Saturday, October 24th, 2020

Career-high from Ruffin-Pratt helps Mystics snap two-game home losing streak and beat Sparks 84-80

Published on June 23, 2015


Box score

The Washington Mystics (5-2) snapped a two-game home losing streak, defeating the Los Angeles Sparks (0-5), 84-80 at Verizon Center. It was the first home win for the Mystics since defeating the New York Liberty in the team’s home opener on June 6.

Three Mystics players scored in double figures led by forwards Tierra Ruffin-Pratt and Emma Meesseman who scored 20 points apiece. Ruffin-Pratt’s career high in points was accumulated through 7-of-12 shooting from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 4-of-7 from the free throw line.

Meesseman has now scored 20-plus points in three games thus far this season. She shot 9-for-12 from the field and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Guard Ivory Latta added 13 points, shooting 4-for-10 from the field, 2-for-5 from three-point range and 3-for-5 from the free throw line.

Kara Lawson added five points in the Mystics win, dishing out a season high eight assists in just under 31 minutes of action. Guard Bria Hartley, recovered from a stress fracture in her right foot, made her regular season debut coming off the bench. Hartley added six points connecting on one from behind the arc and 3-of-4 from the free throw line in just six minutes of play. Mystics veterans, guard Armintie Herrington and center Kia Vaughn, did not play. Herrington is suffering from a sore back and Vaughn has concussion symptoms.

The Mystics led 39-37 at the half before opening the third quarter on a 7-0 run. The Sparks had a rally of their own and came within one point with 12.9 seconds left in the third off of a reverse lay-up by Sparks guard Jasmine Lister. Los Angeles signed the former Vanderbilt guard today and waived Courtney Clements.

The game featured three lead changes and five ties with the Mystics leading by as much as nine and the Sparks by as much as five. The Mystics outscored the Sparks in all four periods.  The Sparks committed 17 turnovers while the Mystics tied a season low of only nine turnovers

Five Sparks players scored in double figures led by center Jantel Lavender who scored 18 points. Point guard Temeka Johnson posted a double-double with a season high 17 points and tied a season high 10 assists while forward Jennifer Lacy added a season high 14 points from off the bench. Forwards Nneka Ogwumike and Farhiya Abdi added 11 and 10 points respectively as the Sparks fell to 0-5 on the season. It was the season debut for Ogwumike. The team is still without injured guards Alana Beard and Erin Phillips who did not travel with the team.

The Mystics face the Atlanta Dream at Philips Arena on Friday while the Sparks head to Connecticut to face the Sun on the same day. 

Washington is now in second place in the East while Los Angeles is in fifth place in the West, only ahead of San Antonio (0-6).


Mystics head coach Mike Thibault
Overall thoughts on the game:
“In about a month nobody will remember anything about the game itself, but we will take the win. There was some ugliness to it at times and not our best defensive performance so far, but they had a good boost tonight with [Nneka] Ogwumike coming back for them and they made some big shots. Luckily when we were struggling we got our composure back and we got Emma [Meesseman] involved in the second half more. I think between her lack of being aggressive and her teammate’s lack of trying to find her in the first half I thought that hurt us. But we got a great performance from TRP (Tierra Ruffin-Pratt) tonight on both ends of the floor. She had to guard [Nneka] Ogwumike for long stretches and go back at them so we will take the win and get ready for the weekend.”

On not scoring a field goal in the last five minutes but managing to get to the foul line 17 times:
“I’m sure Brian [Agler] wasn’t too happy about that. At halftime I wasn’t too happy about not getting to the foul line. I thought in the first half we should have gotten there more but we stayed aggressive about attacking a little bit more and going at the rim. That obviously helped us.”

On the rebounding disparity:
“It’s a big concern. Obviously when we get Kia [Vaughn] back she will be another addition and that will help us but I’m almost concerned as much with the offensive rebounding as I am with the defensive rebounding. We missed 31 shots tonight and got five offensive rebounds. You miss 31 you should at least be getting 8,9,10 offensive rebounds and that gets you some extra possessions. So that will definitely be addressed.”

Mystics Forward Emma Meesseman
On another 20-point performance and hot start this season:
“Just the fact we know each other know and trust each other so when we work together it creates a performance like that.”

Sparks head coach Brian Agler
Overall thoughts on the game:
“I thought we competed harder the last 15 minutes of the game. I think that we had a hard time keeping them off of the free throw line and we had a hard time getting to the free throw line. Then our turnovers, they scored 18 pts off our turnovers. So I try to categorize how people score easy on you…and obviously free throws and scoring off turnovers are two ways people can score easy points from you and that’s what they did tonight on us. I thought they played well, I thought we played well at times. We just go to learn from it and get better.”

Sparks guard Temeka Johnson
Overall thoughts on the game:
“We didn’t come up with the victory that we probably should have. We played good in spurts… in this league you have to be able to put a total game, you know…put the total package together. So you know, time to go back to the drawing board and get it together.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Sparks 44, Mystics 30
Second Chance Points: Sparks 11, Mystics 0
Fastbreak Points: Sparks 7, Mystics 15
Biggest Lead: Sparks 5, Mystics 9
Lead Changes: 3
Times Tied: 5

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