Missed opportunities down the stretch prove costly as Liberty steal a win from the Washington Mystics 82-79.
Mystics’ Tina Charles dropped 31 points and 16 rebounds and helped Washington build an 18-point halftime lead. But down the stretch in the second half, costly mistakes and missed chances were made.
After an offensive foul with 23.6 seconds left by New York, the Mystics had three more opportunities. Charles passed to Leilani Mitchell in the corner for a 3 that missed. Charles got the offensive rebound and Zellous missed another jumper.
“I missed three key free throws,” said Charles. “Leilani had a great look, (Zellous) had a great look.”
Despite the disappointment, Charles is having an MVP-type season for Washington. She came into the game averaging a career-best 25.5 points and 9.1 rebounds. The former Liberty star and native New Yorker was traded to Washington as part of a three-team deal before the 2020 season.
“A Lot of people asked me if I was going to be emotional. My dream was to play at the Garden and that’s what I did. It’s different playing here,” Charles said. “This is a total new organization, total different people who are here. Bill Laimbeer isn’t here, Dan Padover, Kristin Bernert. The people who believed in me and brought me here. If they were still here it would be a whole different story.”