Sunday, July 13, 2008


We confess that when the Sun opened this afternoon's game with a 9-0 run, we worried that this would be another edition of the Mystics' Disappearing-First-Half-Blues. But as anyone at the Phone Booth (or watching this nationally televised game on ABC) can tell you -- "Blue" didn't disappear at all -- Nikki B's presence was very obvious as she helped lead the Mystics to a win over Connecticut, 69-64.

The home crowd (as well as the TV audience) was treated to an exciting afternoon of basketball. After the Sun's opening run, the Mystics responded and finished the quarter up by 1. By limiting first-half turnovers (to only 6), the Mystics held on to a slim lead at the break, despite 18 points from the Sun's All-Star, Lindsay Whalen (who finished with a game-best 33!).

Early in the 3rd period, the Mystics extended their lead to 6, only to see their All-Star guard, Alana Beard, head to the bench with an apparent eye injury. However, in what was probably the most balanced offensive performance we've witnessed this season (7 Mystics players scored 7 points or more), Alana's teammates responded (especially Nikki B, who scored 11 of her team-high 13 points in the 3rd) and extended a 2-point half-time lead to 13 at the end of 30 minutes.

As good teams often do, the Sun pushed the Mystics hard in the final period, cutting their lead to 1 point with just under a minute to play. But Alana (who played about 5 minutes of the 4th quarter) proved that sometimes it's better to be lucky than good -- or, in Alana's case, both lucky and good -- as a friendly backboard helped her seal the Mystics' win when she banked in a long 2-pointer with 37 seconds remaining.

For a change, the Mystics' posts (size-wise) matched up well against their opponent's frontcourt. With an even match-up, the Mystics' not so "bigs" were able to out-hustle, out-score and out-rebound the Sun's not so "bigs," really helping the Mystics to pull out the narrow victory in today's game.

The Mystics travel to Madison Square Garden on Thursday to take on the fiesty young Liberty in a game that will be televised on Comcast Sports in the DC-area, and NBA-TV nationally, at 7:30 PM. The Mystics are currently 2.5 games behind New York for the 4th playoff spot. A win by Washington in the Big Apple could certainly make the playoff race a lot more interesting!

The enthusiastic crowd at the Phone Booth this afternoon included a very familiar face, former PG Nikki Teasley, and one very new young fan, Nikki T's daughter, Yasherae.

Immediately following the game, the Mystics conducted an auction to benefit the Sullivan Center for Breast Health at Sibley Memorial Hospital. The players joined Mystics President Sheila Johnson and COO Greg Bibb on the court. Among the items auctioned off were signed balls, jerseys and shoes, a trip for two to NY for the game this Thursday including dinner with GM Linda Hargrove (that went for $1,200), and a game of HORSE with the winning bidder's favorite Mystics player ($600). Overall, the auction netted approximately $36,000 for Sibley, and was hugely entertaining for the fans who remained.

The auction began with bidding on a ball signed by all of the Mystics players. It went for $475, which turned out to be one of the real bargains of the day.

There was great interest in all of the auctioned items.

One of the most hotly contested items was dinner for four with a Mystics player (another player was thrown in as the bids mounted). Eventually, two bidding groups remained, and the dinner went for $2,525. During the auction, Taj leaped into the stands to urge on the bidders and lobby -- successfully -- to be one of the two Mystics invited . . . Alana will also get a free meal!

Why is Laurie Koehn smiling? Well, her autographed, game worn jersey sparked an intense bidding war and was finally gavelled down for $3,000!

Mo, Nikki B, and Ne-Mo can't believe how much some fans are bidding on used clothing. Neither could the BasketCases . . . but we were happy that they did. It was for a very worthy cause!

Nikki B was only supposed to lose her jersey tonight, but fans asked for her earrings as well. The ensemble fetched a cool $1,000.

Kia worked hard to drive up the bids. She seemed particularly interested in an autographed Caron Butler jersey, but some lucky fan got it for just $400.

Taj exhorting the crowd to bid more for her jersey and shoes; they went for $1,500.

Wait . . . there's another bidder over there . . . .

The highest bid today, not surprisingly, was for Alana Beard's autographed, game worn jersey, which went for a whopping $4,500 (and for that amount, AB also threw in her shoes)! Mo Currie's gear was not far behind; her jersey, shoes and shooting shirt fetched $4,100.

Speaking of jerseys . . . were the BasketCases the only ones who noticed that someone named Langhorn (no "E"), wearing the Number 1, played the first half of the game today for the Mystics, while . . .

someone named Langhorne, also wearing the Number 1, played the second half?

* * * * * * *
The Charm Factor: (Simon Says) FIVE BUNNIES!!! (out of 5): Yes, a perfect afternoon for Mystics fans at the Phone Booth. Not just the win over the Sun, but thousands of fans waving pink rally towels (the day's free fan give-away), a wonderful performance of the National Anthem by the Harbor City Music Company (a women's chorus out of Baltimore), a fun halftime game of Simon Says by Steve Max, Mr. Simon Sez himself, and then topped off, of course, by the incredibly entertaining (and worthwhile!) auction.

Photo Credits: DC BasketCases


At 7:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't catch Lang's jersey mixup. Probably the same person who did the video that she filmed. At the beginning it said, "Introducting"

At 8:47 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

i say the "E"-less jersey, but thought i was crazy when it was fixed for the second half. thanks for the pics to verify my sanity.

At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll have to go back through the pictures I took to see if I snapped it and just didn't notice. Now, if we can just bottle what we did yesterday and use it for the upcoming games, maybe we'd be on to something. It would be nice, you know?

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey basketcases, I was told sometime ago that this was a possibility, but it's finally been officially announced that Shay and Laura will be reuniting during the offseason in Europe. They'll be playing for the Besiktas club in Istanbul, Turkey!

Her comments on the change from Israel are up on her site.

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking back to a filmed Q & A at a recent game in which the players were asked who they would most like to meet, I remember feeling that for a lot of us, our Mystics players are some of the people we would most like to meet!!! LOL The auction results help confirm my suspicions! Congrats and thanks to all the fans who were so generous!! Sorry I couldn't afford it right now!!
S Rob

At 11:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yasherae? Well, that's... original.


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