Former University of Kentucky standout Victoria Dunlap, the Washington Mystics' first-round draft pick this year, replaced injured Crystal Langhorne in the starting lineup and led the team with 19 points in a 73-63 loss to the Seattle Storm on Sunday. Seattle won in Washington for the first time since 2006.
Dunlap, who was 7-for-14 from the field and 5-for-7 from the free-throw line, also had eight rebounds and three steals in 321/2 minutes. She entered the game averaging 1.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.7 minutes per game for Washington (2-6).
"I thought I played pretty well with the start, especially under the circumstances," Dunlap told the Washington Times. "We don't want any (more) injuries on our team, but I think it was a good step for me to step up as a person and as a player to help out the team the best that I can. ... It feels great when the coach shows confidence in you. Not many rookies get to start and play as many minutes as I did, so I'm definitely grateful for that. I just hope I can continue to help the team any way I can."
After the game, Dunlap talked about her injury-riddled team's struggle for consistency. "There are just lapses that we have as a team, mental lapses where there might be times when we're not focused, where everybody's not on the same page or we're trying to rush to do things," Dunlap told the Washington Post. "Once we play together more consistently with each other, we'll be really good."
Mystics Coach Trudi Lacey was pleased with Dunlap's performance. "Victoria really came into her own today, so that was good to see," Lacey told the Washington Times. "We did enough defensively to win the game, but offensively, we were just a little out of sync."