Shorthanded roster holds on for preseason victory

Shock Start 1-0

The Detroit Shock opened their 2007 preseason slate with a victory Friday night, 74-72, against the Houston Comets in Lubbock, Texas.

Four Shock players scored in double figures, led by forward Swin Cash’s 16 points and seven assists.

Still missing starters Kara Braxton and Cheryl Ford due to commitments overseas, center Katie Feenstra stepped into the lineup and grabbed 11 boards while Plenette Pierson filled in at forward. Pierson, a Texas Tech alum, played well at her alma mater with nearly 60 family members and friends in attendance. She made an impact early with four rebounds and two blocks in the opening minutes and finished with 12 points.

Guard Katie Smith had six of the Shock’s first 12 points and finished with 11. Detroit used Smith’s fast start to take a 12-4 lead. They still led 22-16 after a first quarter in which all 10 Shock players saw action and seven scored.

Guard Deanna Nolan was the fourth player in double figures with 11 points and seven assists.

The Comets opened the game 3-of-12 from the field and their shooting did not improve much the rest of the game. Without Braxton and Ford to clean the boards for Detroit, however, the Comets capitalized on 27 offensive rebounds to stay in the game. They had 15 more shot attempts than Detroit by halftime but trailed, 39-32.

The absence of Braxton and Ford also gave head coach Bill Laimbeer a short bench, and fatigue seemed to be a factor in the second half as the Comets cut a 61-45 deficit after three quarters down to 67-58 midway through the fourth.

Sheryl Swoopes, also a Red Raiders alum, started slowly with only four points on three attempts in the first half, but finished with a team-high 14 points. Center Michelle Snow also scored 14 and recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds. All-Star forward Tina Thompson did not play in the game for the Comets.

Latasha Byears led Houston with 11 rebounds, but was ejected in the fourth quarter for getting a bit too aggressive on the defensive end, leading to a pair of technical fouls.