Players off the bench help Mystics continue win streak, beat struggling Storm 87-74
The Washington Mystics (10-6) extended their winning streak to four with an 87-74 victory over the Seattle Storm (5-14) Wednesday afternoon. Point guard Ivory Latta led the Mystics with 20 points. Tayler Hill finished with 18 points and Stefanie Dolson added 17 points plus nine rebounds. Both Latta and Hill came off the bench.
Abby Bishop led the Storm with 17 points and five rebounds. Ramu Tokashiki, Crystal Langhorne and Markeisha Gatling had 10 points each. Gatling also pulled down five rebounds.
Washington pulled out to an early lead and had a 34-14 after the first quarter. The Storm fell behind by as much as 24 but to chip away lead and cut the deficit to 16 by the end of the second quarter. Washington led 53-37 at the half.
The Mystics travel to San Antonio to face the Stars on Friday. The Storm, in the midst of a six-game road trip, heads to Connecticut to play the Sun on the same day. Seattle is now 1-9 on the road this season.
- Washington and Seattle will meet one more time this season in August.
- In her first game back since sitting out due to a concussion, Kia Vaughn scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in 15 minutes
- Washington tied a franchise record for fewest turnovers in a game with six.
- The Mystics also scored a season high in points in a quarter (34) and a half(53)
- Both benches outscored their starting units.
Mystics Head Coach Mike Thibault
Overall thoughts on the game:
“I thought for a good portion of both the first and fourth quarter we played great offense…a little ugly in our offense in the second and forth but we’ll take the win. We took care of the ball too, six turnovers, that’s huge. If you’ve watched our practices the last two days, I was worried about the rust, you just never know how you’re going to play. We got a lot of big performances. The way we’re trying to use Ivory (Latta), she did what exactly what we needed. Tayler (Hill) joined in, almost 38 or 37 points between the two of them off the bench. That’s a huge lift for your team and it’s something we were missing for a while.”
On Kia Vaughn’s performance:
“I thought she was great for her first game, she obviously takes up size and lane. I think she bothered people. Physical on the boards, that’s what we really needed. that part was great.”
On the performance of the bench players :
“That’s a great problem to have as a coach. The hardest part now is figuring out minutes for everybody. Sometimes as a coach in those situations you’re guessing who’s going to be good every night. What we’re asking for is to be consistent now; your team knows how good they can be when you can count on things every night. That’s our next step on our progress, but it was a huge lift tonight and hopefully that will carry over that we can keep doing that. It allows us me to mix and match line ups.”
Mystics Guard Ivory Latta
On coming off the bench:
“I’m here to do my job, whatever they want me to do. If I need to bring energy off the bench then that’s what I’m going to do, that’s my job.”
On Washington’s four-game winning streak:
“We’re just staying consistent on what we need to do. Rebounding, we’re communicating; we can always communicate more out there on the floor. We’re just playing hard.”
Mystics Center Kia Vaughn
On being back:
“It felt great! I just love the game of basketball. I love my teammates, they made it easy for me to come back to play the game. Being home is good too, taking it one day at a time”
Mystics at a glance
Points: Ivory Latta- 20
Rebounds: Stefanie Dolson – 9
Assists: Emma Meesseman -5
Steals: Tierra Ruffin-Pratt – 2
Storm Head Coach Jenny Boucek
Overall thoughts on the game:
“Very disappointed with the start of the game especially defensively, so that put us in a huge hole. Thought we did a decent job of regaining our composure, playing more like we want to play but it was a rough start for us.”
On outscoring the Mystics in the third quarter:
“This team has a lot to learn. Winning on the road is extremely difficult and one of the most important things about it is your start. The Mystics are very talented offensively, they got a lot of very good offensive weapons and when we let an offensive team like that get comfortable and confident it’s hard to slow them down. We let them get very confident right off the bat and so that was an uphill battle.”
Storm Forward Abby Bishop
On her performance:
“I think I just had to come in and try to bring good energy. Obviously we didn’t start very well as a team and that’s kind of what hurt us the whole game so I just continued to shoot and missed my first couple shots and just stayed with it and was able to get a couple at the end that helped us come back a little bit.”
On the team’s focus for the second half of the season and the six-game road trip:
“For us it’s just about taking one game at a time but also learning from each game and we know that playing on the road is obviously a lot tougher than playing at home so it’s important for us to get good starts, today that really hurt us with the start and we were chasing the rest of the game. I think that’s going to be the really big focus for the next game is having a good start and that’s everyone and it starts from the warmup, it starts from everything, so that’s going to be really important for us for these next 5 games.”
Points: Abby Bishop -17
Rebounds: Crystal Langhorne – 6
Assists: Angel Goodrich – 7
Steals: Many – 1
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Storm 36, Mystics 36
Second Chance Points: Storm 17, Mystics 8
Fastbreak Points: Storm 3, Mystics 6
Biggest Lead: Storm 0, Mystics 24
Lead Changes: 0
Times Tied: 0