Shock Down The Sky, 81-78
The first quarter was a seesaw contest with Tulsa edging Chicago 23-20 going into the second.
The Sky opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run from 9:01 to 7:59 to make it 27-23. A three pointer from Swin Cash with 2:18 left in the second gave Chicago a 36-31 lead. The Sky led the Shock 36-33 at the half.
With 4:40 left in the third quarter the Shock pulled within in one at 44-43. Courtney Vandersloot answered with a layup and brought the ball back down the court to hit a three and make the Sky’s lead 49-43 with 3:51 left in the third. Chicago led Tulsa 53-47 going into the fourth.
The Shock went on a 7-0 run from 4:42 to 3:29 to pull within three at 65-62. Tulsa went on a 6-0 with 1:57 until 15.0 seconds left in the game pulling within two at 70-68. With 11.9 seconds left on a bad pass from the Sky’s Shay Murphy, Glory Johnson had her third steal of the game. Johnson passed it to Roneeka Hodges who was fouled by Courtney Vandersloot. Hodges hit both of her free throws tying the game at 70-70 with 9.3 seconds left and sent the game into overtime.
Tulsa opened overtime with a 5-0 run to make it 75-70. Chicago was quick to answer and tied the game with 2:15 left in overtime at 75-75. A foul and a turnover from Vandersloot gave the Shock a 79-75 led. Tulsa led 81-78 with 46.4 seconds remaining with a jump shot from Riquna WIlliams. Chicago missed three three-pointers that would have tied the game but with 1.9 seconds left the Shock regained possession to win 81-78.
Head Coach Gary Kloppenburg said Glory Johnson’s defense was the key to get into overtime.
“Turn Glory loose and she gets on the ball with one trap, maybe two traps and we force some turnovers and get some easy buckets. I thought they may have tired on us on the stretch. We came in had a few plays go wrong, but we got the two free throws. It got us there into overtime. I am really happy for them, they deserve it after what we have been through this year.”
The last time Tulsa beat Chicago was August 21, 2010, 84-71. The Shock are now 4-18, surpassing last season’s total wins of three. The Sky have now lost nine straight.
Guard Roneeka Hodges said the Shock had motivation in the fourth quarter to push it to overtime.
“Well we just kept believing. We knew we were right there. We just needed to execute a little bit better. Put the pressure on them. Once we started playing better defense and got a more aggressive. Kind of like dictate the game and not just let them do whatever they want to do like we did in the first half. I think it worked well for us.”
Hodges led the Shock with a season-high 22 points and five rebounds. Riquna Williams also earned 22 points, while Jennifer Lacy had 15. Forward Glory Johnson grabbed 12 rebounds, five assists and four steals.
Vandersloot earned a career-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds from off the bench. Shay Murphy earned a double-double with ten rebounds and 17 points.