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Record-Setting Romp for Storm
Final: Storm 101, Tulsa 74
Fittingly, Ann Wauters connected from beyond the arc on the Storm's final possession of the game. That shot made a lot of history. It pushed the Storm past 100 points for the fifth time in franchise history and the first time since the 2010 season. It allowed the team to set a franchise record by shooting 59.2 percent from the field. And it tied the team record of 14 three-pointers in a game. All that goes along with the remarkable team-record 29 assists the Storm handed out on 37 field goals. More than wins and losses, I think we wanted to see the Storm play to its potential over the last nine games of the regular season. Consider that accomplished tonight.
Everyone played a part in the blowout, but Lauren Jackson's performance was special. Jackson scored 23 points in just 14 and a half minutes of action, making nine of her 12 shot attempts. Jackson was on the receiving end of a lot of those assists. Tanisha Wright handed out eight and Camille Little had seven, a new career high. The Storm bench maintained the high level of play set by the starters. Shekinna Stricklen had 15 points as well as eight rebounds and Tina Thompson scored 11 off the bench.
Now it's out on the road for a four-game trip starting Saturday in Tulsa. The Shock will be motivated to play better during the rematch at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Listen on 1090 AM and watch on LiveAccess. We'll return to KeyArena on Sunday, Sept. 16 as the Storm hosts the Connecticut Sun on Hero Appreciation Night. Get your tickets now!
Storm Stays Hot
Fourth Quarter: Storm 95, Tulsa 65
A pair of threes by Shekinna Stricklen have helped the Storm make history. The team's 27 assists are a new franchise record. With 12 three-pointers, the Storm is two off the team's all-time high, set earlier this season. And the Storm is still shooting better than 60 percent from the field. One nice thing about this lopsided score is that it's allowed Head Coach Brian Agler to get rest for his starters with a rematch against this same Shock team in Tulsa looming less than 48 hours away. None of the starters have played more than 24 minutes.
Everyone Gets Into the Act
Fourth Quarter: Storm 87, Tulsa 56
It's a happy Doppler Train as we take our first timeout of this final period with the Storm still leading by 31 points. Alysha Clark has partaken in the offensive explosion here in the fourth quarter, knocking down a pair of three-pointers. She drew a huge ovation for hustling to come up with a steal in the backcourt and then making a three shortly thereafter. Ewelina Kobryn has also scored, meaning all 11 Storm players are in the books.
Storm Dominates Third Quarter
End Third Quarter: Storm 79, Tulsa 49
This game went from competitive to a laugher in a hurry. The Storm outscored the Shock 26-9 during the third quarter to open up a 30-point lead. Right now, the only drama left in this game is whether the Storm can set some franchise records. The team has never shot better than 60 percent from the field, and the 22 assists the team has handed out through three quarters are threatening the franchise record of 26. We'll keep you up to date on everything.
No Answer for LJ
Third Quarter: Storm 57, Tulsa 40
Over the last three minutes of game time, Lauren Jackson has been truly unstoppable. Between the end of the second quarter and the start of the third, Jackson has 10 points in a span of two minutes and 36 seconds. Jackson is sealing smaller defenders and teammates are doing a great job of finding her. Camille Little has set up both Jackson scores this half, giving Little five assists for the game. As for Jackson, she's got 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting.
Tossing Teddy Bears
Halftime: Storm 53, Tulsa 40
The Teddy Bear Toss is one of my favorite annual Storm traditions. There's nothing like seeing a bunch of teddy bears of all shapes and sizes raining down on the KeyArena court as members of the promo crew and the Dance Troupe collect them. This is also for a good cause. All the teddy bears are donated to the Warm 106.9 Teddy Bear Patrol to be given to comfort children in emergency situations.
Storm Pulls Away Late in Half
Halftime: Storm 53, Tulsa 40
The Storm finished the first half with a 13-3 run, turning what had been a narrow lead into a solid 13-point advantage at the break. The Storm's offense was excellent all half long. The team shot 56.3 percent from the field, 5-of-9 from downtown and made 12 free throws in 14 attempts. The Storm handed out 14 assists against just five turnovers. Tanisha Wright led the way with nine points and seven assists, making all three of her shot attempts. Lauren Jackson was on the receiving end of several of those assistants and scored 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
During the second quarter, the Storm pulled away by adding stouter defense to that efficient offense. Only the three-point line has kept Tulsa in the game. The Shock has made six threes in 13 attempts. Ivory Latta and rookie Glory Johnson have 12 points apiece for the Shock.
Storm On the Run
Second Quarter: Storm 35, Tulsa 31
A timeout by Brian Agler early in the second quarter - admittedly called in part to complain to the referees - has paid dividends for the Storm. Since the stoppage of play, the Storm has scored on all five possessions. That's produced a 7-0 run that has given the Storm its largest lead of the night. The offensive execution has been very strong, as has the ball movement. The Storm has eight assists - four by Tanisha Wright and three from Camille Little.
Hero Appreciation Night
Second Quarter: Storm 26, Tulsa 26
When the Storm returns to KeyArena a week from Sunday, we'll be using the game against the Connecticut Sun to honor heroes in our local community. You can help. Buy two tickets to the game and we'll donate two more to families of local police, fire, military or other service men and women.
Wauters Gives Storm Lead
End First Quarter: Storm 26, Tulsa 24
A Tanisha Wright drive set up Ann Wauters to go off the glass with 1.5 seconds remaining in the first quarter, giving the Storm a 26-24 lead after one quarter in this back-and-forth affairs. Both teams have relied heavily on outside shooting, in keeping with recent trends. Tulsa, which has shot well since the Olympic Break, is 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. The Storm was 3-of-5, and figures to continue getting open looks against a Shock defense that is permissive from long range.
Fun new feature on ArenaVision during the quarter break as Camille Little became the first Storm player to test "Are You Smarter than a Dance Trouper?" Little showed the value of her North Carolina education by answering all three questions correctly to win 3-2.
First Quarter: Storm 16, Tulsa 15
Both offenses have had an easy time getting going during the first six-plus minutes of this game. The Storm is shooting 50 percent from the field with a pair of three-pointers, but Tulsa has nearly matched the home team point for point. Glory Johnson has eight points for the Shock and Ivory Latta has added five. On the Storm side, Lauren Jackson and Tanisha Wright have five points apiece. Jackson hit a pair of early jumpers, a great sign as she shakes off the rust and tries to get back to MVP form.
Tonight's Alaska Airlines First-Class Upgrade went to a pair of Season Ticket Holders who renewed their tickets for 2013 before tonight's game. Today is the first day of renewal. Season Ticket Holders, be sure to check out 2013.StormBasketball.com to find out more about how you can secure your seats for next season and be eligible for prizes including seat upgrades and more.
Storm Eying a Playoff Spot
The next two games against the Tulsa Shock could be key as the Storm tries to clinch a WNBA-record ninth consecutive trip to the playoffs. With a pair of wins tonight and Saturday at Tulsa, the Storm could move within one win or one Phoenix loss of securing a spot. That won't be easy, however. The Shock has won three of its last five games, including a win at Atlanta and a home win over Los Angeles. The Storm is very respectful of Tulsa's current level of play.
Hello from KeyArena, where the Storm wraps up a seven-game homestand tonight against the Tulsa Shock. The Storm has spent the last three weeks at home since the Olympic Break. Because of injuries and the process of developing chemistry with Lauren Jackson, that stretch hasn't been as helpful to the Storm as we might have expected, with the team going 2-4. Since the last loss to Phoenix, the Storm has had a week off, which has offered valuable practice time to work on offensive cohesion.
The Storm wanted to make the most of the stretch because there aren't a whole lot of practice sessions in the team's immediate future. Starting tonight, the Storm will play seven games in 13 days - the next four on the road. That means a lot of travel and not a lot of opportunity to get on the court outside of games. The Storm will try to build some momentum for the stretch run starting with a win tonight. Stay with us all night long for the latest.