Mystics Pick Up First Win Of The Season (6-11-24)

By: Jaden Golding

Headline Photo Credit: WNBA

College Park, GA- The Washington Mystics won their first game of the 2024 season Tuesday night against the Atlanta Dream, 87-68. Washington now ends its worst start in franchise history after beginning the season 0-12. 

The big headline outside of the Mystics victory was the return of veteran guard Brittney Sykes who had missed the past 10 games due to a left ankle injury. 

Well, how’d she do after missing almost a month of play? 

She scored the first Washington (1-12) basket with a driving finger roll off the dribble. Sykes’s energy was contagious to the entire team as the play on both offense and defense was dialed in from start to finish. 

Head coach Eric Thibault talked about “Slim’s impact” stating “Both ends of the floor. I was glad on the first play of the game, she shot it. You see it in the open court, that’s not something that there’s a lot of in the league. Able to throw it ahead to her a couple of times to let her attack, there’s just aggressiveness to her game that is a great trait to have on your team.”

Washington only trailed once the entire game. 

The Mystics amassed a first-quarter double-digit lead as they hit seven three-pointers. 

Atlanta (5-5) was able to cut into the lead by halftime, ending the second quarter on an 8-1 run. Rhyne Howard had nine first-quarter points and connected on 3-4 shooting from downtown. 

The second half was all Washington as they outscored Atlanta 49-35, gaining a 23-point lead in the fourth quarter. Washington’s ball movement allowed the offense to flow freely and create easy scoring opportunities. The Mystics followed up its 26-assist showing against New York with 25 more in tonight’s game.

Tina Charles had 12 points and 9 rebounds. Howard led with 16 points and Aerial Powers added 13 points off the bench. 

11 out of 12 Washington players scored. 

Sykes finished with 18 points on 7-12 shooting from the field, and 4-6 from three in her return. 

Ariel Atkins scored 18 points and dished out five assists. 

Washington finished with a season-high 17 three-pointers as a team. 

This team had its best performance of the season, feeding off the energy of their best player’s return, and were able to make key adjustments after the half to run away with this victory. You could see the team’s energy throughout the game and after as the demeanor was excited but relieved to see the rough stretch come to an end. 

The Mystics host the Chicago Sky once again Friday evening at St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena searching for its first home victory.