Shock Roll in Fordís Return
The Shock returned to full strength Wednesday night, and they flexed all their muscle in an 87-71 victory over the Seattle Storm at Key Arena Wednesday night.
Katie Smith scored a game-high 23 points, Deanna Nolan had 18 and Cheryl Ford, who had missed the past two games with a knee injury, returned with a 10-point, seven-rebound performance to round out Detroitís top scorers. Smith and Nolanís 41 points came on a combined 17-of-27 shooting (63 percent), as the Shock shot over 50 percent (51.4) as a team. Smith and Nolan also had five assists apiece.
As they had in road wins at Connecticut and Los Angeles, the Shock pounced on the Storm right out of the gate, opening the game with an 8-0 run. Ford had four points and two rebounds in that opening span. Unlike in those contests, the Shock didnít give Seattle a chance to storm back, upping the lead to 20 in the second half.
As Detroit started the game 7-for-10 from the field, the Storm made one of their first 10 shots. The Storm had such a poor start that, despite playing the Shock even in the second quarter, 19-19, they went into halftime with more turnovers (11) than field goals (10). Those turnovers led to 14 Detroit points.
Storm forward Lauren Jackson, the league's No. 2 scorer at better than 22 points per game, went scoreless in the first quarter. Things got worse after halftime, as she picked up two offensive fouls Ė one 11 seconds into the third Ė and a technical. She finished with 11 points and seven rebounds. Center Janell Burse led the Storm with 21 points.
The Shock shot 59.2 percent from 2-point range in the first half. Ford's layup on a feed from Swin Cash with four seconds left in the second quarter gave Detroit a 44-35 halftime lead. Ford had eight points, five rebounds, three steals and shot 3-of-4 from the field at that point. The last of Ford's 10 points pushed Detroitís lead to 14 for the first time, 57-43. Detroit soon pushed the lead to 66-46 before the end of the third. With starters on the bench, the Shock would lead by 20 as late as the 1:30 mark of the fourth.
The Storm fell to 4-2 at home and 5-5 overall while the Shock (9-1) remain unbeaten against the West and on the road.