Loyd lights it up as Storm snag first victory

Star guard’s 24 points, Magbegor’s double-double spark 84-75 win at Washington

WASHINGTON – Jewell Loyd picked a perfect time for a breakout game – and she had plenty of help, too.

Loyd poured in 24 points on Sunday afternoon, Ezi Magbegor double-doubled with 15 points and 14 rebounds, and the Seattle Storm came through with a big fourth quarter on Sunday to score their first win of the season, beating the Washington Mystics inside Entertainment and Sports Arena, 84-75.

The Storm (1-2) got into the ‘W’ column despite the absence of leading scorer and rebounder Nneka Ogwumike, who was out with an ankle injury from Friday’s double-overtime loss at Minnesota. Through her first two games in a Seattle uniform, Ogwumike was averaging 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds on 60 percent shooting from the field.

Skylar Diggins-Smith poured in 18 points and handed out five assists for the Storm, who gave head coach Noelle Quinn her 50th victory at the helm.

Loyd missed her first six shots of the game, but hit 6 of 13 the rest of the way, and was even better at the foul line, where she drained 12 of 14. She was a perfect 6 of 6 at the line during the final period, the first two of which were part of a 9-0 run that put Seattle in front for good.

Seattle came up big on the boards, 43-29, That included 14 at the offensive end. That led to a 21-5 advantage in second-chance points, converting 8 of 14 opportunities.

After falling behind 7-2 in the early going, the Storm were taking control of the game late in the second quarter, as Loyd pumped in 10 points to spark a 14-3 run and produce a 39-24 lead with 1:43 left before halftime.

But the Mystics then closed the half with 10 straight points, cutting it to 39-34 at the break.

Washington then put 30 points on the board during the third quarter, leading by as many as five at 56-51 before the Storm got within 64-62 heading into the final 10 minutes.

The Mystics were back up four at 68-64 on a short jumper by Myisha Hines-Allen with 8:07 to play. Then guard Victoria Vivians, who has started all three games after joining Seattle as a free agent and finally got her first Storm points on a putback during the third quarter, nailed a 25-footer from the right of the lane for her first 3-pointer of the season, cutting the margin to 68-67.

Loyd then went to the line at the 7:16 mark and hit both, putting the Storm permanently in front, 69-68. Diggins-Smith hit a pair of free throws for a 71-68 led, then on the next possession drove to the hoop and scooped in a banker off the backboard to make it 73-68.

Washington never came closer than four after that, the last time at 77-73 with 2:49 remaining on a pair of Karlie Samuelson free throws. Seattle rang up the next six points, effectively sealing it when Vivians stole the ball in backcourt, got it head to Loyd, and Loyd hit Diggins-Smith for a driving lay-in and an 82-73 advantage with just 1:36 showing.

Magbegor added an exclamation point on Washington’s next possession, blocking a shot by Samuelson.



— With Ogwumike out for the game, Mercedes Russell got the start, and supplied eight points, five rebounds and two steals in almost 30 minutes of action.

— Following a franchise-record 20 steals on Friday at Minnesota, the Storm came up with 10 more on Sunday. Vivians, Russell, and Sami Whitcomb had two each.

— While Loyd has struggled from the field through the first three games, she has been deadly at the foul line, hitting 25 of 28 (89.3 percent).

— The Storm had their best shooting day of the season, hitting 41.3 percent (28 of 68).

— Washington was led by 19 point from Ariel Atkins.

— The Mystics had won the last four games in the series. The Storm now lead it all-time, 29-24.



The Storm finish a three-game road trip and the second half of a back-to-back combo when the visit New York on Monday. Tip-off is at 4:00 p.m. Pacific time (Fox 13+ / KZJO, Prime Video-WA).