Mystics edge San Antonio 66-63, Stars release statement on Dan Hughes

The Washington Mystics (12-7) held off San Antonio (6-16) Wednesday night at the Verizon Center, 66-63. Stars coach Dan Hughes collapsed in the second quarter at the 4:43 mark after a collision with guard Danielle Robinson. She crashed into her coach going after a loose ball. He fell to the seats on the sideline and then to the floor on his back. Assistant coach Vickie Johnson took over for Hughes after he left the game. The team released the following statement:

Stars head coach and general manager Dan Hughes left tonight’s game against the Washington Mystics in the second quarter after being involved in a collision on the sidelines. He was transported to MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington D.C. Hughes suffered a lower back injury. He will return home with the team tomorrow and is expected to be on the sidelines on Saturday, Aug. 8 at the Freeman Coliseum when the Stars host the Seattle Storm.

After the Hughes suffered the injury, the Stars went on a 15-2 run and ended the half with a 38-27 advantage. However, the Mystics outscored the Stars 25-11 in the third quarter and the teams broke even in the fourth 14-14.

Ivory Latta led Washington with 23 points, Tayler Hill scored 13 and Tierra Ruffin Pratt added 10. Kia Vaughn pulled down 10 rebounds to go with 2 points.

Jia Perkins had 23 points for San Antonio while Kayla Bride finished with 18 points and 5 rebounds. Sophia Malcolm-Young was also in double figures with 17 points plus 7 rebounds.

The Mystics have now won their fourth straight home game and six out of their last seven games overall. They travel to Connecticut to face the Sun on Friday.

The Stars head home to host Seattle on Saturday.


The Mystics have won the regular season series over the Stars 2-

Mystics guard Ivory Latta wast one point shy of her season high in points. Latta shot 7-for-11 from the field, 3-for-6 from three-point range and a perfect 6-for-6 from the free throw line. 11 of her 23 points came in the third quarter alone where the Mystics outscored the Stars 25-11 to climb out of a 13-point hole

The Mystics outrebounded the Stars 38-30 led by center Kia Vaughn and forward LaToya Sanders who grabbed 10 and eight boards respectively


Mystics head coach Mike Thibault

Overall thoughts on the game:
“Best part about this game is that hopefully in two weeks people will forget about it and it’s just another win in the standings. I told our players there’s games like Chicago the other night when we lose a game and as a coach you feel okay because you played hard and you did smart things but the ball didn’t go in. Tonight we won and I’m going to go home miserable so it’s one of those. “

On making free throws down the stretch:
“We tried to put ourselves in that position, we told them in the start of the fourth quarter they’re tired, they’ve been on the road attack, attack, attack. Try to get them in foul trouble to see if we can get to the line because we’re not making enough other shots. See if we can get to the line and that really worked, that was the one good thing we did and we locked up defensively in the second half. We played really good defense. First half though I thought somebody kidnapped my team.”

On what changed after coach Dan Hughes left the game:
I already thought they had started to get the momentum right then but we were trying to stave them off but clearly it refocused them, it’s a scary thing, a very scary thing. That’s probably a more concern of mine then the actual game. Hopefully he’s doing well. I thought the rest of the game for a moment there was kind of an out of body experience in some ways for both teams.”

Mystics guard Ivory Latta

On getting back into the game:
Just a lot of heart. Everybody was out there doing their part, playing hard, and moving the ball in the second half. The second quarter was probably the worst quarter we’ve had, but we were just moving the ball and I said a couple things to the team to get them motivated and thank God we pulled it out.”

On the performance of San Antonio’s top three scorers:
“Like coach said we just had to stick to the game plan. With that team they have a big 3 and we just had to stop them and maintain them and tonight we didn’t do a good job of that. We definitely have to put this one behind us though because Connecticut has two all-stars and some other great players so we got to be ready to focus on them.”

Mystics guard Tayler Hill

On what coach said at halftime to turn things around in the second half:
He didn’t know where his team went. That’s basically what he came in here and said and we better come in here and pick it up.

On winning six out of their last seven games:
“I think when we pay attention to our scouting report and move the ball on the offensive end we let our defense generate our offense and we are a hard team to stop. We have to refocus because tonight was ugly even though we got the win, but we have to get back to where we were.”

Stars assistant coach Vickie Johnson

On how the team can improve to close out games in the future:
“I think the main thing is really sticking to the defensive schemes. We played a lot of great team defense and towards the last seven minutes of the game they went one-on-one, and we have to know personnel. We have to stop them from penetrating right if they like going right, and we need to cut off the strong hand and send them to their weak hand.”

Overall thoughts on the game:
“It was a great game. We lost by 30 to this team in San Antonio so we did a great job tonight. We just played last night but no excuses. Our team is a little tired however, they came out and they fought to the end. We had a chance to win, or tie and go into overtime.”

Stars guard Jia Perkins

On leading her team in scoring tonight and what got her going:
“I am not sure. I think at the beginning, the shots went in so that kind of gives me a little rhythm going in, and a lot of confidence. After you see a few go down, then you have the confidence to shoot the rest.”

On being able to battle the Mystics until the end and what the difference tonight was from the last time they played the Mystics:
“I think we played harder. We changed the schemes defensively, and it worked in our favor today. We just did not come out with the win, but we were in the game the whole time. It was just that 3rd quarter that killed us.”

By the Numbers

Points in the Paint: Stars 20, Mystics 18
Second Chance Points: Stars 5, Mystics 7
Fastbreak Points: Stars 8, Mystics 4
Biggest Lead: Stars 13, Mystics 8
Lead Changes: 4
Times Tied: 2

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