Shakira Austin posts double-double in first WNBA start

Published 11:37 am Monday, May 9, 2022

MINNEAPOLIS — Former Ole Miss star Shakira Austin recorded a 13-point, 10-rebound double-double in her first career start in the WNBA.

The 6-foot-5 forward could do no wrong in her second professional game after scoring three points off the bench against the Indiana Fever on Friday. Austin went 6-8 from the field, contributing an assists and a block in 35 minutes as the Washington Mystics improved to 2-0 with a 78-66 win over the Minnesota Lynx.

Mystics head coach Mike Thibault lauded Austin’s effort after the game, praising her ability to limit to go toe-to-toe with Lynx superstar Sylvia Fowles.

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“You’re talking about playing against the Hall-of-Fame center and in many ways matched her as far as the statistical part,” Thibault told reporters after the game. “She just played her butt off. I’m really proud of her.”

Teammates echoed Thibault’s praise, commending Austin for making an impact early in her rookie season.

“This is why we drafted Shakira. We knew that she could come in and have an immediate impact on our organization,” point guard Natasha Cloud said.

The Mystics return to action on Tuesday night when they take on former MVP A’ja Wilson and the Las Vegas Aces.