3-0! Still Undefeated!
Did you see that? We did! Live Access actually worked, so we got to see the webcast of the Mystics' exciting 75-69 road win over the defending WNBA Champions, the Detroit Shock.
We know it's a cliche to say that basketball is a game of runs, but tonight's game really showed why it's true. As they did on Sunday, the Mystics had real trouble finishing their shots in the first quarter and fell behind, 13-21, after the first 10 minutes. But just as they did against Atlanta, DC came roaring back in the second period, going on an 18-2 run that helped send them into the locker room leading at the half, 38-27. The Shock opened the third period with a 10-2 run of their own, but the Mystics pressed on, ending the period with a 7-0 run and holding on to a slim 56-51 lead.
To say the final quarter was a nail-biter is an understatement. The Shock would close up the gap. The Mystics would respond. The Shock would inch closer. And then an electrical storm overhead would cause us to lose our internet connection! Arrgh! Every possession counts and we're staring at a black screen. But all's well that ends well and we were back on line in time to see the clock run out with the young Mystics' underdogs (woof! woof!) still ahead of the 2008 WNBA champions. It's been 4 years since the Mystics beat the Shock at the Palace. Tonight's win was a long time coming. And very exciting. And very satisfying.
The Mystics beat the Shock with a well-balanced offensive attack. Four players scored in double figures, three of them off the bench! Wait, "bench" is not the right word here. In these first 3 games, Coach Plank has relied on a 9-deep rotation. "Bench" suggests that 4 of these players are reserves, there to spell the "starters." But that doesn't describe this team at all. What the Mystics have shown so far this season isn't a starter-bench scenario, but more a 2-wave attack. There's no drop-off when the 2nd wave hits the floor. Tonight, as on Sunday, the 2nd wave was responsible for turning an early deficit into a half-time lead. So while it was no surprise that 1st-waver Alana Beard notched a game-high 15 points, the other 3 Mystics players in double figures all came from the "2nd wave." Crystal Langhorne, Marissa Coleman, and Matee Ajavon added 14, 13, and 12 points, respectively.
Lang’s points included some nice jump shots outside the paint, and she added to tonight’s excitement with an enormously important late-game steal, leaping high in the air to intercept a three-quarter-court pass which would almost certainly have ended in a Shock basket. As long-time Lang-fans, it was particularly nice hearing the Detroit announcers talk about how much Crystal has improved her play this season. As for Marissa, the announcer said she came into tonight's game as the WNBA's leading 3-pt shooter, and she added 2 more from behind the arc against the Shock. And Matee's defensive performance, which included 3 steals -- plus her 12 points -- was really critical to the Mystics' victory.
While it's true that Detroit is missing two stars to injuries and one to the
Congratulations again to Coach Plank, her staff and especially to the Mystics players! 3-0, way to go!