Story By: Erin Zollars
Photos By : Sol Tucker
For the Mystics it was a fresh start with a few new faces in tonight’s 20th season tip off of the WNBA Season from Verizon Center, but the results were classic Mystics in what ended in a 87-76 loss to the New York Liberty.
Natasha Cloud and Tayler Hill got the start, but it was Hill and combo guard Bria Hartley who kept the Mystics in the game.
Hill lead the charge early, crossing it over like nobody’s business and draining threes (4-8 on the night). Hartley, who missed the preseason, struggled a bit early but kept hope alive with clutch bucket after clutch bucket (including a half court buzzer beater) as New York began to pull away. Hill finished the night with 20 points and 8 rebounds. Hartley finished with 17 points, 4 rebound and 3 assists. No other Mystics player scored in double figures tonight, something that didn’t make Head Coach Mike Thibault happy.
” I think we need to look at how we played in the second half of the game. We made some mistakes and we have to find a way to get Emma going as she did last season, said Thibault.
Emma Messeman struggled from the floor all night long. The 2015 WNBA All-Star and 2016 Euroleague champion was terrible from the field, shooting just 1-7 from the floor. Both her and Stephanie Dolson are supposed to anchor the offense inside this season, but they will have to do a better job finding a combo if they want to stay competitive early in the season.