1:00 PM ET, May 21, 2005
The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Deanna Nolan was the last person to realize she had just joined the WNBA record books.Nolan notched the fourth triple-double in league history with 11 points, a team-record 11 assists and 10 rebounds Saturday, leading the Detroit Shock to a 78-67 victory over the Connecticut Sun in the season opener for both teams.She had no idea what she accomplished until she was congratulated on the arena's public address system."When they said I had a triple-double, I was like, 'Who, me?' " Nolan said. "I'm glad no one had told me I was close -- I might have started missing shots just to get enough rebounds."Kara Braxton added 18 points in her WNBA debut, while Ayana Walker added 14 after only scoring 18 points in the 2004 season. Walker was starting in place of Swin Cash, who started the season on the injured list while recovering from a knee injury."I knew that we would need a lot of offense from that position," Walker said. "I just went out and had a great game."Braxton, the seventh pick in last month's draft, played 14 minutes off the bench just four months after giving birth."We told everyone that Kara Braxton is going to be a phenomenal player," Shock coach Bill Laimbeer said. "She's a monster out there."Braxton also impressed her opponents."She's a powerhouse," Nykesha Sales said. "I think she's going to be a great addition for Detroit."Connecticut's Taj McWilliams-Franklin led all scorers with 25 points, while Lindsay Whalen added 12 and Asjha Jones had 11."It wasn't an awful game, but we weren't very efficient offensively," Connecticut coach Mike Thibault said. "We were sloppy. I'm disappointed."Detroit led 41-34 at halftime, but the Sun pulled to 45-44 with 17:07 to play.The Shock answered with a 13-1 run that included three-point plays by Nolan and Walker, as well as a 3-pointer by Niele Ivey.Connecticut got as close as 67-60, but another three-point play by Nolan started a 5-0 run that put the game away."She didn't shoot the ball well at all today, but she went and did other things," Thibault said of Nolan. "She got steals, she got deflections, she got rebounds and assists."
Several members of the Detroit Pistons attended the game, including Tayshaun Prince and Chauncey Billups. ... Two of the previous three triple-doubles, those by Lisa Leslie (2004) and Sheryl Swoopes (1999), were against the Shock. The third was by Margo Dydek in 2001. ... The teams have won the last two Eastern Conference titles -- Detroit in 2003 and Connecticut last year.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||22-63 (.000)||32-71 (.000)|
|3P Made-Attempted||2-9 (.222)||2-5 (.400)|
|FT Made-Attempted||21-30 (.000)||12-20 (.000)|
|Fast Break Points||10||14|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||23 (0/0)||21 (2/0)|