Some Are More Fun than others, and this Road Trip certainly got started on the right foot.
After this weekend's two critical wins over the Liberty and the Sky, the Mystics flew to San Antonio early yesterday morning, and today picked up another BIG win in a lunchtime contest against the Western Conference leading Silver Stars, 77-73, who were playing without Becky Hammon and Vickie Johnson. Both have been struggling with injuries, and Coach Dan Hughes decided to rest them in this non-conference match-up.
Though the Mystics began the game at full strength, they didn't stay that way for long, as Nikki Teasley, reportedly suffering from a sprained knee, left early in the first half and did not return. (No indication yet as to the extent of her injury.) Despite that setback, and thanks in large part to some excellent free throw shooting (the team shot 29-32 and Alana hit all 11 of her attempts!), the Mystics managed to extend their win streak to 3 and guarantee that no matter what happens tonight when Chicago faces Indy (ESPN2 8:00 PM) and New York faces Houston (webcast 8:30 PM), they will still hold on to the all-important 4th place in the East. Game-high scoring honors went to San Antonio's Sophia Young, who finished with 26 points. Alana Beard led the Mystics with 19, while Nakia Sanford (Most Improved Player?) scored 18 points and pulled down 9 rebounds.
Next stop on the Mystics' west coast swing is Los Angeles on Thursday night. After that, it's on to Seattle to face the Lauren Jackson-less Storm on Saturday. Lo-Jack is back home in Australia this week due to a family illness. The Storm could also be without the services of center Janell Burse, who is undergoing wrist surgery and no firm date is set for her return. Having played on Saturday, the Mystics conclude their road trip with a back-to-back against the Sacramento Monarchs on Sunday.
Update: The Seattle Storm is now reporting on its website that Lauren Jackson is planning to return from Australia on Friday and is expected to play Saturday against the Mystics. They also indicate that Janell Burse's surgery is scheduled for August 14th, which suggests that, unlike Jackson, she will miss Saturday's game.