- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 4, 2011

It was the final home game of the season for the Mystics, as well as fan appreciation day, but the way the Mystics played on Sunday afternoon at Verizon Center left little to appreciate. The Mystics got off to one of their slowest starts of the year, trailing 11-0 to the Connecticut Sun before finally getting on the scoreboard with five and half minutes to play in the first quarter.

The Mystics were never in this game, losing 79-48, and falling to 6-26 with two games left in the season. The 31-point loss to the Sun is the second-worse loss of the year. The Mystics lost to the Indiana Fever by 32 points on August 21.

“It was a tough night. Obviously we did not shoot the ball well at all,” Lacey said.

“I think they are physically and mentally tired. Three games in four days with a short bench. But having said that, I am disappointed that we didn’t come out and compete and do the little things that we needed to do in order to stay in the game early,” Lacey said.

The Mystics also set seasons lows in both point total and shooting percentage with 48 points and 26.9 shooting. The previous lows were 51 points against the Indiana Fever on August 21, and 31.9 percent shooting against the Seattle Storm on July 3. The Mystics also shot under 30 percent for the entire game. The Mystics turned the ball over 37 times to the Sun’s 40, but the Sun shot just over 40 percent for the game.

“I told them I was disappointed. I felt all season that we’ve competed, fought through and overcome obstacles and challenges, but today, it didn’t feel like that. I’m not making excuses, but I feel like they were drained and exhausted,” Lacey said.

“But when the game is on the schedule and you lace up your sneakers, you have to come ready to compete,” Lacey said.

Most Valuable Player candidate Tina Charles led all scorers with 24 points and 15 rebounds for the Connecticut Sun. Monique Currie led the Mystics with 13 points off the bench and Crystal Langhorne added 10. They were the only two Mystics to score in double figures.

“Our shooting was horrendous. We were missing shots,” Langhorne said.

“Once you start missing, it’s the same thing like it is you’re making everything. If you’re making them, the basket gets bigger and bigger. When you’re missing them, the basket just gets smaller and smaller. I think that’s what happened to us tonight,” Langhorne said.

“Teams are pretty much sagging in and making us shoot from the outside and we’re not hitting shots,” Langhorne said.

“You try not to [take too much away] form a loss like this. Of course we had some turnovers, that was a negative, but when you miss shots like that you just try to forget about it, get in the gym, get some shots up and get ready for the next game,” Langhorne said.

Currie provided the only bright spot for the Mystics, with her team-leading 13 points coming on an efficient five-of-ten from the floor, and three-of-three from the free-throw line in just over 18 minutes in her second game back from an ACL injury.

“I got a little tired at some points, but I’m just trying to get back in game shape. But it felt to good to be out there playing ,” Currie said.

“I think this whole season has been pretty tough. We haven’t lived up to what we thought we should have accomplished. It’s been tough watching the girls struggle, especially when a lot of our games have been close,” Currie said.

The Mystics will play the Fever in Indiana on Wednesday, and will close out the season against the San Antonio Silver Stars on Saturday.

“I don’t want to make a knee-jerk reaction after a tough loss, but there will be a few changes for next season,” Lacey said.

“We have to evaluate and see where we are, but we do have some good pieces for the future.”

• Carla Peay can be reached at cpeay@washingtontimes.com.

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