- The Washington Times - Friday, September 21, 2012

In the end, the shots just wouldn’t fall for the Washington Mystics. In their final home game of a dismal 2012 campaign, the Mystics shot a lackluster 33.8 percent from the floor en route to a 66-53 loss to the visiting Indiana Fever.

The loss was the 12th straight for Washington, and drops them to 5-28, which equals their loss total from last season. The Mystics have just one game left this year, a road game on Saturday against the Chicago Sky.

“Just for our own pride, our own morale, we want to get a win,” Jasmine Thomas said. “A win would be good, especially on the road, last game of the season. We want to win.”

A win would snap the Mystics 12-game losing skid and finish the season on a positive note. But a loss would give the Mystics the second-worst record in franchise history since the 3-27 mark in their inaugural season in 1998.

But even on a night when the shots just wouldn’t fall, coach Trudi Lacey found something positive to focus on.

“In the last five to seven games, we’ve done a better job of executing and not making those crucial turnovers,” Lacey said. “The mental errors have slowed down a bit which is encouraging.”

The Fever, who locked up a playoff spot earlier this week, had their own problems from the floor and shot just just 35.4 percent. It also hurt both teams’ offensive production that several players were sidelined with injuries.

The Mystics were without Crystal Langhorne (foot), Noelle Quinn (shoulder) and Michelle Snow (knee). The Fever were without Katie Douglas, Briann January and Shavonte Zellous, none of whom made the trip to Washington.

Indiana was led by Erin Phillips, who scored a season high 19 points, and Jessica Davenport who scored 14 – the only two Indiana players in double figures. This season will mark the seventh time in eight seasons that the Fever finished with at least 21 wins.

Washington also had just two players in double figures – Thomas (11) and Monique Currie (16). For the Mystics, this will be the fourth time in franchise history they have finished a season with single digit wins.

The Fever, the second seed in the Eastern Conference, will begin a playoff series against the Atlanta Dream on Sept. 28 while the Mystics will spend yet another off-season looking to retool and rebuild. Their future could rest on getting a lucky bounce from the ping pong balls in the WNBA Draft Lottery, which will be held on Sept. 26.

“It’s been a very frustrating year,” Currie said. “That’s the way the ball bounces sometimes, but you’ve got to keep moving and keep fighting and that’s what we’ve all done. We’re all ready for it to be over and we can start again next year.”

The Mystics, who will finish the season with the worst record in the WNBA, will have the best chance at the top pick although with the lottery system, the top pick is not a guarantee.

“We will have the most balls in the lottery, hopefully that will land us the number one pick,” Currie said. “Hopefully, since they haven’t bounced our way all season, maybe in the lottery they will and we can have somebody that can really make a difference and make an impact here in D.C.”

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

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