Shock Falls To Mystics Late
Despite a 14-0 run and winning the fourth quarter by 10 points (18-8), a late Shock rally fell short as they were defeated by the Washington Mystics, 64-61, at the Verizon Center on May 26.
Down by as many 16 in the second half, the Shock opened the fourth quarter on a 14-2 to cut the Mystics' double-digit lead to just one, 58-57, after Ivory Latta made one of two free throws with with 3:49 left in the game. A Glory Johnson layup with 1:14 left cut the Mystics lead to 63-61 but the Shock were unable to capitalize on consecutive possessions that could have tied the game.
“We’ve been digging our self into a hole in the third quarter and we did it again," Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "It just seems like we go through a scoring drought and obviously we are offensively challenged at times. We got ourselves in a hole and I’m proud of the way they fought out of it but when you are trying to dig out, everything has to go perfectly."
After consecutive turnovers by both teams, Crystal Langhorne made one-of-two free throws to the extend the Mystics lead to 64-61 with 3.9 seconds left to play but the Shock were unable to get a shot off before the final buzzer sounded and Washington prevailed for its first victory of the season.
“It’s very frustrating. It’s like we are one shot away, or one pass off," Latta said. "It’s very frustrating but at the same time we have to go to LA and we have to get ready. We have to learn from this and step up."
Latta led the Shock with 16 points in her first start of the season. Temeka and Glory Johnson each added nine points on a night where the Shock struggled shooting the ball, only converting 18-of-59 (31 percent) from the field.
"We’ve got to shoot the ball better - 30 percent is not going to get it no matter what type of defense you play," Kloppenburg said. "We’ve got a young team we got to keep working on it. It’s a willing group, they are willing to put the time in and they are very conscientious so I think we are going to make progress.”
The Shock forced a season-high 32 turnovers, the third consecutive game that they have forced 20-plus turnovers under the defensive guidance of Kloppenburg. The Shock were also out-rebounded 40-to-27 for the game.
“That’s great. We forced a lot of turnovers but we have to capitalize on our offensive end," Latta said. "We practice on defense every day in practice. The defense is there. We have some break downs but any team is going to have break downs. We just have to get right on the offensive end.”
Matee Ajavon led the Mystics with 19 points off the bench Monique Currie and Langhorne added 15 and 14 respectively, helping Washinton to improve to 1-1 on the season.
The Shock travel to Los Angeles next to face-off against the new look Sparks on Tuesday May 29 before completing their four-game road trip at Seattle and then Phoenix.
Tweets of the Game:
Another close game for @tulsashock! No worries, they'll get the next one.— Taylor Bird (@jacket_3) May 27, 2012