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Hartley leads Mystics to win over Fever

INDIANAPOLIS – Rookie Bria Hartley scored 15 points, and Ivory Latta and Tianna Hawkins each added 11 to lead the Washington Mystics to a 79-63 victory over the Indiana Fever on Friday night.

Washington (1-1) held Indiana (0-3) to a season low 34.8 percent shooting and had a 41-31 rebounding edge.

“I thought we played really good defense from start to finish other than maybe the last 5 minutes of the game,” Washington coach Mike Thibault said. “We followed the scouting report better today.”

Scoring runs of 10-2 and 12-0 helped Washington take an 18-point lead at 26-10 in the first quarter.

“Confidence-wise it was good for us,” Thibault said. “We were able to push the tempo and got a lot of people involved in the offense early so (Indiana) could not lock in on one or two people.”

The Mystics stretched the lead to 58-34 when Hartley hit a jumper with 3:49 to play in the third quarter.

Maggie Lucas scored 12 points to lead Indiana.

“I am disappointed we did not play at a higher level,” Fever coach Lin Dunn said. “We did not hit our open shots. We did not box out. It was not just one thing, everything was bad. It’s been a long time since I have seen a Fever team with so little effort. Washington looked like a 10 and we looked like a six.”

Hartley got the starting nod in place of Latta, who had started 35-straight games since joining Washington at the start of last season. Hartley also had five assists.

“She has been playing great, she has been good,” Thibault said about Hartley. “Between her, Kara (Lawson) and Ivory we can rotate three pretty good guards.”

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