Saturday, May 23, 2015

Shock Beat the Stars at Home in First Preseason Game

The Shock tipped off the 2015 season with a 30-point win over the San Antonio Stars at the BOK Center Friday night.  It was the third time the Shock have defeated the Stars in preseason match-ups since moving to Tulsa in 2010.  The two teams face each other again in San Antonio on May 28 in a final preseason tune-up before the start of the 2015 WNBA season.
Post-Game Notes and Quotes – May 22, 2015 – San Antonio Stars @ Tulsa Shock
Final Score: Tulsa Shock – 81, San Antonio Stars – 51
Game Leaders
Tulsa Shock
Points: Skylar Diggins, 15
Rebounds: Courtney Paris, 9
Assists: Odyssey Sims, 5
San Antonio Stars
Points: Jia Perkins, 9
Rebounds: Jayne Appel, Dearica Hamby, 6
Assists: Jayne Appel, 3
Game Notes
Tulsa Shock
• Theresa Plaisance started the season strong by scoring a career-high 12 points. Her previous career high was five points. Plaisance was four-of-five from the field, and she was perfect from the free-throw line.
• Skylar Diggins led the team in scoring with 15 points, her first time leading the Shock in scoring against San Antonio since May, 17, 2014, which was six head-to-head matchups ago.
• After forcing 20 turnovers Friday night, the Shock earned the most turnovers against the Stars since May 28, 2014, when the team forced 18 turnovers. The Shock have forced the Stars into double-digit turnovers in four of the last five meetings, including preseasons.
• Coming off of an injury that ended her 2014 season, Riquna Williams bounced back confidently by scoring 11 points, which is the most she has scored against San Antonio since her incredible 51-point performance against the Stars back in 2013.
• The Shock’s 81-51 win is the largest margin of victory against San Antonio since Sept. 8, 2013, when the team won by a score of 98-65. The Shock has defeated the Stars by 17-plus point margins three times since 2013. Including pre-seasons matchups, the Shock has now won four consecutive home games against San Antonio.
San Antonio Stars
• Jia Perkins led the Stars with nine points. She was also a perfect 5-5 from the free-throw line. Sydney Colson and Danielle Robinson each had seven points as well.
• As a team, the Stars collected 36 rebounds, seven assists, eight steals, three blocks and shot 17-of-21 form the free-throw line.
• Jayne Appel led the Stars in rebounds with six and led the team in assists with three. She also recorded a block in the game.
• Sophia Young-Malcolm lead all players with four steals. No other player from either team had more than two steals.
• Since the Shock have relocated to Tulsa, San Antonio is 0-3 against the franchise in pre-season matchups.
Star Quotes
Stars’ Head Coach Dan Hughes on the Loss:
“In the pre season, I think it’s more important to give your roster players a chance to play,” Hughes said. “The Shock’s a good team. They’re a hard team to guard, so (the BOK) is a tough place to play in that regard. They play well here.  This is normal territory where we learn a lot about ourselves. For us, it will be interesting for me to see on June fourth when we open the season. We’ve got a long way to go, but it’s a little bit of a building-block process, so I don’t get real concerned about where we are as long as we’re getting better.”

DELLE DONNE SHINES IN RETURN TO THE BOB

On Friday night the defending Eastern Conference Champion Chicago Sky made their 2015 preseason debut at the Bob Carpenter Center hosting the New York Liberty in a game presented by the Delaware Lottery. Fueled by 16 points from Elena Delle Donne and the tremendous support of the Delaware faithful the Sky defeated the Liberty 83-55.
“It was a great win,” said Sky guard/forward Elena Delle Done. ”Obviously there is a ton of work to do, but it was a great first game.”
As the Sky took the court in Newark once again all eyes were on Delaware native and University of Delaware alum, Elena Delle Donne. Despite just three points from Delle Donne in first quarter, the WNBA’s 2014 Sixth Woman of the Year Allie Quigley picked up where she left off last season, by scoring four points in her first two minutes of action off the bench to keep the Sky within striking distance after one, 16-14.
A steal and layup by forward Tamera Young sparked a 16-0 Chicago Sky run midway through the second quarter as the Sky took a commanding 14-point lead and never looked back. The run featured back-to-back jump shots from Delle Donne and five points from guard Jacki Gemelos off the bench. The Sky outscored the Liberty 26-12 in the second quarter to carry a 12-point advantage into the half, 40-28.
Chicago carried its hot shooting into the second half, starting the third quarter on an 8-2 run as Courtney Vandersloot connected on a pair of three pointers. A timeout with just under four minutes in the quarter ignited an 8-0 Sky run that included rookie Cheyenne Parker’s first two points. At the end of three, the Sky led 61-43.
Chicago outscored New York 22-12 in the final quarter, and pulled away for an 83-55 victory. Delle Donne led all scorers in the game with 16 points and eight rebounds while Gemelos finished with 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Cappie Pondexter finished with five points and two rebounds in her Chicago Sky debut and first time playing alongside teammate Elena Delle Donne.
“I think we’re a good balance for each other,” said Pondexter. “We will take a lot of the pressure off each other.”
Chicago rounds out preseason play with a two-day tournament at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The Sky will play the Los Angeles Sparks at 4:00 p.m. on May 27th and the Chinese Olympic Team at 5:00 p.m. on the 28th. The team’s roster will be finalized to 12 by June 4, prior to the Sky opening its 10th season on June 5 at Allstate Arena against the Indiana Fever. To purchase tickets call 866.SKY.WNBA or visit CHICAGOSKY.NET.

Rookies Shine, but Liberty Fall to Chicago in Preseason Opener

The New York rookies showed that they belong playing under the bright lights, but it was not enough, as the Liberty fell to the Chicago Sky, 83-55, in its preseason opener at the University of Delaware on Friday night.
First-year center Kiah Stokes led the way for New York, racking up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while rookie wing Rebecca Allen finished with 10 points, knocking down both of her outside attempts. However, the Liberty struggled as a team from 3-point range, shooting just 3-for-12 (.250).
“I wanted to see how our players play,” said third-year Liberty head coach Bill Laimbeer. “We’ve got so many new [players], I wanted to see how they each can do. Practice is one thing but when you go in the game, it’s who can play in the game, who can get it done and who can take what they did in practice going forward. I got a really good look at all the rookies. [Getting a look at the rookies] was a big key for us tonight. I wanted to see what the rookies could do or couldn’t do and were there mistakes where and show them on film, as well as [getting a look at] the veterans and see how we all mesh.”
As the Sky took the court in Newark once again all eyes were on Delaware native and University of Delaware alum, Elena Delle Donne. Despite just three points from Delle Donne in first quarter, the WNBA’s 2014 Sixth Woman of the Year Allie Quigley picked up where she left off last season, by scoring four points in her first two minutes of action off the bench to keep the Sky within striking distance after one, 16-14.
A steal and layup by forward Tamera Young sparked a 16-0 Chicago Sky run midway through the second quarter as the Sky took a commanding 14-point lead and never looked back. The run featured back-to-back jump shots from Delle Donne and five points from guard Jacki Gemelos off the bench. The Sky outscored the Liberty 26-12 in the second quarter to carry a 12-point advantage into the half, 40-28.
Chicago carried its hot shooting into the second half, starting the third quarter on an 8-2 run as Courtney Vandersloot connected on a pair of three pointers. A timeout with just under four minutes in the quarter ignited an 8-0 Sky run that included rookie Cheyenne Parker’s first two points. At the end of three, the Sky led 61-43.
Chicago outscored New York 22-12 in the final quarter, and pulled away for an 83-55 victory. Delle Donne led all scorers in the game with 16 points and eight rebounds while Gemelos finished with 10 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Cappie Pondexter finished with five points and two rebounds in her Chicago Sky debut and first time playing alongside teammate Elena Delle Donne.
New York returns to action for its preseason home opener on Wednesday, May 27, as the Liberty host the Atlanta Dream at Madison Square Garden for Kids Day. Tipoff is scheduled for 11 a.m.