The Tulsa Shock only made two field goals in the final quarter, but were still able to snap their three-game losing streak in Atlanta Tuesday night. Angel McCoughtry's game-high 25 points were not enough as the Atlanta Dream lost to the Shock, 85-75.
The win keeps Tulsa in second place in the Western Conference, now only a half-game behind the Minnesota Lynx. Atlanta has now lost three of their last five games and find themselves in last place in the tough Eastern Conference.
"It was just a good, hard-fought victory," Shock head coach Fred Williams said. "The game could've gone either way. This team is still learning; we're building, we're young and we have a lot of players here who are pretty hungry."
Tulsa led by seven at the half, and would increase their lead heading into the final quarter thanks to a 15-6 run. The Shock were led by Plenette Pierson, who scored eight of her team-high 24 points during that run to end the third quarter.
The Dream turned up their defensive intensity to begin the fourth quarter, and attacked the paint on offense. Atlanta put together a 12-4 run in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to cut the Tulsa lead to two.
"I like the fact that we fought our way back into the game and showed some toughness and competitiveness," Dream Head Coach Michael Cooper said. "You see why this team is a very good team out in the West. They have two players down, and they still came and brought it. You got to tip your hat to them."
The Shock found themselves in the bonus with 3:26 left in the game, and took advantage of their chances at the free throw line. Tulsa went 14-for-16 from the charity stripe down the stretch, and shot 81 percent as a team throughout the game.
Every time Atlanta cut the lead to one, the Shock always had an answer. Tulsa never trailed, and head coach Fred Williams said free throws played a huge part in holding off the Dream.
"Angel McCoughtry stepped it up, and then Tiffany Hayes started getting loose on us with some drives and some shots," Williams said. "So I just told the team to maintain their composure, get to the free throw line, and put some of those free throws down because we were in the bonus situations."
Riquna Williams was great down the stretch for Tulsa. Williams scored ten of her 23 points in the final four minutes.
McCoughtry tried to rally her team to victory, but struggled to consistently put the ball in the basket the entire game. McCoughty shot 8-28 from the floor, including 1-8 in the fourth quarter. She did have a chance to tie the game with 41 seconds left, but her 3-point attempt missed.
The Shock relied heavily on their starters against the Dream as they continue to play without two of their key players. This was Tulsa's first win since losing Skylar Diggins on June 28 to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her knee.