Trailing by 16 at the half after managing to score only 19 points in the first half, Washington, led by a determined Natasha Cloud, regrouped to defeat the Dallas Wings 76-75 on Saturday night. Cloud scored 15 of her season high 21 points in the third quarter while shooting 6-12 from the field, 4-8 from deep (season high), 5-6 from the charity stripe and dishing out 5 assists.
Washington, who were without the services of their All WNBA front court of Elena Delle Donne (back) and Tina Charles (left glute strain), struggled to make shots and bring the necessary energy to compete with Dallas in the first half. Wings sniper Marina Mabrey scored 10 of her 17 points in the first half, helping spark Dallas to a 17-9 first quarter lead and then a 35-19 lead at the half.
The Mystics, after being "challenged" during halftime by head coach Mike Thibault came out a totally different team in the second half. Washington outscored Dallas by 11 in the third period, thanks to an 11-0 run that helped cut the deficit to five as the fourth quarter began, and to begin the fourth, Washington absolutely shut down Dallas, not allowing a field goal until the 6:12 mark, while starting the fourth quarter on a 14-0 run. Shavonte Zellous 3-pointer at the 8:15 mark in the fourth gave the Mystics their first lead of the game 54-53 and they never looked back.
"People got challenged (at halftime). Mystics head coach Mike Thibault said. My message is you can feel sorry for the ball not going in, you can feel sorry for yourself or you can react."
Myisha Hines-Allen scored 15 points and grabbed 5 rebounds. Theresa Plaisance finished with 11 points, all of which came in the first half and snatched down 4 rebounds for the Mystics(10-15) .
Washington's reserves scored 28 points, which is the second consecutive game that the reserves have scored 25 or more points.
Washington forced a season high 27 turnovers and scored 23 points off Dallas turnovers which is also a season high.
Arike Ogunbowale scored 20 of her game high 25 points in the second half to lead Dallas (11-15) . Wings forward Isabelle Harrison posted a near double-double with 18 points and 9 rebounds.
Washington host the first place Connecticut Sun Tuesday at 7pm