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Mystics Open 2018 Season with 82-75 Win over Indiana Fever

Kristi Toliver scored a team-high 16 points, as the Washington Mystics open the 2018 season with an 82-75 win over the Indiana Fever at the Capital One Arena on Sunday afternoon.

Washington had four players finish in double figures scoring. Indiana was led by Natalie Achonwa, who scored a game-high 21 points and added 12 rebounds.

The Mystics looked much like the fresher team, as the Fever was playing the second of a back-to-back. They lost to the Chicago Sky 82-64 on Saturday. Washington closed the first quarter on a 5-0 run, behind five points from Natasha Cloud to take a 21-17 lead. They never looked back.

A mixture of stifling defense by Washington and tired legs held the Fever to 4-of-12 shooting and 13 points in the second period.

The Mystics ultimately built a 15-point lead in the third quarter. The game never quite got close, although, Indiana had a furious effort to close the gap late. They got as close as six at 79-73, but Elena Delle Donne found an opened Toliver for a three-pointer on the wing to extend Washington’s lead to 82-73 with 1:08 remaining.

The Mystics overcame a sluggish afternoon from its star player Della Donne, as the former Delaware Blue Hen struggled offensively shooting 5-of-18 from the field for 13 points. But, Della Donne contributed in other ways notching a game-high seven assists.

Monique Currie made her return to the Mystics after playing the past three seasons between Phoenix and San Antonio. She finished the game with 11 points. Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, who started at shooting guard with Tayler Hill still out after suffering a torn ACL last July, finished with 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists. Rookie and first-round pick Myisha Hines-Allen scored six points and added two rebounds and two steals in 11 minutes.

Mystics (1-0) will host the Las Vegas Aces, formerly the San Antonio Stars, on Tuesday at Capital One Arena.

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