Mystics drop third straight game, fall to the Fever

WASHINGTON – The Washington Mystics (1-5) dropped their third straight game to Eastern Conference foe Indiana Fever (4-3), 89-80. With veteran Katie Douglas injured, second year guards Briann January (18 PTS, 9 AST) and Shavonte Zellous (21 PTS, 4 REB) filled in nicely for the Fever – both had season-highs in points. The Mystics did not settle for perimeter shots and were more aggressive attacking the basket than in previous games – Crystal Langhorne (23 PTS, 9 REB) had a productive game and came close to getting her third double-double of the season. Matte Ajavon added 17 points and was 8-8 from the foul line; Kelly Miller contributed 10 points but struggled defensively against the Fever backcourt.

How The Game Was Won

Washington jumped out to an early lead but after taking a 24-13 lead into the second quarter Indiana stepped their intensity on both ends of the floor. The Mystics had several lapses on defense, especially down low where Nicky Anosike (5 PTS, 7 REB) had major problems containing Jessica Davenport (18 PTS, 6 REB). The Fever started the second half with on an 11-0 run – the Mystics managed to get within 3 in the fourth quarter but were never able to string together a solid offense run to take the lead.

Key Stats

  • Bench points: Fever (52)-Mystics (19) Along with Davenport (18) and Zellous (21) rookie Jeanette Pohlen added 8 points with two 3-pointers
  • Assist: Fever (21) – Mystics (10) Anosike had four has opposed to Kelly Miller’s one, which is never a good sign when post have more assist than the starting point guard
  • 3-Point Shooting – Fever (6-12, 50%) – Mystics (3-16, 18%)

Key Performances

Although Tamika Catchings (15 PTS,6 REB,7 AST) was not that involved early on she showed why she is one of the most complete players in the league. At this point in her veteran career, Catchings knows when and how to get and keep her teammates involved in the game. During the final minutes of the game Catchings was involved in some aspect of every play – she is the ultimate closer.

Rookies Jasmine Thomas and Karima Christmas are one of the few bright spots for the Mystics this season. The former Duke Blue Devil teammates are contributing productive minutes from the bench – both are solid defenders. Christmas has the physical strength to handle contact when she attacks the basket. With her quick first step, Thomas has the ability to get into the middle of the defense and make things happen offensively. During the third quarter, with Thomas and Christmas defending the perimeter the Mystics were able to keep Zellous and January from scoring a field goal.

It will be interesting to see how long it will be before Coach Lacey to insert either of them into the starting line up, if the current starters continue to struggle. Thomas is a local favorite and based on the rousing applauses and cheers she received last night, it is clear that the fans appreciate her energy and effort.

Next Up

  • The Mystics match up again with the Tulsa Shock (1-6) at home on Sunday, June 26.
  • The Fever goes up against 1st place Connecticut Sun (4-1) at home on Saturday, June 25.
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