Tulsa ends skid, takes down New York at MSG, 81-76
The Tulsa Shock (11-14) ended a 10-game losing streak and earned an 81-76 win against New York on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden. The Shock were led by Odyssey Sims who scored a game-high 27 points plus seven assists. Tulsa outscored New York 30-20 in the paint, the first time all season the Liberty was outscored on the inside.
The Liberty saw its four-game winning streak halted. New York (16-7) is now 7-2 against the Western Conference this season, both losses have come to the Tulsa Shock. The Liberty had won five-straight home games dating back to June 28. The Shock are in third place in the West while the Liberty remain in first place in the East.
Riquna Williams was also in double digits for the Shock with 15 points plus six rebounds. Karima Christmas added 11.
Rookie Brittany Boyd led New York with 22 points while Tina Charles added 13 points plus eight rebounds.
Tulsa returns home to host the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday. New York is in action on Wednesday night when it travels to San Antonio, Texas, to face the Stars.
- Brittany Boyd recorded her first-career 20 point game, it was the second time this season she led the Liberty in scoring.
- Epiphanny Prince failed to score in double figures for the first time this season, she entered the game averaging 25.0 ppg over the last three games.
- New York is now 2-2 this year in the second game of a back-to-back.
- It was the first time this season New York lost when it won the turnover battle, it is now 9-1 when creating more turnovers.
- The Liberty had not trailed by more than five points at any time during the four-game winning streak it head heading into the game.
Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer
On Tonight’s Game
“This became a perfect storm for us. We are a tired basketball team right now. We knew that going into the game. Last night took a lot out of us. We’ve been pushing mentally and physically. We’re going to have games like this, but always hope that we could work through it. We weren’t able to. Tulsa played very hard and they played very well, especially defensively. The guards did a heck of a job guarding us and taking away some of our shots. We don’t get beat at ‘points in the paint’ very often, but Tulsa did that tonight. Overall I give Tulsa a lot of credit. We just didn’t have it tonight. The last two games have been a struggle for us defensively. We have to get back to who we are.”
On the next Games
“This is a big week for us to get through. We have a dent in our armor. We know that we’re not perfect. We didn’t expect to go undefeated the rest of the way. We’d like to win our home games but it happens. So we have to move on. Everybody is still gunning for us. We’re on top [in the East]. We’ve accomplished nothing so far. All that we’ve done is put ourselves in a position to have an opportunity to be successful this year but there is still a heck of a long way to go.”
Liberty guard Brittany Boyd
On what allowed Tulsa to build double-digit lead in first half
“We weren’t in sync and we were missing open shots that we normally make. Not locking in on defense was part of it as well.”
On what the team did different in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to five points
“We are a mentally strong team; no matter the outcome we want to go out fighting and tonight we were determined to get back into the game.”
Liberty center Tina Charles
On what she will say to the team after a tough loss like tonight
“We keep our heads up [because] we did a great job fighting back. I thought Brittany [Boyd] did a great job leading the comeback and getting us going; she gave us so much effort, [showed] determination and is becoming the player we all know she can be.”
Does the comeback from 20+ down help the team at all going forward?
“Yes. We did that versus Atlanta [on their home floor] in June. It gives us confidence in our ability to fight back when things aren’t going well.”
Shock head coach Fred Williams
On tonight’s game
“We put it all together for us. What we did the first half of the season and kept hanging in there for the losses on the road. We just practice hard everyday and we were able to pull one out like this and get over the losing streak. Tonight the young ladies came out, played, and shot well, set the tone early and everything played into our hands in the second half.”
On the guards’ performance
“Everybody knows our guards like to slash and go to the basket. Riquna Williams can shoot the three from the outside, explosive player, but there is no secret about our guards. It’s always been push the ball, attack the basket, and create plays.”
On playing the New York Liberty
“I think we tried to be physical, I think everyone was pretty much locked in. We just tried to stay focused.”
On snapping a 10-game losing streak
“We were on a long losing streak, and we have been saying for the longest that all we need is just one. Now we are about to start a winning streak. It starts here and we are going to build each day and get back, and prepare ourselves on Tuesday.”
The difference of tonight’s game compared to prior games on their losing streak.
“We had a lot of rest. Coach made sure we watched their game last night, so we knew they were coming off of a back-to-back. We paid attention to the players who played a lot of minutes and knew we wanted to run.”
On playing the Liberty
“I think we had a good idea on their threats Epiphanny [Prince] and Tina [Charles], we didn’t want them to come in and have such a great game. We were focused on those beasts; we jumped in a little and then kind of sucked the life out of their team.”
By the Numbers
Points in the Paint: Shock 30, Liberty 20
Second Chance Points: Shock 11, Liberty 12
Fastbreak Points: Shock 9, Liberty 7
Biggest Lead: Shock 20, Liberty 2
Lead Changes: 1
Times Tied: 1