TULSA, OK—Overtime has not been good to the Tulsa Shock this season. Four times they have forced the extra frame and four times they have come up short. Sunday afternoon was one of those times with an overtime loss 108-103.
The Shock (1-7) hosted the Phoenix Mercury (3-3) in a Father’s Day matinee in front of 4,206 fans in the BOK Center on Sunday afternoon and it literally came down to the last second. Less than a second, actually when trailing 93-90 and .3 of a second left on the clock, Riquna Williams drained a desperation 3-pointer to send the game into OT.
It capped off a game where the Shock had stayed with the Mercury for the majority of the game and where Glory Johnson scored a season high 32 points and 13 boards and Shock rookie Skylar Diggins scored a season-high 22 points and 88 assists. Williams added 28 points of her own and Candace Wiggins was the fourth Tulsa player in double figures.
All that effort was not enough, however, to match the sustained attack of the Mercury, who managed to match every possession the Shock had. Diana Taurasi led Phoenix with 29 points and 9 assists and Brittany Griner scored 16 points of her own and tied a Mercury franchise record by rejecting the Shock five times. Candace Dupree had earned a double-double with 20 points and ten rebounds.
In the end, it came down to the few mistakes that the Shock made that were the difference.
“To win a game like this you almost have to play perfect.” Tulsa head coach Garry Kloppenburg said after the game, “I told the players in the locker room that I was extremely proud of their effort. I think if we can just keep playing like this, get some confidence, we can get ourselves on a roll.”
While a lot of moral victories occurred on Sunday afternoon the loss dropped the Shock to 1-7 on the season and Phoenix improved to an even 3-3. The Mercury have rebounded from a 0-3 start. Tulsa moves on to an 11:30am tilt with the Chicago Sky on Thursday morning.
After going one-for-four on a road trip that spanned the country from New York to Los Angeles a wounded Tulsa Shock (1-6) returned to their home court Friday night to take on the Minnesota Lynx (4-1), last season’s WNBA Western Conference Champions.
As has been the cadence for the Shock this season, a slow start from the opening tip resulted in the teams playing catch-up and they fell to the Lynx 83-74.
Glory Johnson led all scorers with a season high 22 points and 9 rebounds, followed by Candace Wiggins, who excelled against her former team with 18 points and Riquna Williams was also in double figures after missing the last two games with an injury. Rookie Angle Goodrich added five helpers. Tulsa’s 3rd round pick in the draft, Skylar Diggins went 1-of-6 and only had one bucket in the dying minutes of the game.
This season the Shock are going through a raft of different injuries, the latest being a left ankle sprain suffered by Liz Cambage. In all five Shock players have sat out with various injuries since the beginning of the season, the worst of them to Tiffany Jackson-Jones, who remains sidelined with a stress fracture.
All of Tulsa’s best efforts were not enough to match the Lynx. Maya Moore, the first pick in the 2011 WNBA draft that helped Minnesota ascend to the championship that season actually had an off night, only managing 10 points and shot 4-of 12 from the floor. Rebekah Brunson and Lindsay Whalen too up the slack, scoring 19 and 17 points respectively and Brunson efficiently cleaned the glass with 13 boards.
At the half, Tulsa trailed by only four points 39-35, but roared out to a 66-53 lead at the start of the final 10 minutes of the game. The Lynx held off a rally in the 4th quarter to emerge with the win at the final horn.