By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
TULSA — Not even a half-court shot from Skylar Diggins could get the Tulsa Shock their fourth straight win Thursday afternoon at the BOK Center.
With her team down 53-45 late in the third quarter to the Indiana Fever, the rookie guard from Notre Dame connected from mid-court as the period ended to draw the Shock (6-14) to within five. However, Indiana (8-9) connected on its first eight field goal attempts of the fourth quarter to put the game away and closed out the first half of the 2013 season with a 71-60 win, snapping the Tulsa Shock's three-game wining streak.
“We really just couldn’t get anything going inside or off of our screen-and-roll game,” Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “I give them a lot of credit. They’re a tough-minded defensive team.”
The last game for both teams before the All-Star break, Indiana scored 24 points off 19 Tulsa turnovers, including seven from the team’s two rookie point guards. The Fever held Tulsa to a combined nine-for-28 in the second and third quarters to break open a 17-17 tie at the end of the first quarter and never trail again.
“Indiana’s the reigning champions and we knew going in it was going to be a tough game,” Shock center Liz Cambage said. “They wanted to win more. We just couldn’t get it together.”
Cambage led all Tulsa scorers with 13 points. The only other Tulsa player in double-digits was recent All-Star selection Glory Johnson with 11 points.
In her fourth consecutive start and fifth overall this season, former Sequoyah star Angel Goodrich played almost 22 minutes and had two assists, three rebounds and two fouls while going 0-3 from the floor.
Indiana forward Tameka Catchings, an Eastern Conference starter for Saturday’s All-Star game in Uncasville, Conn., led all scorers with 23 points and nine rebounds. Two former Tulsa players — center Karima Christmas and guard Shavonte Zellous — chipped in 11 and 19 points respectively for the Fever.
The loss drops Tulsa back into last place in the Western Conference, one game behind the San Antonio Silver Stars and 2.5 games behind Seattle for the conference’s fourth and final playoff spot.
Indiana remains in fourth place in the Eastern Conference and earned its third consecutive sweep over the Shock.
Thanks to the All-Star break, the Shock are off until an Aug. 2 home game against the Los Angeles Sparks (12-6), who sit in second place going into the All-Star Break and have three players headed to the Mohegan Sun. Despite beating the Sparks in a pre-season game, the Shock are 0-2 against the second-best team in the Western Conference.
“We have a few days off so our coaches are going to work and see what type of adjustments we want to make coming back,” Kloppenburg said. “Then we have four good practices next week to get ready for Los Angeles on Aug. 2.”
Viva Las Vegas: With the Shock not scheduled to take the court again for eight days, starting center Liz Cambage is hitting the road.
“I’m going to Vegas,” she said. “I’m meeting up with two other Australian girls who play in the league -- Jenna O’Hea who plays for L.A. and Rachel Jerry from Minnesota. We’re just going to have a relaxing time. We’re going to see the sights, lay by the pool and check it out.”
Movin’ on up: With Thursday’s 23-point game, Tameka Catchings passed Seattle center Lauren Jackson as the No. 4 all-time scorer in WNBA history with 6,024 points. Next on the list former Los Angeles center Lisa Leslie, who scored 6,263 during her 13-year career with the Sparks.
Season low: The team’s first loss since July 13, the Shock were held to just 12 points in the fourth quarter, tying the team’s lowest single-quarter total this season.
Injury report: Tulsa starting forward Nicole Powell played nine minutes in the first half before sitting out the rest of the game with an undisclosed illness. Reserve forward/center Courtney Paris did not play Thursday.