Odyssey Sims contributed 30 points to the Shock's win against Indiana Fever, 76-70, as they head to playoffs for the first time in the six seasons in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Assisting Sims were teammates Karima Christmas with 18 points and four rebounds, along with Plenette Pierson with 11 points.
For most of the game, the Fever were outrebounded and out shot by the aggressive Shocks. The Shock, who are last in the conference in field goal percentage, shot 50% from the floor. Tonight's contest was only their second game to shoot 50% as a team.
Starting the game, Indiana, who was second in the league for points per game, missed both buckets and opportunities to rebound. They converted on only six of their 20 attempts. Tulsa hit 11 of their 14 shots and took the lead 23-9 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter. The Shock's Sims took advantage of Fever's Briann January's absence by shooting 13 points in the first quarter.
With Tulsa leading 28-15 at the end of the first, the Shock committed 11 turnovers and 14 fouls to give the Fever their 10 to two run. With Tulsa's Riquna Williams out with a knee injury, Indiana went seven of 16 to come close to the Shock 36-38 at the half.
From the locker room, the Fever's Lynetta Kizer and Layshia Clarendon gave their team their first lead of the game after making two consecutive buckets. Back and forth the teams rallied, tying four times in the third. Sims drove center lane for a lay-in yet committed an offensive foul to leave the score tied at 57.
Early in the final quarter, Tulsa's Sims and Pierson and Indiana's Clarendon each committed their fifth foul. The Fever were scoreless until Tamika Catchings shot a three with four minutes to play. The Shock's Pierson helped with seven points early for the 60-66 lead.
After Indiana's Clarendon had assisted with a layup that resulted in a 68-70 game, Shavonte Zellous blocked a 6-foot jumper by Tulsa's Christmas to give a tie-game opportunity. Yet, the Shock's Brianna Kiesel stole the ball to sent Sims to the foul line.
With the crowd at the BOK Center in Oklahoma standing in suspense, Indiana turned the ball over and immediately fouled on the floor to stop the clock with 13 seconds remaining in the contest. Once inbounded, Catchings completed a left-handed lay-up to make it 70-74, Tulsa maintaining the lead. However, the Fever could not catch up, finally ending the game with Sims completing six of six from the free-throw line in the final 19 seconds.
Indiana's Catchings totaled 22 points, 14 rebounds, and three blocks. Ten of the Fever's players scored nine points or fewer, resulting in 39% in the field. Indiana gave 19 points from 16 turnovers. The Shock's Pierson made 11 points, while Brianna Kiesel added seven quality bench points, leaving the team with 45% in total shots.