The Mystics established that buffer in the final moments of the third quarter, and Washington (1-1) was ahead, 58-43, early in the fourth when it went scoreless for 6 minutes 15 seconds. The Shock, meantime, closed to within 58-57 when guard Ivory Latta made 1 of 2 foul shots with 3:57 left.
Guard Dominique Canty’s driving layup with three minutes remaining ended the Mystics’ scoring drought, but Temeka Johnson countered for Tulsa to trim the lead to 60-59 with 2:44 left. Currie’s jumper from the left wing and 1 of 2 free throws from Langhorne bumped the margin to four with 1:36 left, and Washington escaped when Tulsa’s potential tying three-pointer came after the final buzzer.
“Whew, it’s a relief,” Ajavon said. “A win is a win. It wasn’t pretty, but we were able to pull it through.”
Ajavon scored 15 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, when she came off the bench after missing last weekend’s season opener with a sore right knee. Langhorne added 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, including an offensive rebound with four seconds remaining in which she was fouled and made 1 of 2 free throws.
The Mystics overcame 28 turnovers in part thanks to limiting Tulsa (0-3) to 30.5 percent shooting and outrebounding the Shock, 40-27. Washington also allowed just 4 of 14 three-pointers.
“Very simply, we have to make better decisions with the basketball,” Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey said of her team’s 32 turnovers. “Some of the turnovers are just silly. I don’t know any other way to put it. We have to continue to work on that, but on the upside, I felt like our defense was very good, especially our three-point field goal percentage defense.”
Latta led the Shock with 16 points. She was the only player to reach double figures for Tulsa, which got six points and a team-high five rebounds from rookie Lynetta Kizer, the ACC’s sixth player of the year at Maryland.
The Mystics closed the first half on a 12-1 run over the last three minutes that erased a five-point deficit and put them ahead to stay. It began with 1 of 2 foul shots from Currie and Langhorne’s layup off an assist from Ajavon.
Ajavon made a pair of foul shots, and Currie did the same to give Washington a 35-33 advantage before Tulsa got one free throw from Scholanda Dorrell with 2:16 left until halftime. Langhorne bumped the lead to three with two foul shots, and Currie swished a three-pointer from the right corner to complete the first-half scoring.
“It was a battle, but I’m glad that we found a way to win,” said Currie, who made 2 of 3 three-pointers and 7 of 8 free throws. “But we still have a lot to work on, especially playing against the world champions [Minnesota Lynx] next week.”