Postgame Notes: Atlanta 78, Washington 85
Atlanta Dream (7-15) vs. Washington Mystics (9-13)
September 13, 2020
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final Points Rebounds Assists
Washington 27 17 20 21 85 Atkins - 26 Hines-Allen - 10 Meesseman/ Mitchell - 7
Atlanta 22 21 16 19 78 Laney - 27 C. Williams - 11 Dietrick - 4
Game highlights: https://youtu.be/wL5EPeRbPnE
- Atlanta's record against Washington moves to 24-27 all-time. The Dream previously fell 98-91 to Washington on August 19, 2020.
o Tonight's game was rescheduled from Wednesday, August 26 after all WNBA teams chose to boycott games after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
o Atlanta has now lost six straight to the Mystics.
- Rookie Chennedy Carter wrapped up the last game of her first season with 26 points.
o She has scored in double-figures 13 times this season.
o This outing marked her sixth 20-point game.
o Carter tied her season high record with five rebounds.
- Betnijah Laney closed out her season with 27 points tonight against Washington.
o She recorded 19 double-figure scoring games in 2020.
o It marked her seventh 20-point game of the season.
- Courtney Williams led all WNBA guards in rebounding this season, including another 11 tonight.
o She had five double-figure rebounding games this year.
- The Atlanta Dream started Chennedy Carter, Courtney Williams, Betnijah Laney, Shekinna Stricklen and Elizabeth Williams.
Head Coach Nicki Collen
On the growth of the team while in the bubble and their resilience...
"I'll tell you a little bit of what I just told them. I just think the odds were stacked against this team and they could have quit a long time ago. You don't have two players opt out by choice coming into this. Then three players get COVID and show up late. Have your point guard, who's got a Rookie of the Year campaign going, have an injury. It wasn't easy. I just thought that they just kept working. It started kind of with leadership from Blake [Dietrick] and Elizabeth [Williams]. They came to work every day. They weren't always perfect, but I think that we just got better. I wish that we had of been playing for something today. I think the outcome would have been differently if that was the game to dictate who was going to the playoffs instead of us being spoiler. I don't think there were a lot of teams that wanted to play us down the stretch. Betnijah [Laney] certainly showed out today. Chennedy [Carter] showed what she was capable of. Our games were practices. I just think each game we got a little better at one thing. We weren't always good, but we were able to then take tape and certainly never transfer it to actual practice courts because that didn't exist here. We certainly transferred the lessons we learned in one game and tried to get a little bit better in the next. I'm just incredibly proud of this group and how they kept fighting. When their backs were against the wall, they kept getting better. They kept believing in one another. Would have liked to gone out with a win, one way or the other, but proud of how we came along."
On how they approached the mentality shift -- from yesterday thinking that today's game would be a chance at the playoffs, to today knowing that it wasn't...
"I think that obviously we knew yesterday when we had our film session. I think we took the approach of -- hey we got to play the game. We have a chance to be a spoiler. We have a chance to even the series against them. We have a chance to, quite frankly, just prove that we are the better team. I don't think there's any doubt that our team wanted to win the game. Our team went in with the game plan and the focus and the desire to win the game. You've got to understand the difference between what Washington was doing and what we were doing. We were booking flights last night. We were cleaning rooms and packing bags. While you want to keep the focus on the game, we have players flying out as early as 6 a.m. tomorrow morning. That's the difference between us and Washington. Washington hasn't packed yet. They knew they were playing for something. It might have even been a different game had New York managed to pull the upset off early. Then it's kind of just two teams out playing and enjoying their Sunday evening game. I think when it comes down to that scrapping for a loose ball or that last rebound that you get in a tussle for or one extra rotation. I think when you're playing for a playoff spot, I think my guys played really really hard, but I think you just have a little extra juice in that scenario. That's what they had even coming off a back to back. I thought we could get to them in the second half, because they were coming off a back to back. They certainly had the emotional adrenaline of knowing they needed to win to advance."
Guard-Forward Betnijah Laney, (#44)
On how they approached the mentality shift from yesterday thinking that today's game would be a chance at the playoffs to today knowing that they were out of the playoffs...
"It was tough because we didn't think that that was going to happen. We thought that we would be fighting for an opportunity to play in the playoffs just because of the way that we were finishing. Regardless of that, we just wanted to come out and finish strong and give it our all. I think that we did that. Whether we were in the playoffs or not, to just continue to fight and try to get the win."
On assessing her growth as a player and as a leader during her time in the bubble...
"I think I've grown a lot. I owe that to my coaches and my teammates for continuing to push me to be all that I can be throughout this. I just want to continue to grow for the next season and seasons after that. I'll continue to work and keep working so that I stay consistent and just continue to become a better player."
On her positives from this season...
"I think we had a lot of positives. Starting off people didn't think that we would have been in the position that we were in. Regardless of the obstacles that we faced, we continued to fight, we continued to get better as a team, building our chemistry and everything. Even though we didn't end the way we would have wanted to, I think just the fact that we were fighting for a playoff spot just a few days ago really says a lot about our team. Numerous amount of games, we were right there. As long as we just take this momentum into next year and continue to grow, continue to build, I think we'll be alright."
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Women's National Basketball Association Stories from September 13, 2020
- Storm Drops Close Contest to Aces, 86-84 - Seattle Storm
- Postgame Notes: Atlanta 78, Washington 85 - Atlanta Dream
- Aces Clinch #1 Seed with 86-84 Win over Seattle - Las Vegas Aces
- Win Or Leave the Bubble: Mercury, Mystics in Round 1 of Playoffs - Phoenix Mercury
- Wings Slide by Liberty to Keep Playoff Hopes Alive - Dallas Wings
- New York Liberty Postgame Notes vs. Dallas Wings - New York Liberty
- Liberty Sign Stokes to Contract Extension - New York Liberty
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