INDIANAPOLIS — Asia Taylor paced five double-figure scorers Tuesday afternoon to lead the Washington Mystics to an 87-67 victory over the Indiana Fever in WNBA preseason action from Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
Taylor scored 13 points on 4-of-11 shooting, while Elena Delle Donnae and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each added 12. Mehryn Kraker added 11 for the Mystics, and Tianna Hawkins contributed 11 points and a game-high seven rebounds.
The Mystics turned 16 offensive rebounds into a 39-22 rebound advantage over Indiana. Washington scored 21 second-chance points in the lane, compared to just two by the Fever.
Indiana was led by 12 points from returning point guard Erica Wheeler, and 11 points from veteran center Natalie Achonwa. Rookie forward Erica McCall, out of Stanford, had four points for the Fever, and a team-high six rebounds.
In a neutral-site matinee that served as the preseason opener for both clubs, Washington used a 12-2 third-quarter run to separate itself from the Fever, after leading 41-33 at intermission. Jennie Simms, a rookie out of Old Dominion, who scored six of her seven points during the spurt.
The Mystics led by as many as 25 points following a cutting layup by Ally Malott with 5:33 to play in the game, and again on a jumper from Ashley Morrissette, a rookie out of nearby Purdue.
The game marked the debut of WNBA All-Stars Delle Donne and Candice Dupree, both with new teams after offseason trades. Delle Donne scored nine first half points for the Mystics. Dupree scored six for Indiana, all in the first quarter.
Indiana played without veterans Marissa Coleman, Briann January, Shenise Johnson, Erlana Larkins and Tiffany Mitchell. The Mystics played without returning stars Tayler Hill, Ivory Latta, Emma Meesseman and Kristi Toliver.
The Fever close the preseason Saturday at Dallas. Indiana opens its 18th WNBA regular season at Seattle on May 14.
POSTGAME QUOTES —
Indiana coach Pokey Chatman: “It’s tough for young players in a situation like this. We brought in a lot of young players who have a lot of talent. We kind of let them go today and it was an opportunity for us to grow. When you bring them together without a lot of time for them to gel, that’s when you see the mistakes that we made today. We are slowly bringing back our veterans who will be able to guide those young players through the tough stretches that you saw today. Mixing a young talent with veterans will give them an opportunity to learn from each other and grow as a team as we head towards the regular season.”
Washington coach Mike Thibault: “It is hard to judge an exhibition game when your teams aren’t playing their starters. We have so many young players I thought they did a great job of kind of doing the stuff we have done in training camp and carrying it over. I like the fact that we took care of the basketball. We only had six turnovers, and we got on the offensive boards. We’ve historically been a mediocre offensive rebounding team and we today we were really good at it.”
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