Tahlequah Daily Press

July 3, 2013

Shock dealt another loss, this time to Sun


Associated Press

— UNCASVILLE, Conn. — The Connecticut Sun’s four-game losing streak ended Tuesday night with contributions throughout an injury-depleted roster.

Four players scored in double figures and the Sun earned an 88-69 win over Tulsa, sending the Shock to their fourth straight loss.

“There are not words to describe how badly we needed a win,” Connecticut coach Anne Donovan said. “And a good one where everybody is contributing. Four people in double figures and our bench doing a great job. It wasn’t just a win. It was a feel-good win in terms of how we played. Much needed.”

Allison Hightower scored 18 points and had six assists and Tina Charles added 17 points and 13 rebounds for the Sun (3-7).

Iziane Castro Marques scored 15 points and Kalana Greene added 14 on 5-for-5 shooting.

“If you keep dwelling on the loss before, you’re going to stay in that funk,” Greene said. “We may have done that in some of the games we lost. But you’ve got to have short-term memory. The way we played tonight, you’d have thought we won 20 games in a row.

“In this league every night is a hard night. The dynamics and personnel of the teams change. Some players fit in differently. You do what you can that night versus your matchup.”

The Sun shot 51 percent overall, including 8 for 14 from 3-point range. Hightower (3 for 5) and Castro Marques (2 for 3) provided much-needed accuracy for the Sun, who shot 27 percent in their previous loss.

“Izzy and Allison are very capable shooters,” Donovan said. “It helps to have a point guard out there getting them looks.”

Donovan alluded to Sydney Carter, signed June 10 as an emergency replacement player, following injuries to guards Kara Lawson and Renee Montgomery.

Carter, a third-round pick of the Chicago Sky in 2012 who was also released earlier this season by Atlanta, had seven points, eight assists and even two blocks, one of rookie Skylar Diggins.

“We were just out there running and it felt good that everybody contributed tonight,” Carter said. “It looked like a complete game, even though we have injuries to key players.”

Riquna Williams led Tulsa (3-11) with 23 points and Glory Johnson scored 10. Diggins had four points on 1-for-8 shooting.

Tulsa has lost four straight.

“It’s not difficult to see why we were on the losing end of this one,” Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. “I give Connecticut all the credit. I thought they played like a desperate team that wanted to get a win. They came out and executed and knocked down their shots.”

Connecticut rookie Kelly Faris made a 3-point field goal to begin the fourth period and the Sun led by double digits for the entire quarter.

Connecticut shot 51 59 percent (19-32) in the first half and took a 43-34 halftime lead. Castro Marques scored nine of her 10 first-half points in the first period to give the Sun an early lead.

Williams had 13 points in the first half for the Shock.