Sunday, October 5, 2008 – The Detroit Shock usually play their home games at The Palace of Auburn Hills, a large stadium. However, because of scheduling conflicts, both the games they played at “home” for the WNBA Championship had to take place at Eastern Michigan University’s Convocation Center. (At the Palace, Disney on Ice Presented Disneyland Adventure.) Doubtless, the previous game was also pre-empted by one of the Disney shows. >
It had to be hard for both teams to play in such a smaller arena than they’re used to. (The Convocation Center seats only 9,000 people.) But, the Detroit Shock were “home,” in a sense, and they managed to win the game, and the championship, easily, beating the San Antonio Silver Stars 76-60.
This is the third WNBA title for the Shock in the last six seasons - they won in 2003, 2006, and now in 2008.
The game started out even, with the first quarter going 16-16. However, Katie Smith> of the Detroit Shock - their high scorer during this series, got in foul trouble, and had to sit for most of the second quarter. Nevertheless, the Silver Stars were only able to pull ahead by four at the half, scoring 18 points to the Shock’s 14.
In the third quarter, with the return of Katie Smith, the Shock turned it on, scoring 19 points to the Silver Stars 11.
And in the fourth quarter, the Silver Stars had no answer. They were outscored by 12 points, 25 to 15.
Only the Houston Comets have now won more league championships than the Detroit Shock. The Comets were the best team in the WNBA for its first four years, and won four straight championships. Detroit has three, and the Los Angeles Sparks have two. No other team has more than one championship.
For the Silver Stars, the story was poor shooting by their stars…perhaps caused by the aggressive defense of the Shock.
Becky Hammon, the Silver Stars’ leading scorer, was only 1-10 on the night, and 2 of 4 on free throws, for a total of 5 points. Ann Wauters tried to take up the slack, putting in 19 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.
Sophia Young also put in 15 points for the Silver Stars. No other teammate made it close to double digits.
For the Detroit Shock, three scorers were in double digits, and 2 others came close, with 9 points a piece. High scorer was Katie Smith, with 18, despite missing most of the 2nd quarter. Taj McWilliams-Franklin was next closest with 13 points, and she grabbed 9 rebounds.
Deanna Nolan and Alexis Hornbuckle tied with five assists a piece, and Deanna put in 12 points. Alexis put in 9. Alexis, or Bucky as she is called, also grabbed 9 rebounds, as did center Kara Braxton.
The Detroit Shock will have their championship celebration on Monday, October 6 at noon at Campus Martius Park.