AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Bill Laimbeer is more than a decade
removed from his days as a Detroit Pistons "Bad Boy."
That hasn't stopped him from getting into confrontations. The
Detroit Shock coach got into an argument with Connecticut coach
Mike Thibault at the end of his team's 66-57 victory on Wednesday.
Laimbeer said Thibault was upset that Deanna Nolan made an
uncontested 3-pointer at the end of the game.
"They didn't guard her, and she took the shot," Laimbeer said.
"He called me some four-letter words and I called him a name you
don't want to hear. No one feels sorry for the Detroit Shock, so
why should we care about anyone else?"
Thibault, though, said Laimbeer started the dispute.
"Coach Laimbeer showed his true colors -- his normal personality
came right back out after the game," he said. "I said 'good job'
and he responded with something else. All I know is that if someone
says 'good job' to me, I thank them and leave the court."
Detroit (8-10) had lost 10 of 13 since starting the season with
Nolan finished with 14 second-half points, shooting 2-of-6 from
the field and 9-of-11 from the free-throw line.
"We needed this one very badly," Nolan said. "We had a
three-game losing streak and we are going on the road."
Nolan seemed to agree with her coach's side of the dispute.
"I was open, so I shot it," she said. "No one said anything
to me, but their coach said something to Bill that I can't
Connecticut (15-5) had its three-game winning streak snapped,
losing at Detroit for the second time this season.
"We've just got to move on," the Sun's Katie Douglas said.
"We had our chances, but we came up short."
Douglas declined to discuss the game-ending incident, only
saying that she was "speechless."
Reserve guard Chandi Jones also had 14 points for Detroit, while
Cheryl Ford had 12 points and 12 rebounds and Ruth Riley scored 11.
Nykesha Sales led Connecticut with 17 points and Asjha Jones
added 15. Taj McWilliams-Franklin had 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Detroit led 37-27 early in the second half, but Connecticut
scored the next nine points to get back into the game. The Sun
finally pulled even at 46 on Jones' jumper with 7:56 to go, and
took a one-point lead 2 minutes later on a Sales' 3-pointer.
The Shock went up 57-55 on Nolan's 3-point play with 2:23 left.
Then Ford drew a charge from McWilliams-Franklin, and an offensive
rebound by Jones kept the ball in Detroit's hands. Nolan eventually
split a pair of free throws to give the Shock a three-point edge
with 1:31 left.
McWilliams-Franklin scored to make it 58-57. The Sun fouled
Nolan with 22.6 seconds left, and she made both shots. Ford and
Detroit's Swin Cash each split a pair of free throws for a 62-57
Connecticut's Lindsay Whalen was called for a flagrant foul on
Nolan in the waning seconds. Nolan made 1-of-2 free throws before
draining the 3-pointer in the waning seconds.
The Shock recognized Andrea Gorski, a local high school coach,
as the millionth fan in the team's seven-year history.