COO Greg Bibb stopped by before tonight's game to ask the BCs if the Mystics had ever had a record of 10 and 5 before. Of course, to get to 10-5 tonight, the Mystics would need to beat their Eastern Conference nemesis, the Indiana Fever, in front of a national TV audience (as well as about 8,500 Washington fans in the Phone Booth). We teased Greg that he was tempting fate (and then we knocked on wood), but replied that we really couldn't remember the Mystics ever getting off to such a successful start.
Fortunately, Fate resisted Temptation tonight, and the Mystics held off the Fever in an exciting, down-to-the-final possession, down-to-the-final seconds battle, to record their 10th win of the season, 68-65, and hang on to 2nd place in the East (tied with Connecticut and 1 game ahead of Indy).
Since we were in the arena, we couldn't hear what the ESPN announcers were saying, but we have to believe that the network -- not to mention the WNBA -- had to have been pretty happy that they picked this game to feature in primetime this week. Indy up by 1 point after the 1st; Washington up by 1 at the half; Mystics up by 3 at the end of 3 . . . and then a wild, final period that saw the Mystics build a not-quite-double-digit cushion only to lose most of it in the final minutes. Anybody who turned this game off before the final buzzer is not a real basketball fan!
Last season, the Fever owned the Mystics (beating them in all 6 meetings, spanning the regular and post-seasons). With tonight's victory, the Mystics are now 2-0 against Indiana this year. Quite a turnaround! And one very big reason for the improvement: Katie Smith. Big game, big audience, big conference rival, going head-to-head against other veteran stars including Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas and Tammy Sutton-Brown . . . the Mystics' Katie decided tonight would be a good night to show why she was such a sought-after free agent this off-season. Our Katie set the pace offensively (as well as handling some tough defensive assignments), finishing with a game-high 21 points. And her leadership was evident throughout.
Katie got help from (Player-Of-the-Week) Crystal Langhorne, who had another impressive performance. Against a Fever team known for aggressive, physical defense, Lang added to her streak of consecutive double-doubles (14 points and 10 rebounds). And with Mo Currie struggling, Marissa Coleman and Matee Ajavon both gave the Mystics good minutes off the bench . . . really helping the Mystics hold on to their lead.
Now that this one's in the books, we have to admit that 10-5 (whether or not it's a Mystics best) sounds great! In fact, 10 wins are as many as the Mystics had during the entire pre-Angela, pre-Julie (Vortex of Doom) summer of 2008. Five home wins in a row . . . it's been a fun month to be a fan at the Phone Booth. The Mystics, though, have no time to relax and enjoy their early season accomplishment. After playing 4 games in 6 days, the Mystics leave the high-90s of DC for the 100-plus summer temperatures of Arizona. They have a rematch with the Mercury in Phoenix on Thursday before traveling to Oklahoma on Friday to face the Shock in Tulsa on Saturday. Makes us exhausted just writing about this schedule!
Congratulations to the Mystics on tonight's win!
Go Mystics . . . beat the Merc and the Shock!