TULSA, OK—Oh yes, you can call it a streak.
For only the second time in franchise history…going back to the years when the team called Michigan home…the Tulsa Shock have a winning record to start a season. The team vaulted to 4-1 in the young 2015 season with an 88-61 victory over the San Antonio Stars on Tuesday afternoon at BOK Center.
Plenette Pearson turned in 20 points, and the Shock bench accounted for 41 points in the second straight win over San Antonio, who fell to 0-4 with the loss. Skylar Diggins scored 13 with three assists and two blocks, and both Courtney Paris and rookie Brianna Kiesel scored six points with Paris nabbing another 13 boards (11 defensive). Kiesel also added eight helpers in her second career start in place of the injured Odyssey Sims.
Fellow rookie Amanda Zahui B. added ten points and made five-of-seven shots from the field another 13 boards (11 defensive). Riquna Williams scored 16 points which established her new season high. Jordan Hooper had 11 points including two more three-pointers. In total, five Shock players scored in double-figures – making the team undefeated this season when four or more Shock players score at least 10 points in a game. It was the first time five had scored 10 or more in a game.
As a team the Shock outrebounded the Stars 43-25 in this game, and 100-51 over the last two games combined. The Stars were only 32-percent shooting for the game compared to the Shock’s 50.7. The Shock’s largest lead of the game was 30 points.
The Stars were led by Gia Perkins and Sophia Young-Malcolm who both scored 20 points in the game. Dearica Hamby was the next-highest Stars scorer with only seven. However, Danielle Adams, Sydney Colson, Brittany Hrynko and Jane Appel were all held scoreless in the game. Appel started for San Antonio.
Tuesday’s win lifted the Shock into first place in the WNBA’s Western Conference, which is also a first for the team since the 2010 relocation.
Head coach Fred Williams was pleased with his team’s efforts.
“The team has really settled down defensively.” Coach Williams commented, “They’re starting to set the tone early for the games. We’re finishing them out. I was very pleased with the overall play from our starters into our bench scoring and stuff. The players work hard, and that’s all we want to do is play Tulsa basketball. If we do that early, we’ll able to be a really good team in this league and always be a force to be reckoned with.”
High scorer Plenette Pearson was ecstatic after the win and what it means to the Shock franchise.
“It feels amazing.” Pearson said, “You know, I think this city has been begging for some wins early and some success, and that’s what we’re trying to give.”
From here the Shock will travel to the nation’s capital to take on the Washington Mystics on Friday night. Tipoff is set for 6pm local time and the game will be shown on Cox Cable Channel 3 from there they travel to Minneapolis for a 6pm tip on June 21.
Tickets for that game and the remainder of the Tulsa Shock’s home schedule are available through the BOK Center Box Office or online at wnba.com/shock.
Photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.