Silver Stars hand Tulsa it’s 3rd straight loss in front of a near sellout.
TULSA, OK.– Amid the cacophony of a drum line and with just over 7,500 in attendance in the BOK Center, the Tulsa Shock opened the home side of their 2011 WNBA schedule with the San Antonio Silver Stars, the team they opened with on the road.
After being handed two straight losses by the Silver Stars and Minnesota on the road, head coach Nolan Richardson and his young team hoped that the home crowd would give them a boost and pull them out of the slide.
Unfortunately, it was more of the same for the Shock as an early lead evaporated and the distance the Tulsa squad needed to overcome became longer and longer. Tulsa took an early lead, but a 10-2 rally by the Silver Stars had them leading the game at the end of the first quarter, and that was too much for the Shock to overcome.
Mistakes and miscues plagued the Shock as they turned the ball over 16 times to San Antonio and shot a dismal 35% from the field and 20% from 3 point land. Liz Cambage and her Shock teammates were having a very hard time getting shots to fall and many times they were hurried and even caught by the shot clock.
“We had a horrible basketball game, “Coach Richardson commented after the game, “I thought that we could play a lot better than we had on the road as we’ve been on the road the last three weeks. But for some reason we did not play basketball like I think we were capable of playing it.”
For San Antonio, Roneeka Hodges scored 19 points to lead five San Antonio players in double figures, and the Silver Stars. Jia Perkins had 13 points, Sophia Young added 12 and Becky Hammon and rookie Danielle Adams scored 11 each. Standouts for the Shock included rookies Liz Cambage and Kayla Pederson who scored 12 points apiece to lead Tulsa in points.
The loss continued a disappointing trend for the Shock, as the loss on Friday night was the 31st loss in the 37 games since the team moved to Tulsa from Detroit in October 2009.
Any loss is hard for a coach to take but Richardson appeared to take Friday night’s loss personally.
“It was very disappointing for me because I have been coaching this game for many, many years and for us to come in here and play the way we did bothers me,” Richardson said, “you don’t ever want you fans to go away thinking that this is the way it’s going to be. It’s not going to be like this but you can’t say that it’s not this way right now because the fans witnessed what we did tonight.
The Tulsa Shock will head back out on the road to take on the Connecticut Sun on Sunday and the Indiana Fever on Tuesday night. They will return to the BOK Center next Saturday to take on the Washington Mystics.
Photo by Kevin Pyle.