- The Washington Times - Friday, July 6, 2012

Mystics center Michelle Snow doesn’t like to lose. But then again, the 10-year veteran who joined the Mystics in the offseason isn’t used to being in this position.

“I’m a bit of a sore loser. I’m not used to losing,” Snow said.

Snow scored 11 points and added four rebounds, but she takes no solace in playing well when the Mystics end up on the losing end of the scoreboard. The Mystics on Friday night dropped to 3-11 with a 78-73 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars (10-5) at Verizon Center.

The Mystics managed to look surprisingly even-matched with the visitors through the first half, with both teams shooting an even 50 percent, and the Mystics down by just two points. But the Mystics essentially lost the game in the third quarter, when the Silver Stars went on a 12-0 run en route to a 22-12 quarter, putting the Washington in hole it could never climb out of.

It’s a hole center Snow is tired of being in.

“I see the potential [of this team], but at some point, potential has to come out,” Snow said.

“We have to have an attitude where it doesn’t matter what you have to do to win. We have got to start games and quarters ready to go. We can’t give people 10-point, 20-point leads.”

Silver Stars forward Sophia Young was a force in the second half, scoring all 18 of her points. Guard Becky Hammon finished with 17.

Snow believes the problem, and the solution, comes down to playing better team defense.

“We always come back,” Snow said, “but what would happen if we didn’t spot you 20 or 10? We’d have a great record right now.

“It’s something to hold your head up about, but at the same time, it’s frustrating. How many times is somebody going to slap the living daylights out of you before you fight back? You’re only going to slap me so many times before I knock the daylights out of you.”

Snow is not the only Mystics player who has taken this latest loss hard and feels like it’s time for the team to start punching back.

“When we get hit, we can hit them back, and hit them even harder,” said Monique Currie, who led the team with 15 points and was one of three to finish in double figures, along with Snow and Crystal Langhorne (13 points).

“Teams get hot, teams go on runs, that’s part of basketball,” Currie said, referring to the Mystics abysmal third quarter. “We can get hot, we can go on a run. We’ve just go to do a gut check.”

Currie seems to have found the offensive touch that eluded her in recent games, and led to a five-game stint coming off the bench before rejoining the starting lineup last week in the 90-77 win over the Phoenix Mercury. But like Snow, Currie is looking at wins and losses, and not her stat line.

“We knew that San Antonio was a good team coming in, but it felt like we should have done a much better job taking care of the ball,” Mystics coach Trudi Lacey said.

The loss keeps the Mystics at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, and it gives them the second-worst record in the league, ahead of the Tulsa Shock, who are 2-12.

“We did a lot of things well,” Lacey said, “but we have to put together a 40-minute game.”

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