Williams Leads Shock Past Mercury
Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg called on Riquna Williams to get the Shock their first victory of the season and she delivered with 15 fourth quarter points that helped Tulsa defeat Phoenix, 87-75 at the BOK Center on June 17.
Williams tied a season-high with 19 points while Temeka Johnson had a Shock season-high 22 points to secure the victory. The 15 fourth quarter points by Williams were the most by any Shock player in a quarter this season.
“We actually finished it and didn’t let it go," Johnson said. "I was proud of each and every one of them. I got a little frustrated with myself with the crazy turnovers towards the end but we kept our composure, we closed it out. Riquna Williams did a really good job coming off the bench when Sho [Scholanda Dorrell] went down she stepped up big time. I was really proud of our team today.”
Scholanda Dorrell left the game with a knee contusion with 33.4 seconds left in the second quarter and did not return, giving Williams a chance to close the game from the two-guard spot.
The win was Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg’s first in Tulsa and snapped the Shock’s 15 game losing streak dating back to last year. It also snapped the Shock’s eight game home losing streak.
"We had been playing so hard and we’ve had three or four games that we kind of gave away to teams at the end. It’s a monkey off your back," Kloppenburg said. "It’s a relief and now I feel like we’ve got that monkey off our back and let’s get prepared, get ourselves to learn how to win. That’s the big thing with this game, getting it off your back.”
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. Tied at 56 heading into the fourth quarter, the Shock opened the final frame on a 10-2 run and never relinquished the lead after that.
“For me it’s just playing and not thinking. Just doing what I love to do," Williams said. "My vets always tell me the only thing that’s stops me is me. I get in the way of myself. I’m thinking too much.”
After the game, the Shock wavied San Diego State standout Jene Morris. Morris averaged 2.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10 minutes a game for the Shock this season.