TULSA, OKLA. – June 26, 2015 – Despite a strong defensive effort, where the Liberty limited the Tulsa Shock, the highest scoring team in the WNBA, to a season-low 33.9 shooting percentage from the field, New York lost 71-62 on Friday night at the BOK Center in Tulsa.
After a fast-paced first half that saw both teams shoot over 40.0 percent, there was not much offensive rhythm in the second, particularly in the third quarter when despite missing its first five shots and turning the ball over six times before getting on the score board, the Liberty (4-4) were outscored by just one, as Tulsa (7-1) shot just 11.8 percent (2-of-17).
The NY deficit was only five heading into the final quarter, but Tulsa was able to get enough key shots to drop to extend its lead to double figures for the first time, making it 61-51 as Skylar Diggins spun in the paint and converted a nine-foot jumper; she finished with a season-low nine points, shooting 2-of-9 with a pair of turnovers.
New York pulled back within five as Brittany Boyd found Carolyn Swords in the paint for an easy two, then stole a Plenette Pierson pass that she converted to a free throw at the other end to make it 61-56.
Approaching the two minute mark, Riquna Williams came up with a clutch 3-pointer to put the Shock in front by 11, then hit from downtown again a minute later to make it a 14-point lead. She was the only Tulsa player to score in double figures, coming off the bench to finish with 11 points.
Tulsa shot 10-for-24 from 3-point range and saw six different players connect on at least one triple, but was just 11-of-38 (28.9 percent) from inside the arc; the Shock entered the game leading the WNBA shooting 39.2 percent from three.
Sugar Rodgers, starting her second-career WNBA game, scored a game-high 12 points, reaching double figures for the fourth-straight game, shooting 2-for-3 from 3-point range.
New York faced an eight point deficit twice in the opening half, came back to tie the game on two occasions but never took the lead, trailing 45-41 at the half.
Jordan Hooper hit a three with 1:09 left in the first quarter to make it 27-19, but Essence Carson answered with a trey of her own on the other end, three of her seven first-quarter points.
New York closed the first on a 6-0 run, only to trail by eight once again in the second half as Amanda Zahui B connected from beyond-the-arc, making it 34-26.
The Liberty responded with an 8-0 run, capped off with a Sugar Rodgers 3-pointer then a 20-foot Tina Charles jumper to knot the score at 34-34.
Rodgers’ second trey at 2:44 resulted in the fourth tie and New York had three chances to take its first lead of the game, but a Williams triple resulted in a four-point Tula lead at the intermission.
New York returns to Madison Square Garden to host the Los Angeles Sparks on Sunday, June 28, at 3 p.m. The Liberty will hosting Maddie’s 19th Birthday Celebration, presented by Fidelis Care.
New York Liberty Postgame Notes
- Tulsa shot just 39.9-percent from the field; the lowest they it shot this season, and its lowest FG percentage since its season-opening loss at Minnesota.
- Tulsa has the best record in the WNBA and has won seven in a row including all four games at the BOK Center.
- The 39.9 percent field goal percentage is just the third lowest for a Liberty opponent this season, but the lowest for a foe in a loss in 2015.
- Sugar Rodgers has scored in double figures in four-consecutive games.
- Skylar Diggins finished with just nine points, the first time she failed to reach double figures; she entered the game ranked fourth in the league at 17.1 ppg.
- New York tied the game four times but never took the lead.
- Neither team had a player in double figures until the Williams three-pointer with 1:13 remaining
- The Liberty committed a season-high 26 turnovers.
- New York outscored Tulsa 24-20 in the paint and held a 32-26 edge on the glass.