The Washington Times - June 5, 2011, 02:48PM

The Mystics began their season with an 89-73 road loss to the Connecticut Sun at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday. Alana Beard missed the opener after injuring her ankle in practice earlier in the week.

Head coach Trudi Lacey sounded unconcerned that Beard’s injury was anything serious.


“It’s just a bruise; she stepped on somebody’s foot in practice,” Lacey said.

Forward Crystal Langhorne and center Nicky Anosike combined for 19 points in the first quarter, but they only had 13 points combined the rest of the game.

“Connecticut did play good defense that changed our shot selection. We kind of went away from that in the second half and Connecticut collapsed on them and we didn’t hit outside shots,” Lacey said.

The Sun shot 57 percent from the field, their fifth best in franchise history, and went 8-16 from three-point range.

 “We have a young team and I think we did great. This is a great learning experience for us. Connecticut is a very good offensive team,” Lacey said.

Center Nicky Anosike picked up two early fouls against a tough opponent, Sun center Tina Charles.

“I struggled trying to make up for the fouls I picked up at the beginning, but I have to try and find a way to get myself back into it,” Anosike said.

 “We are both centers. We are both aggressive. We are both hard workers so we always battle no matter what. Whether she is guarding me or I’m guarding her it’s always a battle,” Anosike said.

Anosike called not having Beard on the court a big loss.

It’s huge. As a post player when the guards are playing great everything you get out of that is going to be great also,” Anosike said.

“Losing Monique and Alana is huge for us especially the post players because you don’t get those easy touches. But injuries happen in sports so the teams that are able to move on are the teams that are great,” Anosike said.

 Langhorne said the team needs to toughen up their defensive pressure.

“Our defense needs to be a lot better,” Langhorne said.

“We started out the game really great and then we kind of went into a lull where our transition defense wasn’t great but those little things like that we need to work on.”

The Mystics next game is Thursday night on the road against the Atlanta Dream.

Postgame notes and quotes courtesy of Connecticut Sun Media Relations Department.