Emma Meesseman and LaToya Sanders both put on a phenomenal performance for the Mystics Friday evening as they defeated the Fever 68-50, ending Indiana's dreams of a six-game winning streak.
This was the teams' third matchup this season. Indiana was defeated 87-75 in early June, but got their revenge on July 2nd taking a 73-50 win.
Meesseman led Washington with 14 points and had a career-high 13 rebounds. The 6'4 center was followed closely behind by Sanders, who came off the bench scoring 14 points, matching her career high, and 10 rebounds. This was an outstanding night for both players as they helped hold off Indiana by protecting the rim and making inside shots.
"I felt like we played with a sense of urgency," Sanders stated. "We had a three-game losing streak and we knew that these couple games before the All-Star break were super important, because each team we played were mostly Eastern Conference teams. We knew that this game was super important to get us back on track."
10-time WNBA All-Star Tamika Catchings, who scored 11 points against Tulsa this past Wednesday, did not have that same rhythm going this game. Catchings went 0-7 from the floor and ended the game with just 2 points from an early pair of free throws.
Guard Marissa Coleman was the leading scorer for the Fever with 11 points. Coleman and Catchings were the top scorers for Indiana, both averaging 13 points a game.
Both teams struggled to score in the first half as the Mystics shot 42%, and the Fever shot only 33%. In the first quarter, the teams did a lot of back and forth scoring, but ended in the favor of Washington 18-15, as Bria Hartley made a last second layup, drew a foul, and sank the free throw for a 3 point play.
In the opening of the second, Indiana was able to go on a 7-0 with just under 6 minutes to go that tied the game up at 20. However, with back-to-back missed layups by Catchings and Lynetta Kizer, the Mystics were able to rebound and convert. Indiana went into halftime down by five.
Washington picks up the pace even more in the second half, going on a 16-1 run in the third quarter. The Fever committed 10 turnovers in the quarter alone which increased their deficit to 22 at the buzzer. Catchings sat out for the majority of the third quarter as her team was outscored 23-6.
"I thought Washington played like a team who had their back against the walls," Fever head coach Stephanie White stated. "They came out with a high energy level, high-intensity level, and executed on both sides of the floor and did what they needed to do to get a win."
Indiana, who averages 83.8 points per game, started the fourth with 35 points, while shooting at just 25% from the floor. The frustration of Indiana's winning streak coming to an end was evident as Kizer elbowed Washington's center Stephanie Dolson in the chest and was charged with a flagrant foul.
The Mystics, who are now 4-3 at home, meet back up with the Connecticut Sun Sunday evening. The two teams have not played since the very first game of the season in which Washington won 73-68. And Indiana goes on the road to also play the Sun, tomorrow evening at 7 pm.