Rookie Shakira Austin came off the bench and led her team with 20 points and eight rebounds, as the Washington Mystics rode a dominant third quarter to an 84-68 rout of the host Dallas Wings on Tuesday.
The third overall pick out of Ole Miss, Austin scored the first four points out of halftime, then fed Natasha Cloud for a 3-pointer to ignite the 31-13 period. A 10-2 run midway through the third ultimately put the game out of reach for the Wings, who endured consecutive scoring lulls of 1:28 and 1:10.
The Mystics extended what was a three-point lead at intermission to as many as 21 in the late third and early fourth quarters.
Washington (4-1) got 47 total points from its bench, including 11 from Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and 10 from Kennedy Burke. Burke also made a game-high three steals, part of the 10 the Mystics defense generated overall.
Washington’s defense also held Dallas to just 41 percent shooting from the floor. The Mystics shot 51.5 percent, paced by Austin’s 9-of-11 shooting. Cloud, who finished with 10 points, shot 3-of-4 from 3-point range to lead Washington’s 8-of-16 overall night from beyond the arc.
Elena Delle Donne rounded out the five Mystics scoring in double-figures with 14 points, to go along with five boards and two assists.
Dallas (2-2) got double-figure scoring from four of its five starters, with Isabelle Harrison and Marina Mabrey each registering 16, but bench production made the difference. The Wings reserves totaled more turnovers, five, than points at three.
Allisha Gray scored 14 points in the loss and Kayla Thornton added 13. Thornton matched Austin’s rebounding high with eight, but the Mystics enjoyed a 37-27 advantage on the boards overall.
Mabrey shot 3-of-6 from 3-point range to lead Dallas, and scored 14 points in the first half. Gray and Thornton each made two from outside. The rest of the Wings finished 0-of-5 from deep.
–Field Level Media