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May 18, 2024 2:38 pm

First win of season on line when Storm, Mystics meet

Bradenton game ball WNBA

Either the Seattle Storm or the Washington Mystics will claim their first victory of the young season Sunday when the teams meet in the nation’s capital.

Both teams are off to 0-2 starts. The Storm lost twice to the Minnesota Lynx, including a 102-93 double-overtime road loss on Friday night.

The Mystics lost to the New York Liberty in their opener before falling 84-77 to the host Connecticut Sun on Friday.

Seattle signed star players Nneka Ogwumike and Skylar Diggins-Smith as free agents in the offseason after the Storm went just 11-29 last season.

Ogwumike had 24 points and 11 rebounds on Friday as Seattle battled back from a 16-point deficit to force the first extra session.

“I think what we saw in the fourth quarter and what we saw in overtime can be sustained over the course of the game,” Ogwumike said.

Ogwumike, an eight-time All-Star, is shooting 60 percent from the field and averaging 22 points, 10 rebounds and 3.5 steals in her first two games with the franchise.

Diggins-Smith is shooting just 34.3 percent while averaging 16 points, 5.5 assists, 2.5 steals and 2.0 blocks. Reigning WNBA scoring leader Jewell Loyd is averaging 15 points, eight rebounds and two steals but the five-time All-Star is shooting a porous 17.5 percent (7 of 40) from the field.

“This is a new team and though, yes, we have excellent players on this roster, it takes time,” Seattle coach Noelle Quinn said.

Washington is missing a key cog with two-time MVP Elena Delle Donne apparently sitting out the season.

The Mystics put up a good battle on Friday before the Sun used a 15-0 fourth-quarter run to pull away.

“The biggest difference was we turned the ball over directly for layups,” Washington coach Eric Thibault said. “You can’t do that against them. … Those run-outs really put a dagger (in us). I liked our resiliency, but we’ve got to have higher-quality possessions.”

Karlie Samuelson scored 18 points and made 4 of 5 from 3-point range for the Mystics. Samuelson is averaging 12.5 points, second on the squad behind Ariel Atkins (14.0).

The Mystics lost guard Brittney Sykes (ankle) in the first quarter Friday and her status for Sunday hasn’t yet been firmed up.

–Field Level Media

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