Shock Improving But Still Fall to Sun, 90-79
Latta scored 14 straight points in the fourth quarter and matched her career-high of 26 points set back in 2008 to cut a once 15-point Sun lead to just eight points with three minutes to play but the Sun were able to close out the game with a run of their own to clinch their second victory of the season.
“She is capable of doing that," Head Coach Nolan Richardson said. "Latta is the only player that can get you 30 points because she has that floater, she has the jump shot outside, and she can make free throws. Today she really played well, 11-for-14, she probably should have taken some more shots. But she gets carried away with not taking shots, trying to get everybody involved, which is what we asked her to do. I was really proud of Latta today, she played her heart out.”
Elizabeth Cambage had 16 points in just 24 minutes but missed the final 6:51 of the game after being hit in the head by teammate Tiffany Jackson. Upon evaluation after the game, Cambage is listed as day-to-day.
Fellow first-round pick Kayla Pedersen had the best game of her young career, recording 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists, two steals including 7-of-7 shooting from the free-throw line in over 38 minutes of action.
After being down seven at both the end of the first quarter and the half, the Shock cut the lead to just four, 53-49, early in the third quarter after a Sheryl Swoopes three but that's as close as the Shock would get in the second half.
Swoopes also had her best game of 2011 in her second start of the season, notching nine points, three rebounds, two assists and two blocks on 4-of-9 shooting from the field.
“I think we improved a lot. We still need to take care of the ball better but we didn’t give up," Pedersen said. "We kept fighting until the end. We showed a lot of heart. I think we really did come together a little bit.”
The competitiveness of the game was a huge positive for the Shock as they were coming off a 31-point loss in their home opener against San Antonio on June 10. For the first time this season, the Shock shot over 40 percent from the field (.500) and held the opposing team to under 50 percent (.486).
“I think we moved the ball a little bit better but I still think we just have to continue to play hard and play together," Latta said. "Things like this people get down and it just goes different ways but I think this team will stay together.”
The Shock will continue to look for their first win of the season on national television (ESPN2) in Indiana on Tuesday, June 14.