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The Inside-Look Gallery: Washington Mystics & Connecticut Sun

ByQueen Ballers Club|@queenballers| August 12, 2021
mystics-vs-sun-gallery

In advance of the Connecticut Sun taking on the Seattle Storm later today (9 PM EDT on Amazon Prime) in the first ever WNBA Commissioner’s Cup for a prize of $500k, we’re taking a look at the Suns game at the Washington Mystics on June 29, 2021.

That night, the Sun beat the short-handed Mystics 90-71. Which was also the Sun’s coach Curt Miller’s 100th career win as a head coach – making him the seventh fastest to reach the milestone in the league.

June 29, 2021 Connecticut Sun at Washington Mystics

Curt said of the game, “It was a good win for us tonight. Did a lot of good things defensively, which helped keeping them under 40%…the rebounding was incredible. We only gave up one offensive rebound the whole night.”

That night Jonquel Jones scored 23 points. She started off hot earning a double double in the first half with 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones rises to shoot above the Washington Mystics' Tina Charles

And Jonquel finished the night grabbing 16 rebounds. Which was actually more rebounds than the entire (6 person) Mystics team.

Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones catches the ball in the post

Jonquel, who recently returned from Spain, had to pass multiple covid-19 tests before playing. Teammate Natisha Hiedeman said JJ is like Kevin Durant, so she was just glad to have her back.

Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones nearly dunks the ball

Meanwhile DeWanna Bonner tied a career high with 7 assists and also had 8 rebounds.

A 3-point DC deficit became a 16-point deficit with the Sun leading at half time. Natisha played 22 minutes and said “It felt good. When the team is doing really well as a whole it just makes it easy to go out there and play.” 

Natisha Hiedeman brings the ball up the court

Jasmine Thomas made a career-high seven 3 pointers and racked up 21 points.

Connecticut Sun's Jasmine Thomas dribbles the ball against the Washington Mystics

Jas Thomas said, “They do a great job at contesting in the paint…the first time we played them I also shot it well from the 3. I knew those opportunities were going to be there and credit to my teammates for just finding me and keeping me confident.”

The Sun had 6 scorers sink a basket in the 2nd quarter, which is the same number of active players the Mystics had.

WNBA Connecticut Sun team

The Sun started the 3rd quarter by making 6 consecutive hoops.

Connecticut Sun's Natisha Hiedeman scores off the bench against the Washington Mystics

And eventually missed at 4:54 in the 3rd. “We’re just going to keep on getting better and try to get this momentum, keep it going.” said Natisha.

Natisha Hiedeman points to the ground while bringing the ball up the court for the Connecticut Sun

And the Sun ended the game with a plus-39 margin on the glass.

Washington Mystics' Emma Meesseman dribbles around the Connecticut Sun defense on June 29, 2021

The Mystics never led that night. Curt Miller said “JJ shot the ball really well, was really active, gets on both glass, gives us a different weapon in transition…is so versatile. Our size certainly bothered them.”

Connecticut Sun's Jonquel Jones shoots a signature three at the Washington Mystics on June 29, 2021

However that night was also the Washington Mystics’ Tina Charles’ fifth straight game with 25+ points. Ahead of the game Tina Charles said she told her teammates “Just have pride going out there. Just play the games the right way…Just try to play your minutes hard.”

Washington Mystics' Tina Charles squares up and takes a shot

Tina Charles finished the first half with 17 points on 6 of 15 shooting. Ariel Atkins said of the game, “I think we’re a lot tougher than a lot of people probably think.” 

Tina Charles ended the night with 26 points. And the Mystics out scored the Sun in the 4th quarter.

Washington Mystics' Ariel Atkins faces Connecticut Sun's Briann January

Head coach Mike Thibault said of the night, “It shows the heart that a bunch of our players have…that’s a good lesson for a lot of people that you’re dealt bad hands, how do you handle it?…I’m proud of those 6 players for what they did.” 

Something else special about the night was that KMJ6 designed a gorgeous District of Change Artist Collection tee that the Mystics debuted during warm ups against the Sun.

She said, “Every mural I paint, every panel I speak on, every design I create…it means everything because I got here being real to me!”

Emma Meesseman

Created with the Congress Heights Art & Culture Center – the District of Change Artists Collection is a new community apparel series designed by local artists exclusively for the Washington Mystics.

Ariel Atkins

These unique designs capture the Mystics collective commitment to activism and community engagement expressed in the pillars of the Mystics’ District of Change platform: Gender equality, Racial equality, and LGBTQ+ equality. Proceeds from the shirts directly benefit the artist.

Tina Charles

Natasha Cloud was a fan.

Natasha Cloud

Up next, read more about the Mystics’ selfless super star with a small town start, Ariel Atkins.

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