Minnesota’s fast start kills Shock off early.
MINNEAPOLIS, MN– Once again, a fast start by their opponent sends the Tulsa Shock into a game of catch-up en route to a double-digit defeat.
The Minnesota Lynx roared out on a 17-3 run that turned into a 24-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. In the end, the Shock’s second game of the 2011 season very closely mirrored the first one as the team fell behind big early, fought back late, but still fell short, losing its second game of the young season, 75-65, in front of 7,773 in Minneapolis‘ Target Center.
The Shock was led by Elizabeth Cambage’s second consecutive double-double to begin her WNBA career as she finished with 16 points, 15 rebounds, two steals and two blocks on 5-of-14 shooting from the field.
With her second double-double in as many games, Cambage joined Ruthi Bolton (1997), Lisa Leslie (1997), Susie McConnell Seri (1998), Sophia Young (1998) and Tina Charles (2010) as the only players in WNBA history to begin their careers with two consecutive double-doubles.
Shock head coach Nolan Richardson was proud of his star rookie. “I love this kid,” said Head Coach Nolan Richardson about Cambage. “This kid has a chance to be one of the bright stars of the WNBA. The way that she’s taking punishment at times, and she just keeps fighting back. She’s 19 years old. To me, she’s going to be incredible by the time she reaches 22, she’s going to be a monster. They’re going to have a hard time dealing with her.”
The game was the first time the top two picks in the 2011 WNBA Draft would face each other in regular season.
Maya Moore, the only player taken before Cambage in the 2011 WNBA Draft, finished with seven points and seven rebounds on 2-of-10 shooting while the Lynx were led by Rebekkah Brunson’s 17 points and 15 rebounds on 6-of-9 shooting from the field.
Despite shooting the ball extremely well in the first quarter, Minnesota cooled off significantly, finishing the game shooting 37.3 percent (25-of-67). The Shock opened the game shooting 1-for-12 before finishing the game shooting 33.8 percent (23-of-68).
Former OSU Cowgirl Andrea Riley played in her first game of the season after having a baby in the off-season, scoring 10 points off the bench. Ivory Latta was the third Shock player in double-figures with 11 points.
“It felt good, coming back, but we’ve got to start off and continue like that,” Latta said. “We just have to start off from the get, just play hard, stay focused and just stick with our game plan and not always get into what the other team is doing. Most likely, just go out there and play our game. That’s it.”
The win lifts Minnesota to 2-1 in the young season while the Shock falls to 0-2. Tulsa hopes to reverse their slide on Friday night when they open at home against the San Antonio Silver Stars at 7pm in the BOK Center. Tickets are on sale now at the BOK Center box office ond online at wnba-com/shock.
Photo by Kevin Pyle.