Struggling Shock braces for solid Seattle squad
BY LYNN JACOBSEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, July 25, 2010
7/25/10 at 7:57 AM
It just doesn't get any easier for the Tulsa Shock.
After giving up 123 points — a WNBA record — to Phoenix in Thursday night's loss, the Shock will face the league-leading Seattle Storm.
Tulsa travels to Seattle for an 8 p.m. game Sunday at Key Arena. The Storm is on a 10-game win streak, a franchise record, and has won 15 of its last 16.
The good news for Tulsa (4-18) is that it seems to play a little better on the road.
"We just played the No. 2 team in our conference. Now we have to go play the No. 1 team in the league," Shock coach Nolan Richardson said. "And we are coming off a game in which we didn't seem to have any energy, especially in the first half.
"I don't know why, but it seems we play better on the road. Maybe we just press too much at home because the ladies want to win so badly for the hometown fans."
The Storm (19-2) is led by Lauren Jackson, who averages 22.1 points per game. Swin Cash and Sue Bird, a pair of former University of Connecticut stars, average 15.2 and 12.2, respectively. Camille Little is also averaging double digits with 10.5 points per game.
Scholanda Robinson and Ivory Latta pace Tulsa offensively at 11.8 and 10.3 points per game.
Frustration continues to eat away at the Shock players, as indicated by Latta's comments after Thursday's loss.
"We just have to continue to fight through," she said. "We have to find a way to play better defense."
The scheduling continues to be an issue. After a three-game road trip that covered seven days, Tulsa returned home Wednesday, a day after Phoenix arrived in town for Thursday's game.
The team is scheduled to leave Seattle late Sunday night, arriving in Tulsa early Monday. Then the Shock must turn around and play a day game on Tuesday against the Atlanta Dream at home.
"Crazy — that's the only way to describe it," Richardson said. "It's a learning experience for sure."
Tulsa is facing Seattle for the second time in the regular season. The Shock lost to the Storm 83-72 in Tulsa on June 27.
On Friday, Tulsa acquired center Nicole Ohlde and a first-round draft pick in 2011 in a trade that sent Kara Braxton to Phoenix. After clearing her physical on Friday, Ohlde will join the Shock on its trip to Seattle.
Shock guard Alexis Hornbuckle, who has missed the last six games with an ankle injury, could see action Sunday. She remains day-to-day, Richardson said.
8 p.m. Sunday
Lynn Jacobsen 581-8461