The Washington Times - May 21, 2012, 04:45PM

Shaking off the disappointment of their opening night 69-57 loss to the Chicago Sky on Saturday night, the Mystics were back at practice on Monday afternoon at Verizon Center.

Matee Ajavon, who averaged 14.7 points for the Mystics last year, practiced with the team on Monday, her knee wrapped in a brace, while coach Trudi Lacey took the team through drills and sets.


Ajavon, the 5-foot-8 shooting guard who got a chance to shine last season when Alana Beard was sidelined with injury, missed the first game with a right knee soreness, but is expected to play on Saturday against the Tulsa Shock.

The team finalized their roster on Thursday, releasing first round draft pick LaSondra Barrett from LSU, and has just one rookie on the team this season, 5-foot-11 guard Natalie Novosel from Notre Dame.

Lacey was tough on her squad after Saturday’s loss, saying she hoped her veteran leaders would make better decisions, but kept up her trademark optimism that the team would do a better job in their next outing.

The return of Ajavon will be a big factor, but the Mystics will have to find a way to take care of the ball, posting 23 turnovers in their opening game.

The Shock, last season’s worst team, lost their opening game to the San Antonio Silver Stars.