Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sun-Shock Game Thread

Final, Sun 85-68: Amber Holt finished with a career-high 19 points and eight rebounds, Asjha Jones scored 20 and the Sun ended a nine-game regular-season losing streak to the Detroit Shock with a 85-68 pounding at Mohegan Sun Arena. Kerri Gardin also set a career high for points (14), and the Sun (11-3) never let Detroit (10-4) get close despite only getting a combined nine points from Barbara Turner and Tamika Whitmore.

End of 3rd quarter, Sun 65-58: A total change of pace in the game. The Shock went to a 2-3 zone early, and the Sun fired away from the outside, getting 3s from Kerri Gardin, Lindsay Whalen and Amber Holt. The game also lost a lot of its flow after a double-foul was called on a rebound (just a strange call) and the officials felt they had to make up a few calls for the Sun late when they called four team fouls on them, as opposed to zero on the Shock.

Deanna Nolan is heating up. She scored the Shock's last nine points of the quarter before a Sheri Sam lay-up and free throw.

Halftime, Sun 40-33: Amber Holt grabbed a rebound and dropped in an uncontested lay-up with under a second to play to put the Sun up at the half. Holt (a team-high 10 points) hit two 3s midway through the quarter, and her confidence shot through the roof. She's being aggressive on the boards and even more so on the defensive end, where she's had the biggest hand in holding Deanna Nolan to six points.

The teams continue to be very physical, and the Sun have gone right at the Shock, something they wouldn't have dared to do in the past. As a result, they lead the rebounding battle, 23-15, and own the advantage in the paint, 20 to 12 points.

Asjha Jones has nine points, and Katie Smith leads Detroit with 10.

End of 1st quarter, Sun 22-16: Riding their reserves, the Sun finished the frame on a 14-0 run. The game's gotten incredibly physical, as expected, but players like Sandrine Gruda, Kerri Gardin and Tamika Raymond have really responded. Gruda, who is playing with a brace to protect a bruised right knee, scored on a tough and-one lay-up, and grabbed a couple offensive rebounds. The Shock had gone on a 9-0 run to take a 16-8 lead midway through the quarter.

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