Mystics 87, Shock 62
It was the largest win the Washington Mystics have had this season against the team with the worst record in the WNBA, but it didn't hurt to keep boosting the Mystics' collective confidence before they begin a three-game trip against Eastern Conference foes this week.
In front of President Obama, who sat alongside Ted Leonsis and Sheila Johnson, and his youngest daughter Sasha, the Mystics did their best to eliminate any memory of their previous skid with a 87-62 thrashing of the Shock.
"We didn't want to come in here and take them lightly but we wanted to come in and continue on a roll," Lindsey Harding said. The losing streak is "over in my mind. It has to be. If we go on another losing streak like that we could be out [of the playoffs] ... Each game is going to feed something to us and count so hopefully we're going in the right direction."
The game went pretty much the way one thought it should on paper. As Tulsa struggled to crack the 60-point plateau six Mystics - Monique Currie, Crystal Langhorne, Chasity Melvin, Katie Smith, Lindsey Harding and Marissa Coleman - hit double figures. Coleman recorded the first double-double of her professional career with 14 points and 10 rebounds and with the game in control from the end of the first quarter on, the starters received some much needed rest with only Currie the only one of the group playing more than 26 minutes.
It's to the point this season where the Mystics' roster of only nine healthy players is beginning to take it's toll. Take for example, Harding, who has been hampered for the last five games or so with that hip flexor injury. She said Sunday that she is definitely improving, but it doesn't hurt that with rookie Ashley Houts growing more comfortable on the floor and the game in control Harding only needed to play 23:15 against the Shock.
"I feel better. It gets tight at times and now my right hamstring is sore, probably because I've been compensating," Harding said. "The past four, five games I haven't been practicing. I've just been going in to play and that's weird to get in a rhythm, but I'm a lot better now. Once I'm out there and warm, I'm warm."
As you might imagine, the Mystics were all very excited to see the President sitting along the sideline opposite of Tulsa's bench today. So much that there were a few early jitters, but the players seemed to get over them quickly.
"If you've got the President of the United States here, that's the ultimate home court advantage for us," Coleman said. "When you put it all in perspective not too many professional athletes get to meet the President, let alone play in front of them so for us to be one of the select few is big for women's basketball."
Said Harding: "It was pretty exciting. I had the opportunity to meet him in Minneapolis before he was the President and I was excited then too. The fact that he loves basketball and that he was talking to his daughter and showing her different things -- he was really into it and it was really neat to see him have that connection."
Posted by: JWx2 | August 1, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse
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