Mercury go down in Shock’s first win of season
TULSA, Okla. (AP) – Rookie Riquna Williams scored 15 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter to lead Tulsa to an 87-75 victory against the Phoenix Mercury on Sunday, giving the Shock their first win of the season.
Temeka Johnson scored 13 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter against her former team to help the Shock (1-9) pull away after the teams entered the final period tied at 56. Tulsa had lost 15 straight overall since beating Connecticut 83-72 last Aug. 28.
“I thought we played great in the fourth quarter,” Tulsa head coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “We got some defensive stops in the fourth quarter and that gave us a little cushion. We finished with 25 (forced) turnovers. That’s a good number for us.”
Glory Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds and Ivory Latta also scored 10 points for Tulsa. The Shock got 24 points off the Mercury’s turnovers to overcome 39-percent shooting from the field (25 for 65).
“They pressured us the whole game,” Phoenix head coach Corey Gaines said.
DeWanna Bonner scored 24 points and Charde Houston added 22 to lead Phoenix (2-7), which beat Tulsa twice earlier this season for both of its wins.
The Mercury, already without the injured Diana Taurasi, also lost second-leading scorer Candice Dupree to a knee injury late in the first quarter. She did not return and finished with just four points.
Andrea Riley gave the Mercury the lead 13 seconds into the fourth. However, the Shock scored the next 10 points to take a 66-58 lead with 5:18 to go.
“I was just playing without thinking about things,” said Williams, who scored five points during that stretch. “I think I had been thinking too much earlier this season.”
After Samantha Prahalis’ jumper pulled the Mercury to 76-71, Johnson and Williams combined for 11 free throws over the final 1:35 to secure the Shock’s win.
Houston scored 14 points in the first half to help the Mercury to a 38-35 lead at the break.
Tulsa quickly tied it on Latta’s 3 in the opening minute of the third quarter. The game was knotted twice more in a back-and-forth quarter before Williams’ layup tied it entering the final period.