Smith scores 23 as Shock beat Sun at home

UNCASVILLE, Conn. (AP) -- Katie Smith scored 23 points, including
a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of regulation to lead the
Detroit Shock to a 77-73 overtime win against the Connecticut Sun
on Saturday.

"It was a game of wills between two fine basketball teams,"
Detroit coach Bill Laimbeer said. "At times it was pretty, and at
times it was ugly, but the bottom line was it was a very
competitive game. They are the two-time (defending) champions of
the Eastern Conference and they took our spot and they know we want
it back."

Detroit (2-1) went on a 5-1 run in the final 15.3 seconds of
regulation and then scored the first six points in overtime to pull

The Sun had a chance to put the game away before the extra
session but missed two free throws in the final 15 seconds. That
gave the Shock the opportunity to tie the game and force overtime
on Smith's desperation 3-pointer with 1.3 seconds left.

"Obviously we needed a 3," Smith said. "I had a decent look
at first. I got the ball to Cheryl (Ford) and I thought she was
going to shoot it, but I got it back and tried to get a little
space, and it went through the bucket and that is all she wrote."

Smith also had eight rebounds and a team-high eight assists.
Cheryl Ford added 18 points and 11 rebounds.

The Sun (2-1) struggled early, falling behind 20-6 before
turning things around with a 10-2 run to close the first quarter.
Connecticut got within 26-24 on a pair of free throws by Nykesha
Sales with 3:58 left in the half, but the Shock went 7-for-10 from
the foul line, including 5-for-6 from Angelina Williams, the rest
of the way to lead 37-31 at halftime.

"I thought we didn't play well in the first half and we waited
until halftime to play," Sun coach Mike Thibault said. "We missed
a lot of shots. They took away a lot of stuff inside. We had people
struggling to make shots. We had people taking contested shots. Our
bench gave us a lift in the first half and we cut it back to a game
at halftime."

It wasn't until the final play of the third quarter that
Connecticut went ahead for the first time, as Erin Phillips grabbed
a defensive rebound and found Sales waiting at the other end of the
court for an easy layup that made it 52-51.

Both teams struggled from the floor, with the Shock making 25 of
69 shots (36.2 percent), and the Sun hitting 25 of 75. But Detroit
made up for it with a 50-33 rebounding edge.

Katie Douglas led the Sun with 18 points and seven rebounds.
Sales added 17 points.

"I just didn't like the way we lost the game," Thibault said.
"You can lose a game if you get outplayed. It doesn't matter who
it is, whether it's Detroit or anybody else. It's just the fact
that we did all that work and gave it back. That's the shame of