Scholonda Robinson score 20, Amber Holt 13 as Shock rises to 3-3.
TULSA, OK–In the previous two games between the Tulsa Shock and the Minnesota Lynx, each team had won in the others building. Minnesota spoiled the Shock’s opening night with an 80-74 win over Tulsa, and the Shock got their first win as a Tulsa team on the Lynx court 90-82 on May 23rd. That trend would be broken as the Shock won their second straight at home and handing the Lynx their sixth loss of the young 2010 season by a score of 90-79.
The Shock and the Lynx have had similar seasons thus far. Tulsa’s last game saw their very first win (and second win this season) in the amazing BOK Center when they defeated the Indiana Fever 79-74 last Saturday night. The Lynx enjoyed a 92-82 win against the defending champion Phoenix Mercury on June 1, their second victory as well. The Shock had played two less games than Minnesota had, however, coming into tonight’s game 2-5 as opposed to Tulsa’s 2-3 over five games played. The stage was well set for chapter three out of what will be 5 games total between the two teams this summer.
Scholonda Robinson led all Tulsa players on the scoreboard with 20 points, four rebounds and a 8-for- shooting performance from the floor. Beyond the arc, she was a perfect two-and two from three point land as well,and had four assists. Plenette Pierson was second among Shock players with 18 points. Rebbekah Brunson of the Lynx led all scorers on both teams with 23 points, 11 boards and she shot 16-for-7 for the floor. The Shock’s Chante Black equalled Brunson’s effort with 11 rebounds, including seven defensive boards that led all players in the game.
Amber Holt continues her impressive tour off Tulsa’s bench with 13 points tonight, shooting9-for3 and going 5-for-3 from three-point land. Shanna Crossley also put 13 on the stat sheet, going 4-for-3 from three point land and nabbing two defensive rebounds.
Tonight’s win took the Shock from 2-3 to 3-3 and from a three way tie for second place to being in sole possession of second place in the WNBA western conference. Seattle is in firm control of the WNBA West, posting a 6-1 record.
Coach Nolan Richardson remains realistic, though drawing even in the win-loss column. “We were able to escape with a victory,”, Richardson said, “I was very proud of the way our young ladies played tonight. Played with a lot of heart. Scholonda (Robinson) had what I called a ‘show-me’ night. Amber (Holt) played well. Plenette Pierson played dominantly.”
“We’re still not right where we should be at this point of the year, but we’re getting there,” Richardson observed, “I am so surprised at how far we’ve come and how quick we are catching on when I call out numbers. and that makes me feel good.”
As a team the Tulsa Shock continue their steady improvement. Three players have averaged double digit point production. Kara Braxton is averaging 10.0 points a game while Plenette Pierson is at 11.6 per game. Amber Holt is coming off the bench to score an average of 15 points a game. Holt’s performance is good enough to lead the Shock and place 15th among the leading scorers in the WNBA. Chante Black averages 10.6 boards per game, which is good enough to place second behind the league’s MVP Candace Parker of the Los Angeles Sparks who tops out at 11. Black and Plenette Pierson rank first and second in the league in field goal percentage. Finally, Natasha Lacy and her 4.8 assists per game helps the Shock rank #1 in the WNBA in assists at 19.6 per contest.
After tonight’s victory, the Shock now go on a 5 game road trip that will finish up with a home-and-home series with the Lynx that will complete the season series. Tulsa will start by flying out to the Windy City for a showdown with Courtney Paris and the Chicago Sky tomorrow night in Allstate Arena. Coach Richardson tries to take the brutal schedule slate in stride.
“It’s a tough schedule, “Richardson said, “If you look at the rest of the teams I think you’ll find that there isn’t one who has as many turnaround games as we do. But this is what has been dealt to us. We are the rookie team who just entered the league and maybe that a way we can get the rest of the teams to respect us.”
Photos by: Kevin Pyle
After Saturday night the Shock have five days rest before they head to San Antonio next Friday to take on the Silver Stars at 7pm in the AT&T Center, then its a plane ride to Phoenix for a rematch with the Mercury next Saturday. They return home on June 19th after playing in Minnesota the previous night to take on the Lynx again.
Tickets for June 19th’s game and all remaining Tulsa Shock games can be purchased at tulsashock.net, at the BOK Center box office or by calling 918 599-WNBA. Shock games are presented live on line at NBA.com