The Silver Stars took a step towards the second-best lottery odds in the WNBA after a 98-65 loss to the Tulsa Shock Sunday afternoon.
Riquna Williams broke the single-game scoring record in the WNBA with 51 points. She made eight 3-pointers, all nine of her free throws and 17 of her 28 shots from the field. Her career high in points previous to this game was 28.
Williams’ game also broke Becky Hammon’s record for most points scored in the AT&T Center, set at 35 points in 2008 against the Los Angeles Sparks.
San Antonio (11-21) split the season series with Tulsa (11-21) at two games apiece and are now tied for fifth place in the western conference with the Shock.
Defense was strictly optional for the Silver Stars, allowing 98 points to a team that averaged 76 points a game heading in to Sunday’s contest. The 98 points are the third-most the Shock scored this season. The most came against the defense-avert Phoenix Mercury as Tulsa scored 102.
Turnovers cost the Stars, as the Shock scored 12 points on Silver Stars miscues. Second chance points also went against San Antonio, as they had trouble grabbing defensive rebounds all game — particularly when Jayne Appel was on the bench, of course.
Even with Appel on the floor, though, the Silver Stars did not rebound particularly well. There’s a chance the team was gassed after their all-or-nothing (nothing) defeat at the Phoenix Mercury on Friday. Granted, this result isn’t the worst thing in the world for the Silver Stars, who are chasing a high draft pick for 2014.
With Connecticut all but clinching the worst record in the WNBA (eight wins with three games to play), the Silver Stars still have a chance to grab the second-highest lottery odds. With two games of their own to play, San Antonio is tied with New York and Tulsa for 11 wins apiece. The Liberty are still (sort of) fighting for a playoff spot, meaning they have a chance to finish fourth in the lottery contest.
San Antonio’s final two games come against teams that will want to go into the playoffs on a high note as they play the Mercury on Friday and the Atlanta Dream on Sunday. It appears the Mercury have finally figured it out, as they cruised to a victory over the Dream today. Atlanta, on the other hand, has taken some kind of free-fall since the all-star break.
Recent signing Chelsea Hopkins struggled something fierce, missing all seven of her field goals and failing to beat the shot clock three times — all three came from blocked shots. She is in a tough position, no doubt, but I fear she won’t get a better audition than the one she is getting with San Antonio right now.
Shenise Johnson played well, scoring 18 points on 7-13 shooting from the field. Johnson also picked up four assists and four rebounds.
I’m sure there will be more of Williams’ historic performance later. It’s a bright spot for a Tulsa team that has not had the season they were hoping for.
As mentioned above, the next Silver Stars game will come on Friday in Phoenix against the red-hot Phoenix Mercury.
Preview photo courtesy of WNBA.com.
Here’s an infographic on Williams’ incredible performance.