Riquna Williams

Shock's Riquna Williams Named WNBA Sixth Woman Of The Year

RiquanaWilliams
TULSA, Oklahoma - Tulsa Shock guard Riquna Williams was named the 2013 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year, the WNBA announced today. Williams received 17 votes from a national panel of 39 sportswriters and broadcasters to earn the award. Minnesota Lynx Monica Wright (13) finished second in the voting.

In 27 games, including 21 as a reserve, Williams averaged 15.6 points – a five-point increase from her rookie season last year and the second-highest average on the Shock – 2.4 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 22.7 minutes per game. The second-year guard from the University of Miami tied for fourth overall in the league in free throw percentage, converting 90 percent of her attempts from the free throw line. She also topped the 20-point plateau nine times, including a WNBA-record 51-point explosion late in the season.

Williams' record-setting game came on Sept. 8 in a 98-65 win over the San Antonio Silver Stars. She shot 17-for-28 from the field, including 8-for-14 from three-point land. Williams scored eight points in each of the first two quarters before erupting for 20 in the third and 15 in the fourth. The 51-point effort surpassed the previous mark of 47 set by Phoenix's Diana Taurasi in 2006 and Seattle's Lauren Jackson in 2007. Williams earned the first Western
Conference Player of the Week Award in her career following that performance.

An All-Rookie Team selection in 2012, Williams finished her inaugural WNBA campaign ranked third among rookies in both assists (2.1 apg) and steals (1.55 spg), and fourth in scoring (10.5 ppg).

In honor of being named the Sixth Woman of the Year, Williams will receive $5,000 and a specially-designed trophy from Tiffany & Co.

Below are the results of the 2013 WNBA Sixth Woman of the Year voting and a list of previous winners:

2013 SIXTH WOMAN OF THE YEAR RESULTS
17 -  Riquna Williams (Tulsa Shock)
13 - Monica Wright (Minnesota Lynx)
7 - Tiffany Hayes (Atlanta Dream)
1 - Jantel Lavender (Los Angeles Sparks)

WNBA SIXTH WOMAN OF THE YEAR WINNERS
2013 - Riquna Williams Tulsa Shock
2012 -  Renee Montgomery Connecticut Sun
2011 - DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
2010 - DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
2009 - DeWanna Bonner Phoenix Mercury
2008 - Candice Wiggins Minnesota Lynx
2007* - Plenette Pierson Detroit Shock


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(newson6.com)
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Shock's Williams Is WNBA Western Conference Player Of The Week

RiquanaWilliams
TULSA, Oklahoma - Riquana Williams of the Tulsa Shock was named the WNBA's Western Conference Player of the Week for games played Monday, Sept. 2 through Sunday, Sept. 8.

Williams capped her week by scoring a WNBA-record 51 points in San Antonio on Sunday. For the week, she led the league in scoring with 34.5 points per game and tied for first in free-throw percentage, converting all 13 opportunities from the charity stripe. This marks her first Player of the Week honor.

Williams' record-setting game to beat San Antonio featured 17-for-28 shooting from the field including 8-for-14 from three-point land. She scored eight points in each of the first two quarters before erupting for 20 in the third and 15 in the fourth as the Shock emerged victorious by a 98-65 final score. The 51-point effort surpassed the previous mark of 47 set by Phoenix's Diana Taurasi in 2006 and Seattle's Lauren Jackson in 2007. Two days earlier, Williams scored 18 points while pulling down seven rebounds in a losing effort to Los Angeles, 74-70.

The Shock have two games remaining this season, both against the Seattle Storm. First up is a home contest at 7 p.m. on Thursday.


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(newson6.com)
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proCane Riquna Williams sets WNBA record with 51 points

RiquanaWilliams
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Riquna Williams has always been able to score points in bunches, never though at the rate she did Sunday to set the WNBA record.
Williams broke the league's scoring mark with 51 points to help the Tulsa Shock rout the San Antonio Silver Stars 98-65 on Sunday.

The second-year guard out of Miami surpassed the previous record of 47 points set by Phoenix's Diana Taurasi against Houston on Aug. 10, 2006 and matched by Seattle's Lauren Jackson against Washington on July 24, 2007.

"It's amazing, I'm still speechless," Williams said. "It feels great. This is only my second year in the league, so to capture that at such a young age and such a young player, it's amazing. And I shot it pretty well; it wasn't a bad shooting night."

Williams, who came into the game averaging 14.4 points, was 17 for 28 from the field and hit eight 3-pointers for Tulsa (11-21). The 23-year-old had 20 points in the third quarter after scoring 16 in the first half.

"She can flat out shoot the ball," said San Antonio's Shenise Johnson, Williams' teammate at Miami. "She had that LeBron (James) look, that Kobe (Bryant) look in her eye. Everybody moved out of the way and was out there getting it done."

With Williams approaching the record, fans were cheering for her to get the ball in the final minutes of the game on every possession. She tied the mark with a layup with 1:22 left in the game and then broke it with jumper 24 seconds later.

Williams added two emotional free throws with 5 seconds left for her final points after colliding knee-to-knee with Chelsea Poppins. The fans' reaction was almost too much for Williams, a native of Pahokee, Fla., whose population of less than 6,000 was surpassed by the 6,650 in attendance.

"I kind of got a little teary (due to the fans' cheering) even after taking the hit, so it was a combination," she said. "I was able to hide it a little. But it's great. I'm a small-town kid; this is my dream come true. I never thought I would be at this point."

The 5-foot-5 Williams had 16 points in the first half, continually rising high above taller defenders for 3s and long jumpers. She hit a 21-foot jumper over Jia Perkins before draining a 3 to pull Tulsa within 33-25 with 6 minutes remaining in the second quarter.

Perkins scored 21 points to lead San Antonio (11-21) and Johnson added 18.

Skylar Diggins added 20 points and Tiffany Jackson-Jones had 10 for Tulsa.

Tulsa took control in the second half outscoring San Antonio 59-22. Williams had 35 herself in the final 20 minutes.

"We didn't show heart, we didn't show pride," Johnson said. "We didn't represent what was on the front of our jerseys. Honestly, we're all embarrassed."

Williams, who scored 2,148 points at Miami, had 20 points in the third quarter, going 5 for 7 on 3s. Williams had a look of bemusement after soaring over the 6-foot-2 Shameka Christon for a 3 with 1.9 seconds left in the third, giving the Shock a 71-58 lead.

"That was an amazing performance," Diggins said. "It was just so great being on the court with her. Once she got started, when she got to 20, then she got to 25, 28, I said, 'Make it 40. Get 40.' And she just looked at me, and then she got 40. We were like, oh my gosh, she might get 50.

"She just got it through the natural flow of the offense. We weren't isolating her or anything. She had the hot hand and was catching it on swings and she was just making plays."

Williams hit consecutive 3s to give Tulsa a 59-54 lead.

"In a zone, don't think," Williams said. "When I think, I miss."


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(usatoday.com)
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Riquana Williams Leads Tulsa in Loss

RiquanaWilliams
TULSA, Oklahoma - The Tulsa Shock lost its sixth straight game Saturday night, falling to the Minnesota Lynx, 86-75.

Lindsey Whalen scored 25 points to lead all scorers and also dished out 11 assists. Maya Moore added 22 for the Lynx and Rebekkah Brunson had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Riquana Williams led Tulsa with 22 points for the game, while Nicole Powell added 16. Liz Cambage scored 13 points and had eight rebounds.

Rookie Skylar Diggins went scoreless for the first time in her rookie season and left the game with 3:12 remaining with an ankle injury. Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said after the game it didn't appear to be a serious injury.

Poor shooting and poor defense once again doomed the Shock. Tulsa shot just 38.8 percent from the field for the game and allowed the Lynx to shoot an astonishing 67 percent in the first half. Minnesota used that hot shooting start to lead by as many as 15 points in the first 20 minutes.

Minnesota grabbed a 31-17 lead with 8:09 left in the first half, but four straight 3-pointers from Tulsa, including three from Williams, cut the lead to six in just 90 seconds. The Lynx responded with a strong close to the half to lead 51-37.

Tulsa was unable to prevent Minnesota from blowing the game open in the second half, as the Lynx took a 64-43 lead with 5:43 left in the third quarter. The Shock cut the lead to 13 by the end of the quarter, but Minnesota pushed it back to 22 in the fourth quarter.

The Shock played Saturday's game without Glory Johnson, who suffered a neck injury on Thursday against Los Angeles.


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(newson6.com)
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Shenise Johnson, Riquna Williams follow dreams to Europe

SheniseJohnsonCanes
Riquna “BayBay’’ Williams, fresh off her rookie WNBA season, is packing up her belongings in Tulsa, Okla., this week and heading to her new job in Kosice, Slovakia, a town known for the world’s second-oldest marathon and a 14th-century Gothic cathedral.

Shenise “Moe’’ Johnson, the San Antonio Silver Stars’ first-round pick in the April WNBA Draft, will soon be off to Sopron, Hungary, the birthplace of famous composer Franz Liszt.

Life as a professional basketball player is about to get really interesting (and a bit scary) for the former University of Miami stars.

Neither player has ever set foot in Europe. Each will be the only American on her team. Both expect to be homesick. But the financial reality of women’s basketball leaves them little choice if they want to pursue their passion.

The average WNBA rookie salary is $36,570, the league minimum for a veteran is $54,000 and the maximum is $105,000. The NBA league minimum, by comparison, is $473,604 and the average NBA salary is $5 million, compared with $72,000 for the WNBA. The WNBA season lasts only four months, so the vast majority of the players head overseas to make the bulk of their annual income.

Twenty-eight WNBA players spent last winter in the Turkish league. Other popular destinations for WNBA players are Israel and Russia. The European league pays American players a sixth-month salary ranging anywhere from $40,000 to $500,000 for superstars such as Diana Taurasi and Candace Parker.

Those paychecks come with a price, however. American players have to leave the comfort of their country to play far away from family and friends. They are typically the only American on their team, so there are language and cultural barriers to overcome. And there are long bus rides. Lots of them.

INTO THE UNKNOWN
Williams admitted last week she knows nothing at all about Slovakia or her new team. In fact, she didn’t even know the name of the team. Turns out she is playing for the Kosice Good Angels and is listed as the starting point guard on the team’s website. She will be playing alongside complete strangers named Lucia Kupcikova, Beata Jaoscikova, Tijana Krivacevic, Miljana Borjoric and Helena Sverrisdottin. Two are from Slovakia, two from Serbia, and one from Iceland. Williams has no idea if any of them, or their coaches, speak English.

“This is what I have to do to follow my dream,” Williams said. “At some point, if you’re a woman playing basketball, you have to go overseas. We really have no choice. I’m nervous, definitely. I have no idea what to expect. But I hear they take care of you, give you a nice apartment. I signed for only three months instead of six in case I get too homesick.”

Williams grew up in Pahokee and was known to get homesick during her four years at UM. Getting acclimated to life in Tulsa was no easy feat, but at least they have Applebee’s, Olive Garden and a cozy soul food place named Sweet Lisa’s. Slovakia will feel like Mars.

Johnson has traveled to Thailand with USA Basketball but never to Europe. She is joining a Sopron team whose roster includes Zsofia Fegyverneky, Sara Krnjic, Fanni Szabo, Vivien Borondy and Zsófia Licskai. The club finished runner-up in the Hungarian playoffs last season. That’s about all Johnson knows.
“I’m sure it will be rough the first couple of weeks, and I’ll feel really far from everything I know, but I’m excited to embrace the culture and learn,” Johnson said. “I’ll find a way to adjust. I’m a chameleon.”

That said, Johnson wishes she could stay on U.S. soil.

“Nobody wants to be forced to go live so far away,” she said. “It’s also hard on our bodies to have to play all year-round. We don’t get a four-month break like the guys do. But I’m doing what I love, and I’ll go wherever I have to.”

Williams and Johnson have both struggled at times this summer as they adjust to the WNBA game and new roles. Johnson started only one of 34 games for San Antonio (20-13), averaged 17.1 minutes, 5.6 points and 3.9 rebounds. Williams started three of 33 games for the Shock (9-25), averaged 20.3 minutes, 10.5 points and 2.1 rebounds.

“I haven’t been playing my best basketball at all, and that’s frustrating,” Johnson said. “I’m not playing as confident or as free as I did at UM. I have never had to come off the bench in my whole life, so that’s new.

“I’m also being asked to be a spot-up shooter here, and I’m used to creating. So I have to adjust to that. The half-court game is quicker in the pros. My coaches and teammates have confidence in me, so I have to try to relax and have fun and my game will come back.”

Johnson speaks to UM coach Katie Meier every few weeks and gets encouragement from those conversations.

“She tells me I’m at my best when I’m smiling and loose, and she says I look too quiet out there, she doesn’t see me being a leader,” Johnson said. “Being a rookie, I don’t want to step on any toes. I’m sure with time I’ll get more comfortable.”

Williams had a rough first half of the season but came around after the Olympic break.

“I’m not the superstar I was at Miami, I’m a rookie,” Williams said. “The game is faster, more intense and physical. My role at UM was to score. Now, it’s different, and it took time to get used to it.”

Tulsa assistant coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said the staff is very impressed with Williams and had no reservations drafting the feisty guard, who was suspended from the UM team for the 2012 NCAA Tournament for behavior detrimental to the team.

“I was very familiar with BayBay as a college player and know what her potential is,” McConnell-Miller said. “We did our homework, she took ownership of her behavior, and there hasn’t been a single incident on or off the court with us. Nobody outworks her, especially this last month. She is in the gym an hour before practice, and an hour and a half after. She is on the first bus over on game days. And she is practicing at game speed, which she wasn’t doing before. She is loved by her teammates. I’m really proud of her.”

A FALLING OUT
Williams left the UM team on bad terms, and does not keep in touch with Johnson. They have seen each other when their teams played, said quick hellos, but that’s it.

“It’s a job,” Williams said. “I can’t get caught up in the Miami stuff. We’re definitely not friends. We’re two different people, always were, and that’s fine. It doesn’t bother me. She does her thing, I do mine.”

Johnson said she tried to reach out, but Williams wasn’t interested.

“I have no ill will toward her,” Johnson said. “I think it’s sad how things ended. It would be nice if we could talk some time because we’re both probably going through the same rookie frustrations, but she obviously doesn’t want to have a relationship with me, so I have to treat her like just another player.”
One to Slovakia. One to Hungary. It’s a job.


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(miamiherald.com)
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Riquna Williams scores season-high 27 points in Shock's win

RiquanaWilliams
TULSA, Okla. -- Rookie Riquna Williams scored a season-high 27 points and Ivory Latta added 21 to lead the Tulsa Shock to a 91-75 victory over the Los Angeles Sparks on Tuesday night.

Temeka Johnson added 11 points as Tulsa (2-11) got its second win in the last 12 meetings against Los Angeles. Williams' total was a WNBA rookie high this season.

"She is a microwave-type player and when she's hot, you draw up plays to keep her going," Tulsa coach Gary Kloppenburg said. "She did a good job of taking the ball to the rim and finishing."

The Shock, 0-6 in games decided by seven points or fewer, won for the second time in four games after opening the season with nine losses.

"Tonight was very rewarding after some of the tough games we've been through," Kloppenburg said. "We wanted to be physical and give them some resistance from the start of the game, and our players followed the plan all night."

Kristi Toliver scored 21 points to lead Los Angeles (10-5), which dropped its second consecutive game and lost by 16 or more points for the third time this season. Candace Parker, who tied a season-high with 33 points in a victory over the Shock on June 20, was held to just two points on 1 of 6 shooting.

Williams' 3-pointer gave the Shock a 23-12 lead after one quarter.

"They had great playmakers at the guard position and they had good play from their guards all night," Los Angeles coach Carol Ross said. "They're explosive and quick and their guard play really took over the game."

Tulsa had a 19-7 run over the final 8 minutes of the second to extend their advantage to 48-25 at halftime. It was the Shock's largest lead at the break, topping their six-point advantage against Phoenix on May 22.

The 25 points were a season-low in the first half for Los Angeles.

The Sparks pulled within 13 points midway through the third quarter, but Tulsa finished the period on a 14-2 run to regain control of the game.

"I thought we had the right mindset to make a run, but Tulsa responded and hit some big shots," Ross said.

The Shock led by as much as 27 points in the fourth quarter.

Los Angeles' DeLisha Milton-Jones became the ninth WNBA player reach 5,000 career points when she connected on an inside basket with 7:57 left in the second quarter.


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(espn.com)
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Riquna Williams excels as Shock down Mercury

RiquanaWilliams
Tulsa, OK, United States (AHN Sports) – Temeka Johnson scored 22 points and Riquna Williams added 19 points off the bench and the Tulsa Shock raced past the Phoenix Mercury 87-75 to salvage their first victory of the season Sunday at BOK Center.

Losers of their first 9 games, the Shock finally overcame their woes as they came up with a collective effort to defeat the equally struggling Mercury.
Glory Johnson and Ivory Latta scored 12 points each for the Shock, who used a 31-point outburst in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Mercury.

DeWanna Bonner tallied 24 points and 9 rebounds while Charde Houston added 22 points for the Mercury, who are minus former MVP Diana Taurasi, out with a strained left hip flexor.

The Shock just shot .385 percent from the field but their defense forced the Mercury to commit 25 turnovers, most of them in the pivotal fourth quarter.

The Shock improved to 1-9, while the Mercury fell to a 2-6 slate.


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(gantdaily.com)
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Shenise Johnson, Riquana Williams drafted by WNBA

SheniseJohnsonCanes
BRISTOL, Conn. - Miami seniors Shenise Johnson and Riquna Williams were selected by the San Antonio Silver Stars and the Tulsa Shock with the fifth and 17th picks, respectively, in Monday's 2012 WNBA Draft held at ESPN Studios.

Johnson and Williams become the third and fourth players in Miami's history to be selected in the WNBA Draft and are the first pair of Miami teammates to hear their names called onto the draft stage.

"I am so thrilled for Shenise and Riquna," Miami head coach Katie Meier said from the draft. "It is a dream-come-true moment for them both. It's a statement to these young ladies and the great careers they had."

Johnson ended her stellar collegiate career as only the second woman in NCAA Division I history to amass 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 500 assists and 400 steals in a career. Only Nancy Lieberman (Old Dominion, 1976-80) can share that distinction.

In March, the Henrietta, N.Y. native became just the 11th player in Atlantic Coast Conference history to be named to three First Team All-ACC squads. Johnson was named All-America her final two seasons at Miami and earned ACC Player of the Year honors after her junior campaign.
"Shenise being a Top 5 pick is just awesome for her, her family and frankly for this university and program," Meier said. "Moe can do it all and will be very successful at the pro level."

Williams, known as one of the most explosive players in the draft, ended her Miami career with 2,148 points, fifth on the school's all-time list. Her 272 made three-pointers are 104 more than the next closest Hurricane and her 64 blocks are the most of any player under 5-foot-7.

The Pahokee, Fla. native was named to Third Team All-America by the Associated Press after this season and she was a two-time First Team All-ACC performer.

"Riquna is such a tremendous scorer and her game projects so well for the next level," added Meier. "It is going to be fun watching them both compete."

In 2006, Miami's Tamara James became the first Hurricane selected in the first round, when she went eighth overall to the Washington Mystics. Ocatavia Blue (1994-98) was the first player from UM taken in the draft, when the Los Angeles Sparks took her with the 15th overall pick.


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(wplg.com)
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Future WNBA proCane Riquna Williams Q&A

RiquanaWilliams
This week we will be posting Q&As with some of the nation's top prospects so they can introduce themselves to WNBA fans.

Riquna Williams just finished her career at Miami. In four years with the Hurricanes, Williams averaged over 17 points a game, which pushed her over the 2,000-point plateau. Williams teamed up with fellow draft prospect Shenise Johnson to form one of the most formidable duos is Miami history. She was named a Third-Team All-American her senior year.

Check out Riquna's prospect profile.

One of your teammates, Shenise Johnson, is also expected to be a coveted draft prospect. Can you talk about what it’s like to play with someone of her talents?
Playing with Shenise Johnson was a great experience. Every day we made each other better. Her ability to rebound and defend is what made her better than all of the other guards around us.   

There’s a chance both you and Shenise will be first round picks.Can you talk about what that means for the Miami program that is often overshadowed in the ACC? For Miami this means history. Shenise and I have really put in a lot of work to become possible first-round picks. 

What will you tell teams if they ask you about not traveling with the team for the NCAA Tournament this season? 
I will tell teams that I am grateful for the opportunity that Katie Meier and the University of Miami have given me, even though I was unable to travel with the team, they still gave me the opportunity to showcase my talent at a high level which has put me in a great position.

What strengths, qualities or skills will be able to bring to a WNBA team?
My quickness and ability to be a leader, my drive and passion for the game, and wanting to get better every day and helping push my teammates in the same way. I know that in the WNBA that everyone pretty much has the same aspirations as one another and I’m just going to work my tail off every day.

What do you expect to be some of the biggest challenges or adjustments at the next level? Having to consistently run the point guard position because I have never ran the point consistently.

What specific skills do you need to work on in order to succeed at this level?
What I have been working on is finishing on the left side. I know I need to work on my shooting percentages from inside and out.

When were you introduced to the game of basketball? When I was 8 years old was when I was introduced to the game of basketball.

When did you know you wanted to be a professional basketball player? And, given that dream, when did you realize that you had a legitimate shot of doing so? My freshman year in college was when I knew that I wanted to be a professional basketball player. My sophomore year when I started getting attention from the media and we made it to the WNIT was when I realized I had a legitimate shot of doing so.

What do you think it will feel like when your name first gets called and who will you share the moment with?
I feel like I am going to be very emotional and I am going to share the moment with my agent Sharon Creer and my high school coach Anthony Whitfield.

Once you get settled in a new team, do you have any first-year goals in mind? 
My number one goal is to build relationships with my teammates and the coaching staff.

What WNBA players are you most looking forward to playing against or meeting? I’m most looking forward to meeting Sue Bird, Tamika Catchings, and Candace Parker.

What is your best on-court moment? Playing and beating Maryland at Miami last season.

Tell your new fans something that most people do not know about you? I love to color.

How would you describe yourself? Shy.

What’s your favorite movie? What type of music do you listen to? Any particular artists that you listen to prior to a game? My favorite movie is any Tyler Perry movie. I love R&B music.


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(wnba.com)
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