Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By: Sol Tucker
If you took one look through the Mystics locker room after the game, it would appear that they had been involved in some street scuffle rather than winning a first round playoff game over the Dallas Wings tonight at Capital One Arena.
Elena Delle Donne didn’t worry about the three stiches she needed after taking one to the chin in the second half, she just came back to lead her team with 25 points, 11 rebounds and three assists.
When you are trying to build something, there are steps you have to take,” Coach and General Manager Mike Thibault said. “A game like this is another major step because, No. 1, we had to win a game in the playoffs to get to the next round. No. 2 is your team needs to figure out — we didn’t shoot the ball great, but we played great defense. I mean, we held them to [33.8] percent from the floor. And in general, playoff games are more physical, more things are allowed to happen, and if you can fight through that and still keep your defensive presence about you, it’s great.”
Dallas struggled early on the road, then when it mattered the most for them in the postseason, they had to resort to fouling to keep their hopes alive. Other than Glory Johnson’s four first-quarter field goals, the Wings made two of 13 field-goal attempts in that opening frame.
Skyler Diggins- Smith could not help the Wings regroup and cut the 13 point lead the Mystics held to anything closer than 2 points in the final quarter. The Mystics would dominate the boards in the final minutes.
“Twenty offensive rebounds tells the story right there,” Dallas guard Skylar Diggins-Smith said. “They just hustled. I think Krystal ended up with, how many? Fifteen, 16, 17? That was the x-factor for them.”
Washington will move on to play in the second round against either New York or Connecticut.