Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

June 23, 2014

Diggins returns home, helps Shock beat Chicago in OT

ROSEMONT, Ill. — Skylar Diggins enjoyed her homecoming.

The former Notre Dame star scored a career-high 33 points in front of many of her friends and family and the Tulsa Shock outlasted the Chicago Sky 105-99 in overtime on Sunday.

"It's always great to see the people I love and care about come out and support me and actually be in the stands," said Diggins, who is from South Bend, Ind.

Glory Johnson had 22 points and Odyssey Sims added 18 for the Shock (5-7), who snapped a two-game losing streak, in the nationally televised game that showcased the WNBA's pride campaign.

Jessica Breland scored a career-high 26 points and Epiphanny Prince added 24 for the Sky (6-7), who have lost six of seven.

The Shock improved to 1-6 on the road.

"I wasn't really thinking of the career game. I'm happy we won on the road," Diggins said.

Diggins shot 11 of 20 from the field and 10 of 13 from the free throw line.

"Also passing the basketball, she was really on point with what she wanted to do," Tulsa coach Fred Williams said.

Sky forward Elena Delle Donne, the 2013 WNBA rookie of the year, missed her fifth straight game due to a Lyme disease flare-up. The team is also without 2013 defensive player of the year Sylvia Fowles, who has yet to play this season due to a hip injury. Sky coach Pokey Chatman said Fowles might return next week.

The Shock were 21 for 27 at the free throw line and 10 of 17 from beyond the arc and rallied from a 12-point deficit.

"Our defensive presence as a team, we're always backpedaling," Chatman said. "We're not making people uncomfortable."

In overtime, Jordan Hooper hit a 3 to give Tulsa a 102-99 lead with 59.7 seconds left. Courtney Paris blocked a Jamierra Faulkner shot and Diggins made a jumper for a 104-99 lead with 32.2 seconds left.

Breland fouled out with 3:21 left in regulation as Tulsa led 92-91. Hooper hit a 3 and Johnson made a layup to cut the lead to 86-85 with 59.3 seconds left. The Sky's Markeisha Gatling hit a bank shot with 39.8 seconds remaining, but Johnson completed a three-point play to tie it and send it to overtime.

The WNBA's pride campaign celebrates inclusion and equality and combats anti-LGBT bias. The league is the first in pro sports to specifically recruit gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender fans to its games.

All 12 teams have a pride initiative, and they are participating in pride festivals and parades and working with advocacy groups.

"We know the LGBT community, and particularly the lesbian segment of the LGBT community, has been with us since the very beginning, a very, very knowledgeable and passionate segment of our audience," WNBA President Laurel Richie said before the game. "So my job is to always make sure those who are supportive and passionate of the league know we really appreciate them being terrific fans."

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