TULSA, OK—The Tulsa Shock’s six game home win streak ended on Sunday afternoon and a losing streak extended to two when the Minnesota Lynx and Washington Mystics handed the Shock a pair of losses during a tumultuous week of developments with the franchise that didn’t involve basketball.
On Sunday afternoon, the Shock suffered their first home loss on Sunday afternoon when Maya Moore and the Minnesota Lynx came into town and handed them their first home loss downing them 79-72 in front of 5,987 in the BOK Center. Lynx superstar Maya Moore scored 32 points and nabbed ten rebounds for Minnesota in a game that saw the Shock control most of the first half, only to collapse in the third quarter after an ominous prediction by Shock head coach Fred Williams came true.
“You know, we kind of held her down to two (points in the first half), and I told the team coming out of the locker room that they were going to go to her a lot more.” Williams said, “They really relied on Maya to get them going and she did that.”
Moore led all scorers in the game. Moore also had 10 rebounds for a double-double in the game. Nine of her boards were on the defensive end. She was helped by a double-double from teammate Rebekkah Brunson who had 12 points and 13 rebounds. Brunson also had four assists in the game, and she was one of four Minnesota starters with at least four assists in the game. Moore had five, and both Asjha Jones and Anna Cruz had four as well.
For the Shock Riquna Williams led her team with 19 points, and Plenette Pierson turned in a 15-point performance. Odyssey Sims started her third game in a row since returning from injury last week and put in 12 points.
Center Courtney Paris led all players with two blocks. As a team, the Shock accumulated three blocks, which is the only metric Tulsa outpaced Minnesota in for the game.
Then came what many Shock fans can call “black Monday”. In between the game with Minnesota and Tuesday’s game with the Washington Mystics, it was announced by team majority owner Bill Cameron that he was going to move the team at season’s end to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, ending a week’s speculation about a potential move.
But there was still basketball to be played, and the next opponent they would face would be the Washington Mystics, a team they defeated 86-82 in the Nation’s Capital on June 21st.
The word for the Shock in Tuesday’s game was simple: stale.
The game atmosphere off the court was festive as it was kid’s day, but the Shock didn’t seem in the mood to celebrate. It was much as it was on Sunday night, with the Shock managing to eek out a lead at the end of the first quarter and at the half, but Washington hit their stride in the third quarter and never looked back.
Karima Christmas led the Shock with 15 points, and Courtney Paris shattered her own personal best in boards, nabbing 22 in the game…10 in the first half alone. In addition, Plenette Pierson scored 14 and Odyssey Sims added 11.
For the Mystics, Stephanie Dotson scored 15 points and former Shock forward Ivory Latta turned in 14 points. Tierra Ruffin-Platt scored 13 and Emma Meesseman added 10 points for the Mystics (9-6), who won their third in a row.
“My hats off to Washington, having their big plays towards the end.” Shock head coach Fred Williams said, “We had 70 attempts at the basket and made 23 so, I can’t as a coach ask for anything more. The players know it. We had 22 offensive boards, and when you look at that you say, wow, we had a dominant game.
“We concentrated on getting the ball inside, which we did. We just came out empty on a lot of no-call situations. We just have to play through it and keep moving forward.”
Tulsa enters the All Star break at 10-8, and currently sit in third place in the WNBA’s Western Conference behind Phoenix in second place and Minnesota in first. Despite all the drama surrounding the team off the court, the Tulsa Shock are in the middle of their first winning season since moving from Detroit in 2010.
Skylar Diggins was selected once again as the Tulsa Shock’s representative to the 2015 WNBA All Star game, to be held this season in Uncasville, Connecticut, home of the Connecticut Sun. She won’t be playing due to injury. Plenette Pierson will replace her. Pierson won league titles with the then-Detroit Shock in 2006 and 2008, and took home the Sixth Woman honor in 2007.
The game will take place this Saturday at 2:30pm and televised on ABC (channel 8 in Tulsa).
The next home game for the Shock will be against the Phoenix Mercury on Thursday, July 30th at 7pm. Tickets for that game and the remainder of the Tulsa Shock’s home schedule are available at the BOK Center Box Office.
Photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.