- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 11, 2007

For once, the Washington Mystics got off to a fast start last night, but they still needed overtime to beat the Minnesota Lynx 91-83 in front of 6,147 fans at Verizon Center.

The Mystics, who opened the game on a 9-0 run, led 72-57 early in the fourth quarter. But the Lynx went on a 15-5 run and eventually forced overtime.

I would rather that we have trouble maintaining the lead than getting ourselves out of a 16-point deficit, said center Nakia Sanford, who led Washington (7-12) with 25 points. At least we’re evolving a little bit. We have different issues now, but I’d much rather have that.

Despite the Mystics’ fast start, the game featured 10 lead changes.

Washington has a two-game winning streak heading into the All-Star break. Last night’s victory pulled the Mystics within five games of the .500 mark for just the second time this season.

The Mystics have struggled early in games this season, partially the reason for their 0-8 start. But as Washington has learned to recover from the poor starts, they have had better success. For instance, the Mystics used a 13-0 run in the fourth quarter Saturday to rally past the Chicago Sky.

As a result, the Mystics have won seven of their last 11 games, though they have a league-worst 3-7 record at home.

We have to get a streak going at home, coach Tree Rollins said. Obviously, we’re happy with the wins we have on the road. But we definitely need more wins at home. Most teams protect their homecourt.

Alana Beard scored 13 points, while Monique Currie and DeLisha Milton-Jones added 12 apiece.

In the third quarter, Stanford helped the Mystics get back into the game. Washington trailed 43-37 at halftime, but Sanford’s 17-point third quarter helped the Mystics to a 67-57 lead at the end of the period.

We still got the ‘W,’ Beard said. But it had to go into overtime. Fortunately, we have Nakia banging and battling and doing all the things we needed her to do. She’s the reason why we won this game.

When they resume play in the second half of the season, the Mystics hope to have cured their problem of failing to put together complete games.

We [usually] like to dig ourselves in a hole, Currie said. We’re the best comeback team in the league, that’s for sure. We let the other team dictate the pace of the game, and they control the game. At the end, we’re thinking, ‘Uh-oh.’ Time’s running out, and we need to play our game.

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide