Mercury Falls to Shock

By Ben York, PhoenixMercury.com

Sometimes, things have to get worse before they can get better.

In the Mercury's case, this is evident after their 87-75 loss in Tulsa against the formerly winless Shock.

These are, perhaps, the most trying times as a fan. Most assuredly, though, this team is dedicated and committed to keep working.

That's what makes the X-Factor love the Mercury so much, even in difficult times.

Against the Shock, statistically speaking, the Mercury had the upper hand in multiple categories. They out-rebounded the Shock 43-33, had a better overall shooting percentage (44 percent to 38.5 percent, and tallied more assists (15-11).

However, Phoenix had 23 turnovers to the Shock's 13, and allowed Tulsa to get to the foul line 40 times (making 29).

"They had pressure defense the whole game," Corey Gaines said. "We missed shots and they made shots. I think we opened up 8-0 on fouls in the third quarter. They were in the penalty instantly. They shot a lot of free throws, something like 40-18. That helps them."

DeWanna Bonner paced the Mercury with 24 points and nine rebounds, Charde Houston had 22 points, and Sammy Prahalis had 10 points to go along with a game-high six assists. The three combined for 56 of the Mercury's 75 points.

Yet, in the second half, the Mercury was outscored 52-37 including a 31-19 deficit in the fourth.

"I think we just started playing faster at the wrong times, when we should have slowed it down," said Charde Houston. "We probably should have slowed it down when we were playing faster. So, I think at the end of the day we have a lot of work to do as a team. We will stay together and we will iron things out."

Notes

- Candice Dupree left the game with four points (2-of-3 from the field) with 1:21 left in the first quarter and did not return after banging knees with a Shock player.

-The Mercury outscored the Shock 20-10 in the second quarter including an 18-2 from the 9:31 to 4:01 mark to take their largest lead of the game at 36-29.

-Andrea Riley returned to Tulsa as a member of the Mercury and scored six points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field.

- The Mercury returns to Phoenix to face the Washington Mystics at home this Wednesday, June 20.