Washington, D.C — Kids all ages from the DMV area emerged the stadium with roars, high pitched screams and dances like the famous “Dougie” to help celebrate their home team’s victory. The Washington Mystics made their city proud by defeating the Atlanta Dream on their stomping grounds, after erasing a 21-point deficit.
It’s even safe to say the children motivated them to get the “W”. Washington didn’t show up to play it seems like until late in the third stanza of the game after a slow start, with their young fans cheering them on every step of the way.
Washington and Atlanta had to battle it out in overtime, but the Mystics eventually went home with the champion title, finishing the game 100-96.
“Winning it in the end…It was great to show that we can fight back,” Emma Meesseman told Swish Appeal after the game.
Meesseman was a force to be reckoned with today and she displayed her skills and height ability when she hit a buzzer beater to put the Mystics in the lead in OT, 98-96.
“The momentum was great, nobody felt tired in the last five minutes in overtime,” Meesseman said. “It was because of the crowd and the team.”
Meesseman used her height advantage to dominate down low as she finished the game with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a game-high five blocks.
Messeman was one of the stars in this game, but she had help.
Little but mighty, Ivory Latta fired up just when the Mystics needed her to -- in the second half. Latta hit a three and made a layup to bring the Washingtonians only a point behind Atlanta. On the game, she hit five long range shots to bring her total to 18 points on the day.
Long range sniper Kristi Toliver was also a great asset to the game. She finished with the highest amount of points amongst her teammates with 29 points and three assists. Toliver carried her team on her back in the first half – making almost every shot she threw up. She also hit a game-high seven triples that always sent the hundreds of kids in the stands into a screaming frenzy of cheers.
Despite her efforts, Atlanta dominated the first half even though forward Sancho Lyttle left the court with a bloody nose. The physicality of the game didn’t only affect Lyttle as rookie guard Brittney Sykes also endured a blow to the face.
“I don’t mind a little physicality,” Sykes said. “You just gotta push through it.”
But a little physical activity didn’t stop the women from playing aggressive and by halftime, the Dream had the lead, 56-41.
The Mystics didn’t go down without a fight. They came back the second half determined to fight to the finish.
And fight to the finish is exactly what the Mystics did bringing nothing but joy to the local children who stood behind them.
Although Sykes had a solid game, finishing with 27 points and Lyttle with eight points and 11 rebounds, their efforts along with Tiffany Hayes’ 24 were not enough to hold off the Mystics.