TULSA, Okla. (AP) Glory Johnson celebrated her birthday by leading the Tulsa Shock to a much-needed win.
Johnson scored 14 of her 15 points in the second half and had 11 rebounds to help the Tulsa Shock beat the Chicago Sky 79-69 on Sunday.
It was just Tulsa’s second victory in its last nine games.
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Unable to find its offensive rhythm for most of the first three quarters, Tulsa finally found its stride finishing the third with an 11-2 run. Odyssey Sims tied the game 56-56 with a driving layup with 18.8 seconds left in the period.
”In the third quarter, we were down by nine and only shooting 26 percent,” Johnson said. ”We kept talking about that this was still our game, and then we started talking a lot more and trusting each other on defense. We took it right at them and started working the ball inside.”
Sims would finish with 24 points, marking the fifth consecutive game that the rookie out of Baylor would finish in double digits. Skylar Diggins added 18, including a 10-for-11 performance at the free throw line.
”We came out sluggish in the first half,” Sims said. ”We seem to always start out slow and we have to find a way to come out aggressive and stay that way. Transition points were big for us tonight.”
Through the game’s first 27 minutes, Tulsa (9-17) had just 11 field goals and four assists. The Shock made 13 field goals on 11 assists over the game’s final 13 minutes.
Tulsa continued its push to open the fourth quarter, with an 8-2 burst forcing two Chicago timeouts. The Shock led 66-58 edge with 7:40 to play. Two of those points came from Johnson, who had seven points in the final quarter.
Chicago (10-15) would get no closer than six points the rest of the game.
Allie Quigley and Epiphanny Prince each scored 14 points for the Sky, who lost for the seventh time in their last nine games.
”They had all of the momentum in the second half,” said Chicago’s Sylvia Fowles, who fouled out late in the game with eight points and nine rebounds. ”You can’t give a team like Tulsa momentum because they were playing at home and they play with a lot of energy.”