Ivory Latta scores 26; Tiffany Jackson takes 13 rebounds in loss.
TULSA, OK– On an old episode of "Happy Days", Richie Cunningham’s father offered him a Life Saver after he missed a game winning shot. The brave ladies on the Tulsa Shock WNBA team deserve an entire truck full after this season. Literally nothing has gone right for the first year team from northeast Oklahoma this season and yet the Shock players bravely soldier on.
Saturday night the Shock tipped off against the Los Angeles Sparks for the fourth and final time this season. The Shock faced L.A. just 24 hours after being handed a 94-74 loss to the San Antonio Silver Stars last night. Tulsa players had to get up Saturday morning at 4am to catch a flight back home while the Sparks had the luxury of a few days to practice on the BOK Center floor before the game. An odd statistic this season for the Shock has been a proliferation of games that occur two nights in a row, six times altogether. As of Saturday night, five of these games have happened and the Shock have lost every one.
If the Shock’s Ivory Latta was tired from the early wake up on Saturday, she certainly didn’t show it as she put 26 points on the board, 19 of them in the second half. Latta shot 10 of 19 from the floor and sank 4 three pointers. Tiffany Jackson led all rebounders with 13 boards, seven of those on offense. Nicole Ohlde nabbed 5 boards, shot 5 of 10 and in 8 trips to the free throw line she made all but two on her way to 16 points. Sparks center Tina Thompson led opposition with 24 points, shooting 9 of 18 in feid goals and nabbing 11 rebounds, followed by Delisha Milton-Jones who had 20 points.
Despite the loss, Coach Richardson had praise for his team, particularly Latta and Jackson. "To me, Tiffany Jackson was the warrior of the game," he said. "She guarded people, she rebounded, scored tough baskets she was the spark plug that brought us back and gave us a chance." Of Latta, Richardson said "Ivory made some shots. When Ivory makes those shots it gives her the confidence she needs to be able to knock down some three’s and shoot some floaters. That’s what we need from a player like her."
With the loss the Shock drop to 5-26 on the season and L.A. completes a four-game sweep of the Tulsa team. On Tuesday night the Shock will fly to Connecticut to take on the Sun and two days later face the New York Liberty in Madison Square Garden on Thursday. The Shock then return home for the final game of the 2010 season next Saturday night against the Chicago Sky at 7pm in the amazing BOK Center.