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Mystics Falter Late, Drop Season Opener to Liberty, 85-80

Mystics Come Up Just Short in Their Season Opener Against the Liberty

Story By: Erin Zollars

Photos By: Sol Tucker

Washington, D.C–

There is certainly a lot of hype around the WNBA this season, and tonight the Mystics faced one of the best teams in the league and took them down to the wire, unfortunately, the Liberty were much too tough in the fourth quarter sending the Mystics to a season opening loss, 85-80.

New York trailed 67-59 entering the fourth quarter before scoring 22 of the next 29 points, going ahead for good at 72-71 with 5:56 left on a basket by Laney-Hamilton. She also stole an inbounds pass and converted a layup to make it 79-74 with 3:30 remaining.

Sabrina Ionescu gave New York a three-point lead with 15.8 seconds left and Karlie Samuelson was short on a long 3-pointer at the other end. Ionescu was fouled again and made two free throws to seal it with 0.2 left.

Ionescu finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists for New York. Breanna Stewart had just eight points on 3-of-9 shooting.

For the Mystics, the return of Stefanie Dolson was felt early as she got off to early start with 11 points, 11 first half points tying the most she’s scored in a first half since June 12, 2021 at Indiana.

Ariel Atkins led the Mystics in scoring with 20 points, going 7-14 from the field and 4-6 from the field, along with picking up two rebounds and three assists.

The Mystics had a little bit of an energy boos going into the fourth quarter as Julie Vanloo made a 3-pointer from near midcourt, scoring her first career WNBA field goal. The Mystics had the lead over the Liberty at 8 points at this point.

The Liberty started out the fourth quarter on a high note that included a couple errant shots by the Mystics and finished the quarter outscoring the Mystics 26-13 to grab their first victory of the season.


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