July 22. The Mystics have now gone 0-7 in July and fell to 9-15 on the season, while L.A. improved to 21-3.

Washington was led once again by Emma Meesseman, who put up 16 points for the team, 12 of which came in the first half. The other starting forward Tierra Ruffin-Pratt also contributed ten points.

The Mystics did not come out with enough energy in the first quarter to gain the momentum for a win, as they only scored 16 points in the frame and ended the ten minutes down by 11, despite ten points and two 3-pointers from Meesseman.

While scoring improved in the second quarter, the Mystics were unable to stop the Sparks defensively. Following a buzzer beater from Ivory Latta, Washington trailed L.A. 49-37 at the half.

The third quarter was the slowest for the Mystics, as only five players were able to put up numbers on the board. Scoring only 12 points, they allowed the Sparks 26 and ended the third with a costly deficit of 26.

Despite more energy in the fourth quarter, the Mystics were unable to rally and make up the difference, finishing 20 points under the Sparks, who shot 55.7% from the field. The league’s leader in field goal percentage, Los Angeles’s Nneka Ogwumike, put up a game-high 24 points, while Sparks center Candace Parker posted 18 of her own.

With the loss, Washington falls back in the standings to ninth place. The team will look to improve their game over the Olympic break and come back ready to gain a spot in the post-season. The Mystics return to play in Indiana on August 27 at 7 p.m. against the Fever.