Tulsa drops games to Los Angeles and New York last weekend, extending losing streak to 9.
TULSA, OK– It’s a huge understatement, but it’s been a rough season for the Tulsa Shock.
Interim head coach Teresa Edwards’ young team played two games over the weekend against the Los Angeles Sparks at home on Friday July 15th and the New York Liberty on Sunday and lost both. Bright spots abounded for the team but the brightest spot of all, two wins, eluded the Shock once again.
The one and only time the Tulsa Shock have won occurred on June 15th when they beat the Washington Mystics 77-59.
On Friday night, in front of 5,034 fans in the BOK Center, the Shock hosted the Los Angeles Sparks and for 33 minutes of the game the Shoc absolutely dominated. At one point they held an 18-point lead over the Sparks, they drained 100% of their three point shots, and held their largest lead going into halftime, 45-36.
But the momentum shifted when Sparks head coach switched from man-to-man to a zone defense late in the third. At the start of the fourth quarter, Los Angeles had trimmed their deficit to seven points, 61-54.
In the fourth, the Shock shot only 31.3 percent from the floor, and the Sparks were able to take the lead, their first lead since 21-19 in the first quarter. With 19.7 seconds on the clock, Sparks guard Kristi Toliver would hit a game-clinching three-point shot that sealed the victory for the Sparks. The Los Angeles Sparks outscored the Shock 25-13 in the final quarter to secure their win by five points 79-74.
On Sunday afternoon the Shock traveled to the Big Apple to face the New York Liberty in the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. It was a decidedly different story then. The Liberty dominated in nearly all aspects of the game. Tulsa shot 33.9% from the field and a dismal 20% from 3-point range. In comparison, New York shot 52% from the floor and 41.7 from beyond the arc. The bright spot in shooting was from the foul line where the Shock was near-perfect, draining 79% of their free throws.
Tiffany Jackson scored 17 points, Doneeka Lewis and rookie Liz Cambage added 11 each for Tulsa (1-14), which lost its ninth straight. The Shock shot 34 percent (21 for 62) from the field, including 5 for 25 on 3-pointers, as Teresa Edwards fell to 0-4 since replacing Nolan Richardson as coach and general manager nine days earlier.
Despite the losses Coach Edwards remains positive. “I am very encouraged and I am proud,” Edwards said on Friday night, “They girls are learning fast. They are learning me fast. They are learning themselves fast. They are taking some assessments of themselves and putting that to work. We are three games in together, and we keep progressing. “
"As I told the girls, ‘They hear us coming.’”
The Shock will be at home for three straight home games, facing the Atlanta Dream on July 21st, the Chicago Sky on July 28th and the Seattle Storm on July 30th.
Tickets are on sale now at the BOK Center Box office at 2nd and Denver, or by calling the Shock office at 918-599-WNBA.
Photo by Kevin Pyle.