The San Antonio Silver Stars traveled to Tulsa drilling for a win against the Shock in a Friday night matchup, but the well seemed to be dry for the San Antonians. Danielle Robinson, the Stars starting point guard in the absence of Becky Hammon, would sit out the game with a sprained right knee in a tough 67-73 loss ( http://www.wnba.com/games/20130823/SANTUL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore .) D-Rob’s absence bumped rookie Davellyn Whyte into the starting lineup for the first time in her career on a night where she provided 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. Kayla Alexander, another rookie, had a big night for San Antonio, eh? The Canadian added 10 points on 3-5 from the field and a perfect 4-4 from the line, also picking up an assist. She pulled down 3 offensive boards and 5 on the defensive end putting her in the three way tie for most rebounds (see Wrap Up.) Kayla also blocked Liz Cambage and Glory Johnson once each. Despite every Star stepping up (every Silver Star who played scored at least once and grabbed at least one rebound) and cutting a 23 point lead to just 6, they were unable to overcome a rocky start and the absence of their floor general.
Shenise Johnson collected the first pair of points in the game with a jumper from the left side for the Silver Stars. Glory Johnson quickly responded with a layup assisted by Candice Wiggins, getting the hoop and the harm, and would go on to convert the 3 point play. Cambage followed up with her own old fashioned three-point play, sticking back a Nicole Powell misfire from beyond the arch with Jayne Appel drawing the whistle for contact. On the other end of the floor Danielle Adams responded with 2, tipping her own miss back in. Tulsa retaliated when a Liz Cambage assist set the table for an Angel Goodrich layup. Davellyn Whyte dropped in a couple by creating her own shot off the dribble, firing from outside the paint halfway up on the right side making it 6-8 Shock. Angel Goodrich got her second bucket in a row for the Tulsa squad on a floater from the low block on the right side. Cambage grabbed the next bucket with a bunny from the low block area on the right side. Candace Wiggins added a pair of triples, one from the right wing and one from the left, on assists from Glory Johnson and Riquna Williams. Jia Perkins got two in the paint on a Jayne Appel assist to close out scoring for the quarter at 18-8 in favor of the team from north of the Red River.
A Riquna Williams paint bucket to start scoring action in the quarter sparked a 12-0 run. Cambage netted a pair from the stripe, as did Williams. After a Candice Wiggins layup, Cambage returned to the line when she and Jayne Appel hit each other in the face going after a rebound and she repeated her previous performance at the line. Glory Johnson created her own shot on a tragically beautiful fadeaway jumper in the paint before a pair of Kayla Alexander freebies at 5:29 ended the Tulsa run. Struggling to find their offensive rhythm and identity in the absence of their facilitator, these were the first points on the board for San Antonio since 2:21 in the first quarter and marked the Silver Stars entry into double digits with a score of 10-30. Candice Wiggins drove to the lane with the ball and plowed into Chelsea Poppens who was set waiting, sending her to the deck. That created space for a Glory Johnson bucket in the paint off of a pass from Wiggins that was first tipped by Jia Perkins. The missed call was a gift that kept on giving. The Shock got to take a free throw after Coach Dan Hughes was given a technical as he gave the refs an earful for the no-call on the charge.
The Silver Stars had a quick rebuttal though when Davellyn Whyte set the table for a Jia Perkins jumper from the right side. Shameka Christon saw an Angel Goodrich layup and raised her 1, drilling her first 3 of the contest from the right corner on Jia Perkins’s dime. The next scoring contribution for the Silver Stars came as Kayla Alexander battled Wiggins and Cambage down low for a pair. A Cambage dish set up a jumper from between the top of the key and the perimeter for Jennifer Lacy. Shenise Johnson and Shameka Christon paired up to retaliate as a Christon assist set up Johnson for a triple from the left wing. Chelsea Poppens added an off balance shot in the paint to close out scoring for the half for San Antonio with 24.5 left of the clock, but Jennifer Lacy wasn’t done yet, finding the bottom of the net for a 3-ball from the right wing for the last hoop of the half. A half that saw the Silver Stars down by as much as 23 while they searched for their offense in the absence of their facilitator ended with a 10-5 run by the Silver Stars. As both teams headed into the midway break, the score sat at 40-22 in favor of the Shock.
The second half began with two Goodrich layups for Tulsa sandwiching a Danielle Adams layup on Shameka Christon’s second assist of the game. Cambage put herself in double digits on a trip to the paint. After a pair of stick backs by Appel and Adams put 4 points on the San Antonio side of the ledger, Cambage got a hoop and the harm, converting for a 3 point play the way they did it way back when, giving the Shock a 49-28 advantage. With the clock stopped at 6:03 Kayla Alexander dropped in twin freebies from the charity stripe. Liz Cambage answered with a paint bucket assisted by Glory Johnson, but it was Alexander responding once more in the paint with a putback after a strong rebound and a minute later with a dish to Shameka Christon on the right wing for her second from long distance. Tulsa responded with a 3 of their own on a Diggins to Wiggins for 3 from the right side but once again Kayla Alexander netted a response from the paint after cleaning the offensive glass. Wiggins was feeling it though, and with some help from Williams’s 2nd assist she tallied 3 more from the corner for the women from Oklahoma bringing the lead back to 20 at 57-37 with Tulsa out in front.
In the last 1:54 of the quarter, Cathrine Kraayeveld, Shameka Christon, and Jia Perkins tripled up for a 10-2 run broken only by a Liz Cambage shot from the low left block on a Skylar Diggins assist. Kraayeveld drilled a 3 from the top of the perimeter with assistance from Shameka Christon who would provide the next two points from the foul line. Meka then got nothing but net on a 3 from the right side assisted by Jia Perkins. After the Cambage bucket down low, Jia would close out scoring for the quarter at 47-59 in favor of the Shock with a pair of free throws.
Shameka Christon picked up where she left off in the 3rd splashing her 4th triple of the contest to cut the once 23 point lead down to single digits at 9. Glory Johnson spoke up for Tulsa on the scoreboard with a second chance bucket in the paint after Kayla Alexander denied a Liz Cambage attempt from down low. Cambage was T’d up for sending a flailing arm at Kayla after the block and Shameka Christon took advantage from the line. Davellyn Whyte banked an off balance jumper from near the top of the paint off the glass and in for a pair, cutting the lead to 8. Not even 2 minutes after denying Cambage down low, Alexander rejected a Glory Johnson attempt as well. With 5:31 left, the Johnsons began trading buckets. Glory hit a fadeaway jumper in the paint that would have been beautiful against any other team. Shenise wanted two in the paint as well, hauling in a Wiggins misfire and going end to end for the Silver Stars score. It was Glory’s turn for the Shock, sinking a baseline jumper from the left side on a Tiffany Jackson-Jones dish from the paint. Shenise Johnson pitched in for San Antonio from the paint again on ten cents from Davellyn Whyte.
A few seconds before 3:30 Angel Goodrich found Nicole Powell who deposited a jumper from just right of the top of the key. Davellyn Whyte was quick to respond though, bring the ball up and creating her own shot for 3 from the left wing cutting the lead to just 7. Cambage responded with a runner from the right side of the paint. Wiggins then found Glory Johnson who dropped in a fadeaway jumper from the right for a pair. Shenise Johnson had a rebuttal with a left side jumper from the long end of mid-range. With time running short, Jayne Appel found Shameka Christon who buried one from just right of the top of the arch for her 5th triple of the night to narrow the gap to 6. Candice Wiggins doubled up for Tulsa at the free throw line and Shenise Johnson closed out scoring taking the inbound pass end-to-end for the pair leaving a couple seconds on the clock and Tulsa dribbled it out for the 2 possession win, 67-73. After finding momentum late, a few more minutes might have gotten the Stars the victory, but the clock ran out before the Stars could finish the rally.
Wrap Up and Thoughts Moving Forward
Liz Cambage led all scoring with 20 for Tulsa followed by Shameka Christon who contributed 18 to the San Antonio cause. Candice Wiggins got 16 for Tulsa just ahead of Glory Johnson with 15. Shenise Johnson scored 13 and Kayla Alexander put up 10 for San Antonio. Angel Goodrich led all assists with 4.
Alexander and Johnson each grabbed 8 boards for the Stars as did Liz Cambage for Tulsa. Danielle Adams gathered 6 and Davellyn Whyte pulled in 5. Angel Goodrich led burglaries with 4 steals for Tulsa followed by Shameka Christon with 3 for the Silver Stars. Kayla Alexander denied opponents twice for San Antonio as did Liz Cambage for Tulsa and Riquna Williams recorded a Shock block as well. (all Wrap Up stats from http://www.wnba.com/games/20130823/SANTUL/gameinfo.html#nbaGIboxscore )
San Antonio defense has held Skylar Diggins, one of the WNBA's "3 to See," to a total of 0 points in two games with two left in the series between Tulsa and San Antonio.
The Stars head home with a 9-17 record after a hard road trip looking to take both games against the Seattle Storm (13-13) before returning to Tulsa (9-18) for revenge in an attempt to clinch the 4th playoff spot in the West. Seattle enters the game coming off a victory over Phoenix down in the desert for their 3rd in a row. They hope to protect their #4 spot from a hungry San Antonio squad who now trails them by 4 games in the Western Conference. Hopefully the Sunday matinee will see the return of a healthy Danielle Robinson to the San Antonio lineup and a W for the Stars on their home floor.