The Washington Times - July 3, 2011, 12:45PM

The Mystics (2-5) will face the WNBA defending champions Seattle Storm (4-3) at Verizon Center this afternoon at 4pm in a game to be televised on NBA TV. The Mystics are coming off of their best win of the season, a 20-point blowout win, 83-63, over the Tulsa Shock last Sunday.

The Mystics are still without all-star guard Alana Beard, who missed all of last season with a Achilles injury, and hasn’t played a game yet this season with a left foot injury. Beard continues to be listed as day to day.


The Storm have their own injury issues as well. They are playing without reigning MVP Lauren Jackson, who is out after having surgery to repair a torn labrum in her left hip. Jackson could be out for the rest of the season. In her absence, the Storm will rely heavily on three-time all star forward Swin Cash.

“Seattle is a very experienced team and they’re playing well,” Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said.

“We played good defense against Tulsa, we defensed the three well, and we have to do that against Seattle. We have to be more comfortable in running our defensive schemes, executing, and creating turnovers for ourselves for easy baskets” Lacey said.

The Mystics shored up their post presence in the off-season by adding center Nicky Anosike, who has been one of the team’s best performers so far, along with forward Crystal Langhorne, and guard Matee Ajavon, who has filled in admirably in the starting lineup for the the injured Beard, averaging 16 points per game.

Langhorne is the team’s leading scorer averaging 18.1 points per game, while Anosike averages 12.3 points per game.

The Mystics hope to carry some momentum from last week into today’s contest before embarking on a five-game road trip over the next two weeks.

“We have to execute in the half court which we have been doing and for longer periods of time, and we have to keep them off the offensive boards,” Lacey said.

“If we put that all together, I think we’ll come out with a win.”