When you look back at how the Washington Mystics started today’s game it was definately a game they they had every intention of winning, but it was Detroit that came into the Verizon Center seeking revenge for their last loss by one to the hands of the Mystics and they got what they were looking for in the second half.
Detroit outscored the Mystics 42-22 in the lane and 19-4 on second-chance points, all thanks to a 49-20 rebounding differential.
“Offensive rebounding killed us,” said Mystics interim coach Tree Rollins, whose team led by nine late in the first quarter. “Not only were they getting second shots, they were getting third shots, they box you under. Once they push you under, now you have no rebounding position.”
“Rebounding is something a coach can’t coach. We can teach you how to rebound, but we can’t coach that during the game. You have to really go out and do it yourself.”
Forward Katie Smith led the way with 21 points for the Shock and was helped by Kara Braxton and Plenette Pierson who combined for 33 points and 16 rebounds, who improved to 19-6 on the season.
Washington dug themselves a deep hole in the fourth quarter when they trailed by as much as 24 points. Delisha Milton Jones (17 points) helped cut the lead to 10 points hitting back to back three pointers, but it was just not enough as the time on the Mystics had run out and they could not find a way to get their top scorers in Monique Currie and Aland Beard to hit much needed shots.
“We’ve got to get in here and we’ve got to figure out ways to score against a zone,” Currie said. “In the first quarter they were in man-to-man and we were attacking them, but as soon as they went to their zone, we slowed down and took outside shots like they wanted us to and we played into their hands.”
The Mystics have 10 regular season games left, including a four-game swing out West and road games against the Fever and the Sun. Their chances of making the playoffs will rely on some help in the East in the form of losses by Connecticut and Detroit and the Mystics need to win at least 8 of the 10 games to stay in contention. A lot for a team that has overcome some tough losses this season already.