Liberty Pull-Away Late

Statistically, the Tulsa Shock played one of its best games of the season against the New York, Liberty June 23. They scored more points in one game than they have all season long. They had their best field goal percentage of the year. Rookies Elizabeth Cambage and Kayla Pedersen both had recording-breaking games. Yet in the end, the Liberty would be the ones to close it out, 94-82.

The Liberty came out to a quick lead in the first half. New York was shooting 60 percent from the floor, with center Kia Vaughn making every shot she put up. She would score a career-high of 24 points on 12-of-14 shooting in the game. At the half, Tulsa trailed New York 46-32.

The Shock came out of the locker room swinging, ready to close in on the Liberty’s lead. Although New York would go up by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, Tulsa responded with 11 unanswered points led by Cambage's 11 points in the quarter. Cambage finished the game with a season and career-high 22 points.

“We had a really bad first half, and I came out and just got the energy going,” Cambage said.

Pedersen was also causing serious damage in the paint and in the perimeter as she had a season and career-high 18 points including two-for-two from three-point territory.

Along with the offensive effort, defensively Tulsa was able to stop New York with the full court press.

“It was one of the first times that we were into the pressure-type defense,” Coach Nolan Richardson said. “Hopefully, this is the way we continue to play. It is very difficult to play it with females all of the game like this, but in order for us to have a chance, this one of the things we will be working on more and more.”

With just under five minutes left in the game, it was looking like the Shock were ready to take the lead, down by only one at 76-75. But a few unanswered points, set the Liberty up for an 18-7 run to close out the game.

“We are inconsistent. We kind of went back to the way we started playing in the beginning,” Pedersen said. “We stopped pressing and just didn’t listen. I think that’s what happened in the end of the fourth quarter. We need to try to stay consistent and be more aggressive and step up to the plate.”

Pedersen and Ivory Latta both continued their double-digit streak. Pedersen has scored in double figures in each of the last six games; Latta in each of the last five.

The Shock will take on the Washington Mystics on the road June 26 at 3 p.m.

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