Las Vegas – In a game that can only be described as “odd,” between two teams that almost always seem to have something peculiar and out of the ordinary take place whenever they are scheduled to play each other, the Aces and Mystics completed the second half of a game on Monday that they actually began playing a month ago. Monday night was the date selected for the two teams to finally finish their game from July 5th that was suspended following a 6.7 magnitude earthquake that literally had the Mandalay Bay Events Center- and everything int it- rocking back and forth.
In a game that was appropriately described afterward by Mystics’ head coach Mike Thibault as being both “the longest and the quickest game,” that he had ever been a part of in his over forty-year career, Thibault’s squad weathered a late third quarter run by the Aces to cruise to the decisive 99-70 win.
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Monday’s second half began with the Aces already in a fifteen-point deficit, as the Mystics looked to hold on to the 51-36 halftime lead that they had built when the game began last month. Both teams began the 2nd half rather cold, which was somewhat to be expected, considering the odd circumstances of playing only one twenty-minute half, with no halftime to make any necessary adjustments and regroup.
Kelsey Plum was the lone exception to the cold-shooting, draining three shots in a row, then finding a spotting up Kayla McBride on the wing in transition, where the All-Star wisely blew past an aggressive closeout by her defender to drop a nice teardrop floater that brought the Aces within 10. All in all, Plum had a strong quarter, shooting 4-for-6 from the field in the third.
The Aces looked to come out strong in the fourth and final quarter, as back-to-back-to-back baskets by Jackie Young, Plum, and Tamera “Ty” Young brought the Mystics’ lead down to 12, at 77-65.
However, a pair of veteran performers for Washington would respond immediately, as baskets by LaToya Sanders and Kristi Toliver would push the visitors’ lead back up to twenty, at 85-65, leading to a timeout.
Unfortunately for coach Bill Laimbeer’s squad, the Mystics lead ballooned back up to 16 following more solid shooting from Elena Delle Donne and Toliver.
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