Shock-Storm Preview

The Associated Press

Skylar Diggins has experienced twice as many losses so far in her rookie season with the Tulsa Shock as in her final one at Notre Dame.

Her slow adjustment to WNBA life hasn't helped.

Diggins will try to break out of her funk and lead the visiting Shock to their first win Friday night against the Seattle Storm.

Diggins, the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft, endured only two defeats in 2012-13 while leading Notre Dame to its third straight Final Four.

The transition to the WNBA, though, hasn't been so seamless. Her pro team dropped to 0-4 on Sunday with a 92-71 drubbing at Chicago, the second of four straight road games.

"We've got a lot of work to do still, but obviously four games in it's not like we're in the middle of the season," Diggins said. "We've got to stay positive at this point and we can't be hanging our heads and have bad body language and things like that. It's a long season. We've got to stay pushing."

Despite a sizable contingent of her college's fans in attendance, Diggins missed seven of 10 shots and finished with eight points. She's shooting 26.5 percent in her first four games with Tulsa and is averaging 9.8 points after scoring a team-best 17.1 per game in her final season at Notre Dame.

"I've still got a lot to work on," she said.

Diggins will try to begin working herself out of her shooting slump against the Storm (1-1), who are adjusting to life without two of their star players. Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird are both out for the season, but Seattle managed to get past a team with another one of the WNBA's young stars Sunday.

The Storm edged Phoenix 75-72 by relying on their outside shooting. With the Mercury's 6-foot-8 rookie center Brittney Griner roaming the paint, Seattle took 19 shots from beyond the arc, hitting eight.

Tanisha Wright scored 20 points while helping her team rally from an early 11-point deficit.

"We have post players who can stretch the defense," guard Temeka Johnson said. "It's not just because we were playing against Griner. It's like that against any team. It just worked in our favor tonight."

Tulsa likely won't have leading scorer Liz Cambage available. The 6-foot-8 center, who is averaging 18.7 points, hurt her left ankle in overtime of a 78-76 loss to New York on Friday and is expected to be out for at least a week.

To boost its frontcourt, the Shock on Thursday signed Courtney Paris. The former Oklahoma All-American was cut by Tulsa during training camp after Cambage unexpectedly announced she'd return after sitting out the 2012 season.

Paris averaged 5.0 points and 7.3 rebounds in three preseason games for Tulsa. She played in 23 games as a reserve last season.

With Cambage sitting out 2012, Tulsa lost its four matchups with Seattle by an average of 20.3 points. The Storm have won 10 straight in the series since an 84-75 loss in Oklahoma on Aug. 3, 2010.

Since relocating from Detroit after the 2009 season, the Shock have lost by an average of 23.0 points in their six visits to Seattle.

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