Shock Drops Home Opener In Overtime
Ivory Latta made the most of her return to Tulsa.
Latta scored 27 points and Washington held Tulsa without a field goal in overtime as the Mystics won 95-90 on Monday.
''My teammates made sure I stayed energetic the whole game,'' said Latta, who spent the previous few years playing for Tulsa. ''Give them the credit.''
Trailing by two with 23.3 seconds left in regulation, Glory Johnson hit two free throws to tie it at 88. In overtime the Mystics outscored Tulsa 7-2. Latta's two free throws with 16.2 seconds left in OT sealed the win.
Washington used a strong defensive effort holding Tulsa without a basket for the final 3:33 of regulation and the entire overtime.
The Mystics benefited from Tulsa being down to eight players. Tiffany Jackson-Jones, Candice Wiggins and Nicole Powell all missed the game because of an assortment of injuries.
"Fatigue set in in overtime. We're down to eight players. That hurt us,'' Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "Not having Candice out there defensively hurt us. We started two rookies and a very, very young team. I was very proud of their effort. We missed some easy shots in critical spots. We put them at the line 38 times, that definitely hurt us. We have a chance to be a decent team. We've only had Liz (Cambage) for a week.''
Matee Ajavon added 19 points, Crystal Langhorne 16 and Kia Vaughn 10 for the Mystics (1-0).
Johnson had 20 points and 14 rebounds to lead Tulsa while Liz Cambage added 21 points and 10 boards.
Fatigue was definitely a factor for Tulsa, Cambage said.
"Decision making went out the window with the fatigue,'' she said. "My body felt like I could keep going but my brain was a couple of seconds behind. It's annoying. I missed a lot of shots I should have made. There was a lot on my mind. I'm thinking about the (new) rules. I was a bit rusty. I have a lot of room to improve. It's been three months since I have played. I only started shooting last week when I got cleared (from the broken wrist).''
Cambage, who was drafted second by the Shock in 2011, sat out last season.
When asked about her return to Tulsa and the league, she said, "It's one of the (most fun) leagues. It's definitely better than being unemployed.''
A fan provided a moment of levity when between free throws he shouted to Latta, "You never made those when you were here.''
Latta smiled, sank her second free throw of overtime then saluted the fan.
"I thought that was so hilarious,'' Latta said. "But that's my guy right there. I didn't even have to look at him. I knew it was him.''
The Shock (0-2) was led by Roneeka Hodges' 22 points. Hodges was 8-of-11 from the field. Her six 3-pointers tied her career high.