Give them a break: Mystics win on road


Monique Curry, left, drives to the basket in a game earlier this season. Currie scored 16 points as the Mystics entered the month-long Olympic break with their first road victory. (Toni L. Sandys/THE WASHINGTON POST)
July 13, 2012

The Washington Mystics were glad finally to get their first road win of the season; it came in their last game before the Olympic break.

Crystal Langhorne scored 24 points and Monique Currie added 16 to lead the last-place Mystics to a 70-53 victory over the New York Liberty on Friday in Newark, N.J.

Washington (4-14) snapped a four-game losing streak and is 1-7 on the road.

“It was big for us to come in and win on the road our last game,” Langhorne said. “Just a change of direction for us.”

After trailing early, the Mystics took control with a tiebreaking 15-2 run in the second quarter. New York got no closer than eight the rest of the way.

“We were being really aggressive offensively,” Langhorne said. “They were getting a lot of second-chance opportunities in the first quarter and we really focused on boxing out and pushing on transition.”

Washington shot 43 percent (24 for 56) from the field, led by Langhorne’s 10-for-15 and Currie’s 5-for-8 efforts. The Mystics also were 19 for 28 (68 percent) on free throws.

Cappie Pondexter scored 22 points on 9-for-23 shooting for the Liberty (6-12), losers of three straight and seven of their last 10. Essence Carson added eight points on 4-for-15 shooting as New York shot 32 percent (22 for 68) — including 1 for 15 from three-point range — and 8 of 9 on free throws.

“I was 0 for 5 behind the (three-point) line,” Pondexter said. “Those are shots you got to make. We’re a pretty solid three-point shooting team.”

The Liberty cut a 13-point deficit late in the second quarter to eight early in the third. However, the Mystics scored seven consecutive points to regain control. Jasmine Thomas made two free throws and hit a three-pointer and Noelle Quinn had a layup to stretch the advantage to 48-33 with 5 minutes 12 seconds left in the quarter.

“It was a great team effort with everybody contributing,” Washington Coach Trudi Lacey said. “We executed our game plan for 40 minutes, which is something we struggled with all season. This was a good way to end the first half of the season. We just have to build on it and move forward.”

Kia Vaughn returned to the Liberty lineup after missing three games due to a concussion and had four points and four rebounds in nearly 27 minutes.

New York was still without second-leading scorer and rebounder Plenette Pierson, who missed her eighth straight game with a left knee strain.

Both teams played their final game before the league’s monthlong break. They resume play Aug. 16 when New York hosts Connecticut and Washington visits Indiana.

“We definitely needed to win and obviously we didn’t,” Pondexter said.

— Associated Press

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