Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Night of 3,001 Sheilas. The "official" attendance reads 8,894 (the usual 6,500 die-hard Mystics fans, plus about 2,400 new cross-overs, many in Washington Capitals hockey jerseys who had heard that if you liked your sports with some hard checking and a few good knock-downs, the Mystics games were the place to be), but the true attendance was actually close to 12,000 because the official count doesn't include all 3,001 Sheilas. Early arriving fans received 3,000 Limited Edition (numbered!) Bobble-less-heads Sheila Johnson "figurines" (imported from China, home of Pax the Panda), while the 1 and only true limited edition real Sheila J danced and cheered from the owner's box. The energy of almost 12,000 Mystics fans (live and limited editions) turned out to be too much for the WNBA-leading LA Sparks as the Mystics beat them by a score of 84-74.

Playing four quarters of playoff quality basketball, the Mystics shot an impressive 52.6% from the field, while limiting the Sparks to 35.6%. Red hot Alana Beard showed why she was just named to the 2006 USA Basketball Women's World Championship Team, leading all scorers with 29 points (and 9 boards), while DeLisha Milton-Jones followed up her career-high night against Charlotte with 18 against her former team. Chasity Melvin and Nakia Sanford combined for great work inside, limiting Lisa Leslie to only 10 points and putting her into foul trouble early. As the BasketCases noted earlier today, the game featured three players on each team who had played on the other team. ("Original Mystic" Murriel Page in particular got a huge ovation from the crowd when she was introduced.) The players were vying for bragging rights against their old teammates (and in some cases, old friends), and we could not be happier with the outcome.

Tonight's win was the 4th in a row for the Mystics, and with Indy's loss to Detroit puts DC only 1-1/2 games out of 3rd place in the Eastern Conference. The BasketCases couldn't have scripted a better sendoff for the Mystics as they head west to face two tough opponents, the Storm and the Monarchs.

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases


At 3:58 AM, Blogger Blacklaw96 said...

Tonight the Mystics looked like the champions that they can be. AB played like the all star that she is and but 29 points on the board. But most importantly, they played like a team. A key highlight were the 6 points posted by Laurie Koehn in back to back 3-point plays. This night just shows what amazing athletes we have playing in Washington for our WNBA team.

Now, Washington needs to step up and support them. We need better media coverage and more support from fans. The WNBA is the best sports entertainment value around. Also, it respresents a wellspring of positive role models. These women have college degrees (many of them have masters), high community involverment, active family lives, positive life stories and awsome athletism, as many of them play the game all year long between the WNBA season and overseas play.

At 6:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

what was the reception like in washington for holdsclaw??


At 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a great site! Keep up the great work. Since I discovered you about 2 weeks ago, I have been entertained and informed. One night I just had to sit and read all the previous blogs. When I get home after a game, I anxiously await your report.

Thanks so much.

At 7:57 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Hi "Anonymous" Jersey!

Holdsclaw and Temeka both got polite applause but nothing like the thunderous cheering that followed Murriel's introduction.

Anonymous Two: thanks so much; we're happy you're enjoying the blog!


At 8:44 AM, Anonymous Kayaker said...

The energy in the arena was fabulous. What a great game.

At 7:54 PM, Anonymous taggart said...

Great seeing you both last night! Thanks again for the tip about your blog. I will definitely be reading it from here forward.. and backward.

What a game! I agree that what was great was the team play, but in a selfish way the best parts about it for me were: 1.) Beard coming back from the silly expulsion to show us all why she is one of the top 5 players in the league... easily! 2.) Byears getting revenge on the team that kicked her off 3.) Beating Kobe's Dad... 4.) and.. of course.. it is always so sweet to beat Lisa Leslie and her little shorts! See everyone at the playoffs.



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