“We wanted to see the third quarter as a new start and forget that first quarter,” Vandersloot said.
Sky center Carolyn Swords agreed, adding the team wasn’t worried after the poor first half.
“I think we knew that everything going on was in our control and if we just focused on one pass at a time we’d be in good shape,” Swords said.
Veteran point guard Ticha Penicheiro was scoreless with two assists in about 11 minutes in the final game of her 15-year career. Penicheiro, the league’s all-time leader in assists and No. 2 in steals, spent 12 season with Sacramento and two with Los Angeles before joining Chicago this season.
“I only played here this year, but the way the fans embraced my retirement made me feel really humble,” Penicheiro said. “Everyone worked really hard to make it all right, and to see me off in a good way. It was an amazing ceremony. I was trying not to cry. .. I don’t think it has truly hit me yet. It feels like this has been a dream and not really happening.”
Chicago was without Olympic center Sylvia Fowles (strained calf).
Monique Currie scored 15 points and Jasmine Thomas had 12 for the Mystics (5-29), who finished one game worse than last season. Washington’s .147 winning percent was the second-worst in franchise history, only better than the .100 (3-27) in its inaugural season in 1998.
“Our biggest lesson is how to overcome adversity,” Mystics coach and general manager Trudi Lacey said. “I think they were a courageous group with big hearts. They persevered through injuries and tough losses.”
The Mystics, who last won Aug. 19 in overtime at home against Chicago, were without leading scorer Crystal Langhorne (foot).
Currie scored 11 points in the first half to help the Mystics take a 28-23 lead at the break.
“I felt like we always fought hard,” Currie said. “We may not have fought smart all the time, but we continued to work individually and hope that we take this time off to ourselves and get better as a team.”