Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bragging Rights




Tonight's game between the Mystics and the Sky was supposed to be the first time that former Maryland teammates Marissa Coleman and Kristi Toliver would face off as opponents. Unfortunately, Marissa's injury spoiled those plans. But the nearly 12,000 in attendance (including more than 150 Maryland Rebounders and the entire Maryland coaching staff) were still treated to an incredibly exciting game.

The Mystics took the early lead -- fueled largely by Alana Beard -- but Chicago gradually closed the gap. The teams kept things very close as halftime approached. But then, about a minute and a half before the break, with the score tied at 29, the Sky went on a 10-0 run. It happened so fast, the Mystics (and their fans) looked shocked. Before they knew what had hit them, the Mystics were down by double digits heading into the locker room.

It's nights like these when the coaching staff really earns their paychecks. And did they ever! The Mystics were going to need to play catchup and the players needed to believe they could turn the game around. We don't know what was said in the locker room, but whatever it was, it worked!

The Mystics opened the second half more aggressive offensively and defensively and began steadily whittling away at the Sky's lead. Several players were instrumental in the turnaround. First and foremost was Alana Beard, who battled intensely and led her teammates on both ends of the floor. Alana not only led all scorers with 31 points, but played relentless defense (including 3 steals) . . . just as critical. Chasity Melvin's early baskets in the third quarter, her defensive play, and her rebounding helped ignite the second-half rally. (Chas finished with 12 points and 9 rebounds.) And Matee Ajavon's harassment of the Sky's ball handlers and her own lightning speed down the court also helped to turn the game in the Mystics' favor. Crystal Langhorne turned in another excellent performance (in both halves) coming off the bench, with 14 points (including a near perfect 6 of 7 from the free throw line), 6 rebounds and two steals. Alana led the charge, her teammates followed, and together the Mystics emerged with the win, 81-72.

Kristi Toliver was the other Terp coming off the bench tonight, putting up 13 points for the Sky in 15 minutes of play. The BasketCases were happy to see KT have a good outing, but even happier about the outcome of the game.

4-1! A pretty good start to a season.

Photo credits: DC BasketCases

15 Comments:

At 2:34 AM, Blogger natthedem said...

Thanks for the update.

Unfortunately WNBA's Live Access wasn't working at all today so this has been the only sneak peek I've gotten into the game.

Great win by the Mystics.

 
At 7:52 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope that Sheila Johnson demands a deep discount for arena rent last night, and passes it on to Mystic fans. The lack of a working scoreboard really sucked. I do have to wonder if the Wizards or Caps would have had to endure that situation. Anyway, I'm glad that the mystics got the win.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger tervin said...

The lack of scoreboard stunk, but worse than that was how warm it was in there! I'm usually cold, but I was actually sweating last night. And did y'all get that dead animal smell at your seats? It was brutal in 110. I'm thinking something died in the vents!

That was an exciting game! I didn't know how much AB scored until I got home and saw the box score. I love this team. The hustling for loose balls is a thing of beauty.

 
At 10:41 AM, Anonymous Tee said...

I understand they didn't turn the AC on, until 2 hours before the game. The staff working at the concessions stand behind section 200 was not happy at all!!

I love this team as well. Great hustle, great fight! We got smashed on the boards in the first half, but gave tremendous effort in the 2nd. I thought our post did a nice job of containing Sylvia. She a great player, so she's going to get her shots, blocks and boards...but she wasn't super dominant. We contained her!

AB...awesome game!!! I have to commend Lang on her toughness. Last season she was getting pushed around a lot...this year...i see she's fighting more for position...and getting those patented boards and put backs!

We've got to find some minutes for Humphrey. Somewhere......

 
At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much for that Atlanta Dream commentator on Live Access Friday night who said that Alana Beard couldn't be successful carrying a team on her back because her jump shot wasn't good enough. What world does he inhabit, anyway?

 
At 1:30 PM, Blogger posting-up said...

It was also great to see Emory Wallace (and her dad) last night, sitting up in section 121, with her leg in an enormous post-surgery brace. She was cheering loudly for all the Terps, but especially for "KT."

Brenda came to see her at half-time and was clearly giving her instructions about taking care of herself. There was lots of vigorous nodding from Emory:"I will. I promise. OK. Yes, Coach, I will..."

Great game; and I can't wait for Marissa to get healthy -- we're going to be unstoppable!

 
At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ted (and son) and Dr. Sheila (and husband) were in attendance again, two in a row.

Let's keep that streak going too!

 
At 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has any one been able to see the webcasts of Mystics home games? Whats up with that?

 
At 6:28 PM, Anonymous Stewart said...

Coach Frese and her husband sat in the row in front of mine. They cheered for all of their Terp alums and Brenda looked like she was really enjoying the game. It was interesting watching her reactions to what was going on as a spectator versus that as a coach. GREAT win for the Mystics. Let's keep it going!

 
At 11:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Will Emory Wallace ever play for the Terps or will the suregeries keep her out?

 
At 6:26 AM, Blogger BasketCases said...

Unfortunately, Emery learned prior to the start of this past season that she can no longer play basketball because of her knees. She has remained on the team, but in a "medical hardship" status. As far as we know, she'll be able to continue with the team in that status this coming season.

-- BC

 
At 7:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The scoreboard was a real downer ... especially on a night when one player scores 31 points. It is a real disgrace that a fan who pays to see a game knows less about the game than if they had stayed home and used the internet. Could the big screen have been used to show some of the stats?

The half time show of an artist painting a picture of the president was ok for an amuzement park, but give me a group of middle school girls playing basketball anyday!

 
At 8:16 AM, Anonymous KCH said...

I certainly feel your pain about the scoreboard . . . but trust me, I was stranded due to delayed travel plans and unable to get to the game -- you wouldn't have known more if you'd stayed home! The box score at WNBA.com was updating, maybe once every 20 minutes. Finally, I started just watching the Mystics' updates on Twitter. Anyway, it sounds like it was a great game, and I can't wait for Thursday! Thanks for the report and the pictures!

 
At 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kinda random but....I like Marissa's outfit! :)

 
At 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

idk you may have seen it but heres a cool/funny video about the duke,maryland connection on the styx.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/video/402433/exacc_rivals_join_forces_for_mystics.html?cat=64

 

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