Mystics dropped Game 1 to Liberty 90-75
With their backs against the wall, the Washington Mystics stepped into hostile territory in New York, as they faced the #2 seed Liberty. The Mystics were some individuals "dark horse' just because they are a gritty and grind team that slows the game down. In order to steal game 1, Washington needed to make the game physical and keep Breanna Stewart and Sabrina Ionescu contained.
Washington had to like how they started out in the first five minutes of the game. Natasha Cloud and Brittney Skyes were cooking early on, but the temperature was turned down.as Cloud was forced to be conservative with two fouls. Despite Cloud having two fouls, the Mystics were taking it to New York by being the aggressor and getting easy buckets, without turning the ball over. They finished the quarter with a 29-23 lead and did not allow Stewart to score.
Let's talks about Ariel Atkins and her defensive presence the rest of the half. Atkins was a pest and forced four steals that turned into points for Washington. She was one of the key factors that kept Washington in position to strike and match Liberty's energy. At the half, the Mystics were down 46-42.
Coming out the locker room, the Mystics were happy that they held New York's superstars to single digits, but they wanted to make sure that they continued to push the pace of the game and not allow Liberty to get into rhythm. I don't know what happened by the second half, the energy was not there, and turnovers was the downfall for the Mystics. The Mystics had seven turnovers, which allowed New York to score easy transitional buckets and blow the game out the water. Eventually the Mystics had to bow down to Ionescu and suffer a 90-75 loss.