Mystics Walk Away With A Win Over Atlanta

The Mystics outscored the Atlanta Dream on Saturday at the Verizon Center to come away with at 71-58 win, cementing their chance in this year's WNBA Playoffs.

On fire for the Mystics was guard Lindsey Harding with 23 points, three steals, and four assists.

"What can I say? She's such a competitor", said Mystics head coach Julie Plank.

"She's a winner and she's so excited to be close to making the playoffs and it definitely showed."

So competitive in fact, that she collided with Dream's guard Shalee Lehning in the second quarter while going for a loose ball, leaving Lehning with a shoulder injury. Lehning did not return to the game, and her condition at this time is listed as day-to-day.

The Mystics kept the Dream (ranked second in the WNBA, averaging 80 or more points per game), at scoring bay, allowing them only 64 points.

"We played a great, great defensive game", added Plank.

The Mystics had three other players in double figures in Crystal Langhorne (11), Chasity Melvin (12), and Marissa Coleman (10).

Alana Beard returned to the line up after being sidelined with a left ankle sprain. She had six points and four steals on the night.

"We came in, we battled, it was a great team win, and we got it done," Beard said. "We handled our business."

While the Mystics finished with a big win on Saturday, they lost to the New York Liberty on Sunday in New York, 86-65. Monique Currie had 17 points and six rebounds in the contest.

Playoff Contenders
The Lady Mystics will make a return to post season play as the fourth seed in the 2009 WNBA playoffs and will face the Indiana Fever.

It will be the team’s fifth trip to the playoffs. Washington’s last appearance in the playoffs was in 2006 against the Connecticut Sun. In 2002, the Mystics made it to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the New York Liberty in the third game of the series.

The first round game will be played at the University of Maryland's Comcast Center due to a scheduling conflict at the Verizon Center.

The Mystics will provide complimentary shuttle service between the Metro Green Line College Park station and Comcast Center. The shuttles will be available two hours prior to tip-off and one hour after the game.

Following is the first round playoff schedule for the Eastern Conference:

Game 1 - Thu Sept. 17 Indiana at Washington 7:00PM ESPN2
Game 2 - Sat Sept. 19 Washington at Indiana 7:00PM NBATV
Game 3 * Mon Sept. 21 Washington at Indiana 8:00 PM ESPN2

Seen at Saturday's game.

The cast of MTV's Real World DC.

The cast members shared with us that Saturday's Mystics game was their first WNBA game. They were impressed with the toughness of the players, and how fast paced the games really are.

"It was a great game", said Callie.

The cast was also impressed with the magician's performance at half-time. "He sprinkled fairy dust on the girls dress, and it changed colors", said Josh.

When we asked the cast if they are recognized in DC yet, they answered, "Not yet. We're hardly recognizable without the camera crew."

The Mystics have long been supporters of US troops. We caught up with retired military officer, Natasha McKinnon who served in Iraq. McKinnon, 26 years old, lost a portion of her left leg after her convoy was hit with an IED. She saved her own life with her military training by applying a tourniquet to her leg. McKinnon was tasked with driving her troop's convoy during her brief tour of duty. An avid sports, and Mystics fan, she now drives four hours from her residence in North Carolina to attend home games.

The Mystics visited her at Walter Reed Army Medical Center during her recovery.

WNBA Playoffs
EagleBank Ball Partners With Wounded Warrior Project
USA Women's National Team Fall Showcase