MINNEAPOLIS ( Associated Press) — Natasha Claude scored all her 19 points in the first half, Shakira Austin scored a double-double in her career debut and the Washington Mystics beat the Minnesota Lynx 78-66 on Sunday night.
Claude added six rebounds and six assists. Austin, the No. 3 overall pick out of Ole Miss in last month’s draft, was 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and 10 rebounds. Ariel Atkins had 20 points and five assists and Maisha Hines-Allen added 11 points and eight boards. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough scored 10 points.
Jessica Shepard led Minnesota (0-2) with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sylvia Fowles had 13 points and eight boards. Reserve Yvonne Turner finished with 11 points and Odyssey Sims added 10.
Claude hit three 3-pointers and had three points to help Washington (2-0) take a 24–19 lead after one quarter. Claude made five points in the first minute of the second period to extend the lead to 10 points.
Austin went to the starting position of Elena Dele Donne. Dele Donne was out in the second game with 21 points and nine rebounds in the Mystics’ opening win of the season over Indiana. Dele Donne has had two surgeries for a herniated disc over the past year and played just 52 minutes earlier this season since leading Washington to the WNBA title in 2019.
The Lynx shot just 22.6% (7 of 31) in the first half, including 1 in 7 from 3-point range. The Mystics beat Minnesota 21-4 in the second quarter to take a 47-23 lead at halftime.