Shock looking to improve luck
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Friday, August 24, 2012
8/24/12 at 5:37 AM
When is the Tulsa Shock going to catch a break?
Tuesday's 82-80 overtime loss at the Connecticut Sun was another in a long season of disappointing setbacks for the struggling WNBA franchise.
"We've had so many hard-luck moments," shooting guard Jennifer Lacy said. "It's really heartbreaking when you come up short as often as we do."
But she saw more signs of improvement against the East Division-leading Sun.
"I hate to sound like a cliche or a broken record, but I think we really came together and battled for 45 minutes," she said.
Tulsa led near the end of regulation, and 80-79 in overtime before Kara Lawson drilled a 3-pointer with 11.8 seconds left.
"I was praying it wouldn't go in," head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "One of these times, someone doesn't have to make a shot against us."
Tulsa has lost six times in the closing seconds of regulation or overtime.
The schedule might deliver a break Friday when a team struggling as badly as the Shock visits the BOK Center. The Chicago Sky has lost eight straight games (to Tulsa's five straight) and might be without one of its best players.
Epiphanny Prince injured her right ankle in Tuesday's loss to the New York Liberty and played less than 18 minutes without scoring a point in Wednesday's loss to the Atlanta Dream.
Prince made the difference against the Shock earlier this season, scoring 32 points and hitting a tying 3-pointer in the final second of regulation in the Sky's 98-91, double-overtime win in Chicago on June 8.
The 5-foot-9 guard is fourth in the league in scoring at 18.8 points per game. Chicago hasn't recovered since Prince injured her foot on June 16 and missed eight games before returning last week. The Sky has lost 12 of 13 since a 7-1 start.
"Their lineup is changing," Kloppenburg said. "I think they're struggling to get their chemistry right."
The Sky will be playing its fifth game in eight days while Tulsa will be slightly more rested, playing its fourth game in the same span. Kloppenburg wants his players to press that advantage.
"We've had time to prepare (with a Thursday practice at the BOK Center), and we need to come out with a high-energy game," he said.
Original Print Headline: Shock short on good luck
Mike Brown 918-581-8390
The Shock's Jennifer Lacy is pressured by Phoenix's Nakia Sanford during a game on June 17. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World