Friday, May 21, 2010

Home Sweeeet Home!

For the first 10 minutes of tonight's game, the BasketCases were wondering if the pre-game unveiling of Crystal Langhorne's Milk Mustache ad might turn out to be the high point of the Mystics' home opener. To say the home team started out a little flat offensively might be a nice way of putting it. Another way of saying it is that this evening the Mystics spotted the visiting New York Liberty the first quarter, 9-18.

But once again, as they did on the road, the Mystics regrouped and roared back back in the second period, outscoring the Liberty 22-10, to take a slim lead into the locker room at the break, 31-28. The season-opening crowd of 10,000 Mystics fans (and approximately 158 Lib fans) were plenty revved up, and were given plenty of reasons to jump to their feet and cheer as halftime approached. After that lackluster opening stanza, finally, we had a ballgame!

Much of the Liberty's early run was fueled by the outstanding play of new Lib star Cappie Pondexter. Cappie burned the Mystics for 12 points in that first half, heading into the locker room leading all scorers. But in the second half, Katie Smith clamped down so tightly on Cappie -- holding her to a mere 2 points in those final 20 minutes -- that the BCs started thinking that maybe we should send Katie to the Gulf to try her hand at containing the oil spill. Thanks to Katie, if New York were going to win this game, they'd have to find some other player to get the job done. With Cappie dishing out assists, but struggling to score, New York inched ahead of the Mystics in the 3rd period. But with the game tied at 61 and 6:21 left to play in the 4th quarter, the Mystics' offense -- and their defense --exploded, as they finished with a 16-0 run to notch their 3rd consecutive win, 77-61.

While Katie did the defensive heavy lifting, Mo Currie and Lindsey Harding were the 1-2 offensive punches tonight. Both had big games, and each sparked runs at critical times. Lindsey led all scorers with 21 points, and Mo also outscored every individual New York player, with 18 points of her own. Lang (undoubtedly fueled by a large pre-game glass of milk) recorded a double-double (10 points, 11 boards), and Nakia Sanford also reached double figures in scoring (10). As for Katie Smith? Well, surprisingly, she was shut out in the scoring department, but more than made up for it with her defense. We were also pleased to see rookie Jacinta Monroe make her WNBA debut, scoring 2 points in four minutes off the bench. This was her first game as a professional, as she was sidelined with an ankle injury during the pre-season.

What an exciting home opener! It may not have started that way . . . but the standing ovation the team received on their final possession certainly confirmed that the fans (including the BCs) had a heck of a good time. With Alana out of the mix, the Mystics no longer have a go-to star to lead the way. But what we've seen thus far in these early season games is a well-coached total team effort, where several players contribute -- offensively, defensively or both -- and any one or more of the starters can go "off" on an opponent on any given night. That makes this team fun to watch. As we filed out of the Phone Booth, just about everybody we saw was smiling!

Washington is now 3-0, a perfect start to their 13th season. After the team's brief appearance at home, unfortunately the fans have to wait until a week from Sunday before we get to see the Mystics again (live, not Live Access). The Mystics now hit the road for a 3-game road trip, starting this Sunday at the Reservation, where they take on the Connecticut Sun at 3 PM.

Go Mystics . . . Beat the Sun!

Photo Credit: DC BasketCases

12 Comments:

At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Stevo said...

Good teams find a way to win...No matter what!!! Find a way to WIN!!! The Mystics are on their way...

 
At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was really impressed with Katie Smith and her ability to shut Cappie down. I heard someone talking about Ktie's scoring goose egg, but last time I looked, all you need to win is get more points than the other team. If someone on your team is making points, and you're keeping the other team from making points, that's all that's needed. Nikce not to see any diva attitude by our new All Star.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger MysticsFanatic said...

I hope the crowd starts to come along for this amazing ride soon. We were way too subdued for the last few minutes of the game. I wanted Marianne to get us going like she used to :-)

 
At 12:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't at the game...even though had tickets. something cam.e up. How did marissa play? From the. Box score, didn't look good. We need her to start making shots.

 
At 1:35 PM, Blogger fr mike said...

BC Thanks for the fine and colorful report. GO MYSTICS! GO DCBC! I'll be rooting for MYSTICS at Mohegan on Sunday. GO MYSTICS!

 
At 2:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would like to see Marrisa get back into the game, soon.

 
At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What struck me was each player contributed something toward Mystic's momentum - a defensive stop, a rebound, a block, a basket. It was scary at the beginning, but they were poised even when behind. Loved how Lindsey sparked the team by attacking the basket! Matee hit a couple of baskets, and Katie's defense was awesome! Nakia hit free throws. It takes a Team!!

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Speaking of Nakia, she pretty much kept the Styx within striking distance in the 1st quarter, when Lindsey was bobbling the ball every 5 seconds (it seemed). Kia showed some nice moves. She didn't shoot much after her teammates started hitting.

And, while I echo the desire for Rissa to bring her game, I thought she looked very comfortable with that 3 pt play and was hoping it would jumpstart her shot.

I heard someone say it was the best 9 turnover game they'd ever seen from Lindsey. Likewise, it was the best zero pt game from Katie.

 
At 6:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What surprises me about Marissa is the low rebound numbers. She was such a beast on the boards in college. I realize this isn't college so wasn't expecting the same numbers. However, the numbers aren't anywhere close to what I would expect. I also realize her number (plays aren't designed for her) probably isn't called much so I don't expect her scoring percentage to be real high. However, I did expect her to score more points. Points off of rebounds, 3's. The opportunity points. She is my favorite player besides Lang so really hoping she can step it up. Those 2 are the reasons why I started following the Mystics and became a season ticket holder for the first time this year.

 
At 11:31 AM, Anonymous Jill said...

On another note, Toliver had 17 pts on 6-10 shooting in a losing effort for the Sparks. She played more than 23 minutes (second most minutes for a guard on their team). Glad to see that she has gotten a chance to actually get on the court and show how good she can be. :)

 
At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marissa may not be putting up the numbers she had at Maryland, but she seems to be a new player this year--way more engaged and aggressive. I really think she'll just keep getting better.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Sue said...

The LA Sparks are a hot mess. It's quite refreshing to cheer for a team that's on the upswing as the Mystics are.

GO STYX!

 

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