Shock Struggle To Finish, Drop Fifth of the Season
The Shock were without starting center Elizabeth Cambage (concussion) and Amber Holt (broken thumb) but still battled back from an early nine-point deficit and a 24-16 hole after the first quarter to take a one-point lead, 43-42 at halftime after a Ivory Latta bank three. That was the first time the Shock led at half this season.
“Still seeking that first win, but seeking it with a bunch of youngsters. I have a rookie that played 40 minutes tonight and another rookie who is out hurt and couldn’t play. We are a very young team. And I’m happy with our youngsters though we ran out of steam at the end," Head Coach Nolan Richardson said. "We had three key possessions going down the stretch where I thought we got into our offense too late and didn’t get good shots. You can’t have bad possessions at that time of the game. You have to give credit to the Fever. Sometimes you hope you can sneak up on them at home, that maybe they’re looking past you. We started this schedule on the road and it’s hard to win on the road. Will be nice to go home and get some rest in our own beds. We have to be able to win at home.”
Latta led the Shock for the second consecutive game with 19 points and five assists. Jennifer Lacy added 14 points and six rebounds, Pedersen had 13/7 (in all 40 minutes) while Tiffany Jackson added seven points and 11 rebounds in the start. Andrea Riley came off the bench with 10 points on 4-of-8 shooting, balancing the Shock's scoring output.
“We left our hearts on the floor," Pedersen said. "We played well until the end. Lots of shot clocks. Everything went well until the end. We need to finish.”
In her third start of the season, Sheryl Swoopes had another solid game, scoring seven points and grabbing four rebounds in just 23 minutes.
Both teams exchanged baskets for much of the second half as there were 12 lead changes in the game. The Shock turned the ball over only 11 times in the game but seven of those occured in a crucial third quarter that allowed Indiana to stay in the game despite its shooting woes as they shot just 36.8 percent in the third quarter.
A scrappy and determined Shock team had 12 more shot attempts than the Fever (73-61) but were unable to finish a game that they had an opportunity to win.
“Tough game," Latta said. "We have to take care of the ball. Indiana, they are great players. We are going to get better. We need to learn how to finish a game, stay focused and get back to playing basketball.”