Shock dims Sun

Karima Christmas (13) sizes up a shot in Friday's win over Connecticut.

Karima Christmas (13) sizes up a shot in Friday’s win over Connecticut.

TULSA, OK—Coming off a big 74-59 win over the WNBA defending champion Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night the Tulsa Shock (-14) looked to make it two in a row taking on the Connecticut Sun in the BOK Center Friday night. It took 45 minutes instead of 40, but the Shock pulled off a come from behind win dropping the Sun 84-76.

It also pushed the Shock into their 13th win this season, which is the most wins since the team left Michigan in 2010, which is ironic considering that it’s something the Tulsa fans wanted, but will only get one season to enjoy given the forthcoming move to Texas thanks to absentee majority ownership.

Riquna Williams vaults over a Sun defender.

Riquna Williams vaults over a Sun defender.

It was a surreal game compared to Tuesday night as the Shock came out to start the game flat and only managed to gain composure and the lead late in the game. The Shock trailed for most of the game until 4:31 in the third quarter after 16-0 run over seven minute stretch.

Riquna Williams led the Shock and all scorers in the game, dropping in 22 points. Williams was one of four Shock players in double figures along with Odyssey Sims (19), Vicki Baugh (14), and Karima Christmas (10).

Tulsa has a record of 8-1 when four players score in double figures for the game.

The Sun were led by former Shock player Jennifer Lacy, who scored 20 points. Lacy scored 13 of those points in the first quarter, going 3-of-3 from three-point range in the process. In addition, she established a season high and tied a career high in three pointers made after draining four three-point shots. She was able to accomplish the feat in the first half alone.

The Sun opened up the first quarter on a 7-0 run and then opened up the second quarter on a 7-2 run.

Connecticut led the game 39-30, at halftime. The Sun is only the second opponent to lead the Shock at halftime at the BOK Center this season.

The Sun closed out the second quarter on a 6-0 run then went on a seven minute scoring drought in the third quarter, allowing the Shock to stop the bleeding and make up the deficit.

Tulsa head coach Fred Williams knew that it would take the completion of key plays to push the Shock into the lead.

Courtney Paris watches the ball come loose.

Courtney Paris watches the ball come loose.

“Hitting big shots towards the end, we ran some set plays to get to the rim. We really stepped it up defensively.” Williams said, “After regulation we needed to make some big plays to get some momentum against this Sun team.”

With the win Friday night the Shock have won three in a row and are still in the thick of the playoff race in the WNBA West, which is another ironic thing considering that this is the last season for the WNBA in Tulsa. The Shock have seven games remaining in the regular season with four of those being home games. The remaining games include two meetings with Los Angeles, one each at home and on the road, and games with Seattle, San Antonio and Phoenix.

The only team in the WNBA Western Conference that has clinched a berth in the playoffs thus far is Minnesota, and Tulsa is in third place behind Phoenix. Los Angeles is chasing the Shock.

The top four teams in each conference make the WNBA playoffs with the first seed playing the fourth and the second and third seeds playing each other in the first round. The winners of those series compete for the conference championship.

Odyssey Sims heads towards the basket.

Odyssey Sims heads towards the basket.

The first two playoff rounds follow a tournament format with each team playing a rival in a best-of-three series, with the first team to win two games advancing into the next round, while the other team is eliminated from the playoffs.

In both rounds, the best-of-three series follows a 1–1–1 home-court pattern, meaning that the higher-seeded team will have home court in games 1 and 3 while the other team plays at home in game 2.

The next home game for the Shock is next Friday evening against the LA Sparks, tipoff is set for 7pm in the BOK Center. Tickets for that game and the final regular season home games for the Tulsa Shock are on sale at the BOK Center box office or at shock.wnba.com.

All photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.