Little helps Storm hand Shock 16th straight loss
SEATTLE – Struggling as they have been during a long stretch of road games, Camille Little and the Seattle Storm were happy to be back home Thursday night — and they played like it.
Little scored a season-high 19 points, and Seattle led from the start in a 77-63 win over Tulsa, handing the Shock their 16th straight loss.
Tanisha Wright added 11 points to help the Storm (13-10) snap a two-game skid and improve to 9-1 at home. Seattle has won 26 of its last 27 regular-season home games dating back to last season.
"Obviously, we play much better at home — it's just one of those things," said Little, whose team is just 4-9 on the road and played 11 of its last 15 games away from home. "We lost two games (earlier this week at Atlanta and New York), and the last one went down to the wire. We just wanted to try to get a good win."
Rookie center Liz Cambage had a career-high 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, reaching double figures in scoring for the 16th time in 21 games, to lead the Shock (1-21). Tiffany Jackson scored 14 points and Andrea Riley added 10.
Tulsa moved one away from the league record for consecutive losses. The Atlanta Dream lost their first 17 games in 2008 during their inaugural season. The Shock's only victory this season was June 18 at home against Washington.
"One thing you want to share is that if you can play the way you played in the third and fourth quarter, you can beat anybody in the league. We just need to do a better job of that," said Shock assistant coach Kathy McConnell-Miller, who was filling in for interim head coach Teresa Edwards on Thursday.
Edwards was in Springfield, Mass., where she will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame on Friday night.
Seattle scored the first seven points and had a double-digit lead at 14-2 just three minutes into the game. Tulsa pulled to 28-22 early in the second quarter, but the Storm followed with a 15-0 run to go ahead by 21.
They got five of those of those 15 points on one possession: two free throws by Katie Smith on a flagrant foul, and a traditional three-point play from Swin Cash after retaining possession of the ball.
It didn't dip below double digits the rest of the way.
"I thought we got off to a great start. I was really happy with our first half," Storm coach Brian Agler said. "But we're a team that's still trying to get better. Being efficient with the offense and with the basketball was one of those, and we made some strides there."
The Storm made those strides by shooting 51.7 percent from the floor (30 of 58) and committing just nine turnovers — that after having 29 turnovers in last Sunday's loss at Atlanta and 18 in Tuesday's defeat at New York.
"Losing those games was frustrating," Little said. "We know every team is better this year, but we have a certain standard we hold ourselves to."
Cambage, who hit a career-high 10 field goals (10 of 15) and posted her third career double-double, said the Shock need to play a whole game the way they played during Thursday's second half.
"We just regrouped at halftime and got back together," she said "We see all of the talent we have. It's just a matter of playing hard and working together."