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Silver Stars 69, Shock 65

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SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Jayne Appel just shook her head as she backpedaled, seemingly apologizing for banking in a 3-pointer with the shot clock about to expire in a critical situation for the San Antonio Silver Stars.

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Appel said the shot was ``absolutely'' luck. Danielle Robinson called it ``skill.'' Either way, it was the punctuation to an inspirational performance by the 6-foot-4 post that led the Silver Stars to their third straight home victory.

Danielle Robinson scored 19 points, Jia Perkins had 18 and San Antonio beat the Tulsa Shock 69-65 on Sunday.

Glory Johnson scored 19 points and Liz Cambage added 16 for Tulsa (7-15), which has lost two of three.

Danielle Adams added 14 points for San Antonio (7-13), which has won three of four.

``(Robinson) did a good job, Jia Perkins and Danielle Robinson really fought through and played (hard), Silver Stars coach Dan Hughes said. ``And I am real proud of them, but the real inspirational player to me was Jayne Appel. Everybody around her needed to raise their game with the way she was playing and the effort she was giving.''

Appel had nine points, 13 rebounds, three blocks and three assists. She missed an open layup with 1:32 remaining that would have resulted in her first double-double this season.

The miss was forgotten in light of her first 3-pointer of the season.

``It had to get throw up,'' Appel said. ``So, it was more luck than anything.''

After gathering a loose ball, Appel turned and threw up a 25-foot 3-pointer with 2 seconds left on the shot clock to give San Antonio a 58-55 lead with 3:47 remaining.

``In a prayerful tone, I just said `thank you.' " Hughes said. ``You know what; I'll tell you the truth about that. Jayne Appel, the way she played was very inspiring today. It was rightfully due that if someone gets a break and banks one in, it was her, because I thought her ability to rebound in this game inspired us to keep playing harder.''

Adams followed Appel's 3 with her own and Robinson drove past Angel Goodrich for a layup to extend the Silver Stars' lead to 63-57 with 2:07 to go.

With the Silver Stars leading by four in the final minute, Robinson was fouled twice and made all four free throws to help secure the win. Tulsa followed each pair with a 3-pointer - the latter by Jennifer Lacy that pulled the Shock to 67-65 with 19 seconds remaining.

``At that point, it's all about being strong and taking care of the ball,'' Robinson said of her late free throws. ``We knew they were going to have to play more aggressive defensively. We knew they were going to be reaching and trying to steal the ball. It's all about just being confident and playing with poise at the end of the game.''

Perkins and Robinson each made a free throw in the final 17 seconds to close out the victory.

Robinson and Perkins combined for 37 points and nine assists, besting the 10 points and six assists posted by Goodrich and Candice Wiggins.

Tulsa reserve guard Skylar Diggins, the third overall pick in this year's draft, did not score while playing 17:17.

``We've got to find out how to get going early in the game, and obviously get better at that spot and come to play,'' Shock coach Gary Kloppenburg said. ``They've got good guards in San Antonio. I just thought we got outplayed on their home court.

After failing to score in the first 2 1/2 minutes of the second half, the Silver Stars went on a 19-9 run to tie it at 52-all entering the final quarter.

Adams scored San Antonio's first five points in the third, dropping in a two-foot jumper, a free throw and finishing off with a fade-away runner with 6:07 left in the quarter.

Appel blocked a layup by Johnson and later raced downcourt to beat the defense for a layup that pulled San Antonio within 50-47 with 2:31 left in the third.

Shameka Christon's 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in the period tied the score.

``I just thought we didn't play what I would say was a consistently good game, but we were able to take their hits, come back and find a rhythm to play and deliver a streak of our own,'' Hughes said.

Tulsa opened the game by scoring the first five points only to be outscored 12-2 to fall behind by five with 4 minutes left in the opening quarter.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
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