How many people do you know who can say they graduated from college on the court in a pregame ceremony? Well, Mystics rookie Krystal Vaughn
did exactly that today! Krystal
is the first member of her family to graduate from college. The Mystics' schedule prevented her from attending her graduation ceremony at Virginia Commonwealth University
, so VCU sent a little of her commencement to the Phone Booth. VCU Head Coach (and former Mystic!) Beth Cunningham
with her diploma prior to the game. Another Mystics rookie -- Crystal Langhorne
-- also graduated this week, but she managed to make it to her graduation ceremony Friday morning at Maryland
. Dr. J
and Mystics COO Greg Bibb
presented both new graduates with flowers today to help celebrate this important milestone. Both Krystal
then went on to give the team excellent minutes off the bench . . .
As for the game, today's matchup was between two winless teams, each hungry for a victory. Happily for the Mystics
and their fans, the Comets
were sent back to Houston still winless, as the Mystics recorded their first win of the season, 69-66
. While the result was better for the Mystics than it was in the first two games, Houston is not one of the league's better teams, yet the Mystics still struggled to eke out the win. The Mystics' offense continued to sputter. If the team is going to be successful this season, the Mystics (in our opinion) need more consistent offense from their starters. Today, at halftime, the Mystics' reserves had outcored the starters, 18-12. By the end of the game, the starters had contributed only one point more than the bench had, 35-34, despite the fact that the starters were on the floor for 137 minutes to the reserves' 63.
Alana Beard led the Mystics
with 16 points (the only starter in double figures). Off the bench, Laurie Koehn
finished with 12, hitting 4 of her 6 three-point attempts, while Coco Miller
put up 10 points, including 3 critical buckets late in the 4th quater. Another bench player who made the most of her minutes today was new Terp graduate Crystal Langhorne
played played 10 minutes and was a perfect 4 of 4 from the floor (including a couple of scores while being defended by the Comets' perennial All-Star Tina Thompson
). While it wasn't the prettiest, it was still a win, and now the Mystics have a chance to even their record when the WNBA's newest team, the Atlanta Dream
, makes its first ever appearance at the Phone Booth on Tuesday at 7 PM. Which brings us to . . .
The Charm Factor.
The BasketCases give a major shout-out to the Mystics' front office, who clearly went all out for the home opener. Magnetic schedules, light-up bangers (helping to create a great visual during introductions), lasers, a few pyrotechnics, Andre Pitre
singing the National Anthem (great voice, on-key), the Ballou High School Marching Band
, plus a good deal of hoopla and energy during the time outs! We thought, "Wow, we're definitely headed for a Five Bunny Night!" But alas . . . it was not to be. Just when the in-arena experience was moving along so swimmingly, we spotted this (and thought "OMG!") . . .
," the new sidekick to the Mystics' mascot, Pax
. What is he? Well, we think he's supposed to be a Blue Rabbit. (Poor Charm
must be rolling over in his grave . . . or in his stewpot as the case may be.) Isn't Lucky
simply the ugliest looking thing you've ever seen? We're sorry, but we just had to take an automatic half-bunny deduction! Then (standing at 4-1/2 bunnies), halftime came and . . .
The entertainment was provided by simply the
best worst Tina Turner impersonator
ever, a performer named Cookie Watkins
. She could hardly carry a tune. For the most part, we and many others in the audience simply stared at her in disbelief. In a way, she was so bad, it was almost entertaining -- in that Gong Show sort of way. Anyway, we had to assess another half-bunny deduction. So today's Charm Factor: Four Bunnies!
Not perfect, but still a very good start to the season!Photo Credits: DC BasketCases