Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

WNBA: McCoughtry's Triple Helps Atlanta Rally Over Washington

By Lamar Carter (@lcarter031)
WASHINGTON, DC ---
We’ve all been there before.

We draw up the scenario in our heads - clock running down, ball in your hands, scoreboard in the opponent’s favor.

You’re on the road and the fans are focusing all their energy on making you miss your shot.

You pull up, release the shot….and you nail it for the win.

Angel McCoughtry and the Atlanta Dream acted out all our dreams and in turn brought the Washington Mystics’ worst nightmare to life.

A late three-pointer by McCoughtry with 27.9 seconds left proved to be the difference as Atlanta moved to .500 with a 64-61 victory over Washington Friday evening at Verizon Center.

After starting the season with two losses, the Dream (2-2) righted the ship with a pair of three-point victories in back-to-back games, having topped San Antonio at home Thursday night.

Atlanta’s emotional leader McCoughtry – who scored 21 points to lead all scorers - felt the pressure of the poor start but channeled it into confidence, especially on the shot that helped the team get back on track.

“[I felt a bit of] panic because I want to win every game, I just don’t like to lose. There was no need for the team to panic though because it’s early,” said McCoughtry, the former Louisville star in college. “This was a great win, on a back-to-back. I know everyone was tired but we pushed through.”

Fatigue didn’t seem like a factor early as the Dream led the Mystics (2-1) by three, 17-14, after the first quarter.

The second quarter proved to be a different story unfortunately for the Dream – Washington used a 22-8 run to go up 36-25 at the break.

Emma Meesseman scored 14 of her season-high 21 points in the first half to lead the Mystics’ attack.

After an even third quarter (13-13), the Mystics went up 11 in the fourth on an Ivory Latta three-pointer with 8:22 left that gave Washington a 52-41 advantage.

From then on, Atlanta caught its second wind.

The Dream put together a 23-9 run to close out the game, with McCoughtry scoring 10 points in the surge and the game’s last five.

Her eventual game-winner was set up by a Sancho Lyttle steal and an assist from Matee Ajavon – a microcosm of Atlanta’s defensive and offensive efforts in the fourth that earned them the win.

Atlanta countered its season-worst second quarter with a season-best 26-point period while holding Washington to its lowest quarter tally of the season (12 points).

Tiffany Hayes, who joined McCoughtry in double figures with 12 points, summed up Atlanta’s game and their early season turnaround: “We’re not a team that gives up.

"It doesn’t’ matter if we’re down 5, 10, 15, we’re going to keep on fighting until the very end and we definitely did that today.”

Just the way they envisioned it.

NEXT UP: Both teams have road games on Sunday, June 14 - Washington travels up to Connecticut for a 3 p.m. matchup with the Sun while Washington heads to New York for a 6 p.m. contest against the Liberty.


- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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