This morning we quoted Head Coach Tree Rollins' observation about the Mystics: "We're very young. There's gonna be some nights where it looks like we don't know what the heck we're doing . . ."
Well, unfortunately, this was one of those nights, as the Mystics struggled from start to finish against the Indiana Fever, managing to put up only 53 points, losing their season opener, 53-64. Yes, the Mystics were without All-Star Alana Beard. But the Fever were without their All-Star Tamika Catchings. So All-Star-wise, that's a draw.
Washington simply did not get sufficient offense from most of its starters to win this game. Unless you're Rutgers, you can't win many games either in D-I basketball or the WNBA scoring only 53 points. Indy's Katie Douglas led all scorers with 24 points. Nakia Sanford led the Mystics and recorded her first double-double of the young season (14 points and 11 boards). However, it wasn't until the waning moments of the game that a 2nd Mystics starter, Mo Currie, made it into double figures, finishing with 10 pts. Taj added 9 (along with 8 boards) and Coco had 7. Crystal Langhorne led the team in bench scoring, putting up 7 points in just under 13 minutes.
The Mystics didn't help themselves by committing 22 turnovers and hitting only 9 of 16 FTs. All in all, not their best effort. A work in progress. And not a particularly fun game to watch.
Coach Rollins warned us there'd be days like this. We were hoping, of course, that today wouldn't be one of them.
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For Maryland Fans . . . Laura Harper's Monarchs had a better opening night, defeating San Antonio, 73-64. Harp played significant minutes coming off the bench (21) and had an excellent first outing; she scored 10 points (hitting 3 of 5 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line), grabbed 5 boards, and blocked 2 shots. Her contribution was such that the headline in the Sacramento Bee for the game story read "Harper Helps Monarchs Win Season Opener."
As we were watching the game, we thought: what a wonderful thing it was to be seeing both former Terrapins, Lang and Harp, on TV on the same night, each making her professional debut, each playing well. We only wish, of course, that like the Monarchs, the Mystics had won.
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Sunday Morning Update. The Mystics' own Sheila Johnson is the author of the "First Person Singular" feature in today's Washington Post Magazine.