July 24, 2014

The Tulsa Shock are in the midst of the WNBA's longest active drought without a postseason appearance.

Off to the best start in franchise history, they appear poised to finally end that slump.

On Friday night they'll try to end a different skid against the Washington Mystics, against whom they've dropped four straight meetings.

Tulsa improved to 4-1 Tuesday with an 88-61 win over San Antonio, defeating the Stars for the second time in three days. Plenette Pierson scored 20 points and was 9 of 13 from the field after going 2 for 10 in Sunday's win. In her 13th season in the league and second stint with the Shock, Pierson is averaging a career-high 14.8 points.

Riquna Williams scored a season-high 16 off the bench, helping Tulsa's reserves outscore San Antonio's 41-25.

Skylar Diggins also scored 13 points, and Brianna Kiesel was 3 for 9 from the field but had eight assists. The rookie out of Pittsburgh made her second straight start in place of Odyssey Sims. Sims, who suffered a left knee injury against Seattle on June 9, isn't expected to play until Tulsa returns home June 26 against New York at the earliest.

This matchup figures to be a clash of styles as the Shock's 81.0 points per game are the second-most in the WNBA. Tulsa's high-powered offense is powered by a league-best 39.5 percent shooting from 3-point range.

The Mystics (3-1) rank ninth at 68.8 points per game, but they also have yet to yield more than 68. Opponents are shooting 34.8 percent from the field.

Tulsa is also improving defensively, though, allowing just 56.0 points per game in its last three contests.

Ivory Latta scored 20 in Washington's 74-59 win Sunday at New York, pulling the Mystics within one-half game of first-place Connecticut in the Eastern Conference. Latta is averaging a team-high 12.5 points, and though she's shooting just 30.0 percent, she was 6 for 13 against the Liberty, including 3 for 8 from 3-point range.

Washington averaged 86.5 points while winning both meetings last season. Diggins averaged 17.5 points and 4.0 assists but the Shock were held to 37.4 percent shooting.

You May Like