Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tina Charles is WNBA Rookie of the Year

No one dared vote against the Sun's Charles for the award. Her performance this season has been stunning.

The All-Rookie Team features:

Monica Wright
Epiphany Prince
Kelsey Griffin
Kalana Greene

In the meantime, Mercury forward Diana Taurasi's contract extension is only for a year.

Clay Kallam seems to be embodying the bitchiness of Perez Hilton with his new WNBA column.

Unamed personal reasons are keeping Deseree' Byrd from returning to Louisville this season.

Assault charges against former Lady Vol Dominique Redding have been dropped.

Sheila Boykin chooses UCLA

The Long Beach Poly star has verballed to Coach Nikki Caldwell.

That's huge, because with Kacy Swain and Justine Hartman, the Bruins have a major local class on their hands next year. Caldwell, who enters her third year at the helm of the UCLA program this fall, has been criticized by fans who complained about the lack of top recruits and Southern California players.

In the meantime, another top recruit - Elizabeth Williams of Virginia - has narrowed her list of schools down: Tennessee, Virginia, Duke, Penn State and North Carolina.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to school week

It's back to school week for pretty much every high school and college kid I know. With all that chaos comes a bunch of interesting yet completely unrelated items.....

Chamique Holdsclaw is one of seven being inducted into the Lady Volunteer Hall of Fame this week.

Fifty four players showed up yesterday to try out for the Oregon State team. Will any of them make the cut?

The Oregon Ducks have released their 2010-2011 schedule. Not too tough of a pre-season, but here's a team preview. The U of O is in the midst of constructing its new basketball court, and the new scoreboard was installed today.

And Cal State Northridge Coach Jason Flowers says older folks need to stop the constant derision of the younger generation, because they're only as good as we teach them to be:

It's not them, it's us.

I tend to agree with him. I've seen much behavior from kids over my years of teaching that my parents would have disciplined the heck out of me for if I'd ever tried it. Obviously the kids that act that way and talk to adults in that manner were never told.

2012 rankings out

ESPN put out its 2012 rankings:

RANK NAME POS HT STATE GRADE SCHOOL

1 Breanna Stewart F 6'3" NY 98 None
2 Moriah Jefferson PG 5'6" TX 97 None
3 Rachel Hollivay P 6'4" MS 97 None
4 Alexis Jones PG 5'6" TX 97 None
5 Jordan Adams PG 6'0" CA 97 None
6 Jewell Loyd G 5'9" IL 97 None
7 Bashaara Graves F 6'2" TN 96 None
8 Brianna Butler G 5'11" PA 96 None
9 Courtney Williams G 6'0" TX 96 Texas A&M
10 Danielle Ballard G 5'9" TN 95 None
11 Imani Stafford P 6'5" CA 95 None
12 Morgan Tuck F 6'2" IL 95 None
13 Alyson Beebe F 6'3" CA 95 None
14 Alexis Prince W 6'0" FL 95 None
15 Chelsea Jennings PG 5'9" TX 95 None
16 Nirra Fields G 5'9" OH 95 None
17 Andraya Carter PG 5'8" GA 95 Tennessee
18 Bria Holmes F 6'1" CT 94 None
19 Antoinette Bannister G 5'10" FL 94 North Carolina
20 Xylina McDaniel F 6'2" SC 94 None
21 Malina Howard P 6'3" OH 94 None
22 Breanna McDonald G 6'0" GA 94 None
23 Jasmine Jones-Vaughn F 6'1" AL 94 None
24 Kahleah Copper G 5'10" PA 94 None
25 Jesseika Palmer PG 6'0" TX 94 None
26 Je Zhe Newton F 6'2" AZ 94 None
27 Nicole Kornet G 5'11" TX 94 None
28 Hillary Fuller F 6'1" FL 94 None
29 Brittany Jackson G 5'10" FL 94 None
30 Jamee Swan F 6'2" AZ 94 None
31 Danaejah Grant G 5'9" NJ 94 None
32 Khadijah Sessions PG 5'6" SC 94 None
33 Michaela Mabrey G 5'9" NJ 94 None
34 Courtney Walker G 5'7" OK 94 Oklahoma
35 Aaliyah Whiteside W 5'9" TN 94 None
36 Taylor Manuel P 6'3" MO 94 None
37 Ariel Butts P 6'3" GA 94 None
38 Hannah Huffman G 5'9" CA 94 None
39 Tiffany Mitchell G 5'10" NC 94 None
40 Brittney Martin W 6'0" UT 93 Utah
41 Peyton Little G 5'10" TX 93 Texas
42 Curtyce Knox PG 5'6" TX 93 None
43 Niya Johnson G 5'7" FL 93 None
44 Alexa Coulombe W 5'11" ME 93 None
45 Jordan Jones PG 5'5" TX 93 None
46 Kristina Higgins P 6'4" TX 93 None
47 Dominique Brooks P 6'4" IL 93 None
48 Asia Jackson PG 5'7" NY 93 None
49 Ameryst Alston G 5'9" OH 93 None
50 Kelila Atchinson W 5'10" VA 93 None
51 Kuaneshia Baker G 5'10" LA 93 None
52 Chadarryl Clay PG 5'7" TN 93 None
53 Chandler Cooper G 5'9" TN 93 None
54 Lauren Holiday G 5'8" CA 93 None
55 Raeshaun Gaffney G 5'8" OH 93 None
56 Asia Dozier G 5'11" SC 93 None
57 Emiah Bingley G 5'7" MO 93 None
58 Shacobia Barbee W 5'11" TN 93 None
59 Jennie Simms F 6'0" MD 93 None
60 Chardonae Fuqua F 6'0" AL 93 LSU

They say the list is expanded - whatever that means.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Indiana evens the series; all-defensive team

The defensive player of the year has some offense, too - 17 points, to be exact. Tamika Catchings and the Fever won today and evened the series with the Liberty, forcing a game three on Wednesday. It's the only semifinal this year to go to three games.

Box score.

The league's all-defensive first and second teams were announced today:

First Team

Tamika Catchings
Sylvia Fowles
Tanisha Wright
Angel McCoughtry
Cappie Pondexter

Second Team

Lauren Jackson
Rebekkah Brunson
Sancho Lyttle
Lindsey Harding
Tully Bevilaqua
Katie Douglas

Catchings pulls down a couple of awards

Indiana forward Tamika Catchings has won both the 2010 Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award and the 2010 WNBA Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Catchings has received the Defensive Player award a record four times. I can't believe she hasn't received the Perrot Award before.

Congrats, Catch.

Odds and ends

While we wait for the last WNBA semifinal to be decided today, we have.......

Washington Mystics GM Angela Taylor discusses this season and next season.

Big Syl talks to the LSU team.

Indiana Coach Lin Dunn's nephew had a close call with death recently.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Storm 81, Sparks 66

Here's my game story and game thread - plus a slideshow.

It was notable that both Storm Coach Brian Agler and Lauren Jackson had an opportunity to comment on what a big deal it was for them to finally beat LA in the post-season, but neither did.

Below are some other pictures that didn't make the cut:



Svetlana Abrosimova passes the ball, and passes it fast, in the first quarter.



Lauren Jackson did miss a few shots today, and this was one of them.



ESPN interviews Candace Parker at a timeout.



Swin Cash passes in the second quarter.



Sue Bird battles for the ball, and wins.



The Storm outrebounded the Sparks 34-27, including this one by Lauren Jackson.



Delisha Milton-Jones vs. Lauren Jackson.



Le'Coe Willingham vs. Tina Thompson.

Box score.

The Storm's take on it.

The Sparks don't have a recap posted yet.

Phoenix also took their Western Conference semifinal in two games, sweeping San Antonio today. No surprise in either case, but I hope the conference finals are a good series.

Seattle-LA pre-game notes

Nice piece on how Tina Thompson has been getting it done for the WNBA for 14 years by.....the Seattle Times reporter. But this is no surprise, actually, as the LA Times sucks.

So does the Staples Center, apparently. Season ticket holders got this notice last night:

The jumbotron at STAPLES Center will not be operational during Saturday's game and throughout the playoffs. During our post-season run, there will be two temporary video boards and one score board. Please read below for an official statement from STAPLES Center.

"A full schedule of safety testing, maintenance procedures and capital improvements take place each summer at STAPLES Center. Due to timing issues, the replacement of the center-hung scoreboard and video display had to begin this week. STAPLES Center has provided the temporary screens for our fans."


Bite my ___ . They wouldn't do that to the Fakers.

Oh, and because of the Emmy Awards, the street in front of Staples will be closed. No biggie!

Friday, August 27, 2010

ESPN class of 2011 new rankings are out

Check it:

RANK NAME POS HT STATE GRADE SCHOOL

1 Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis W 6'0" CA 98 Connecticut
2 Elizabeth Williams P 6'3" VA 98 None
3 Cierra Burdick F 6'2" NC 96 Tennessee
4 Ariel Massengale PG 5'6" IL 96 Tennessee
5 Krystal Forthan F 6'4" TX 96 None
6 Briyona Canty G 5'9" NJ 96 None
7 Justine Hartman P 6'2" CA 96 UCLA
8 Bria Smith G 5'8" NY 96 Virginia
9 Morgan Jones F 6'2" FL 96 None
10 Samantha Logic G 5'11" WI 96 None
11 Betnijah Laney W 6'0" DE 96 None
12 Sara Hammond F 6'2" KY 95 None
13 Temi Fagbenle F 6'4" EUR 95 None
14 Alexyz Vaioletama F 6'1" CA 95 USC
15 Amber Orrange G 5'7" TX 95 Stanford
16 Ariya Crook-Williams PG 5'7" CA 95 USC
17 Bria Goss G 5'10" IN 95 Kentucky
18 Shakena Richardson PG 5'6" NJ 95 Rutgers
19 Rachel Banham G 5'8" MN 95 Minnesota
20 Amber Henson F 6'3" FL 95 Duke
21 Erika Johnson W 6'1" WA 95 None
22 Reshanda Gray F 6'3" CA 95 None
23 Tori Scott G 5'10" LA 95 None
24 Brianna Banks G 5'9" GA 94 Connecticut
25 Kacy Swain W 6'3" CA 94 UCLA
26 Karina Alofaituli W 6'0" CA 94 Arizona State
27 Sheila Boykin F 6'2" CA 94 None
28 Eliza Normen W 6'1" CO 94 Arizona State
29 Isabelle Harrison P 6'3" TN 94 None
30 Alexia Standish PG 5'8" 132 TX 94 Texas A&M
31 Taylor Greenfield G 6'3" IA 94 None
32 Nneka Enemkpali F 6'1" TX 94 Texas
33 Dashawn Harden PG 5'9" KS 94 Oklahoma
34 Azia Bishop P 6'2" OH 94 Kentucky
35 Raven Ferguson W 5'11" OH 94 None
36 Cassie Peoples PG 5'6" TX 94 Texas
37 Crystal Bradford G 6'0" MI 94 Central Michigan
38 Brittany Boyd PG 5'9" CA 94 California
39 Asia Boyd G 6'0" MI 94 None
40 Allyson Malott F 6'3" OH 94 None
41 Rachel Mitchell F 6'7" TX 94 Texas A&M
42 Kiah Stokes P 6'3" 185 IA 94 None
43 Kayla Brewer F 6'2" FL 94 South Carolina
44 Khadijah Ellison G 5'8" MA 93 None
45 Sydney Wallace G 5'10" GA 93 None
46 Chairese Culberson W 6'0" CA 93 None
47 Natiece Ford P 6'2" NC 93 Clemson
48 Kady Schrann PG 5'7" PA 93 None
49 Alex Green G 5'9" TX 93 None
50 Loliya Briggs G 5'11" FL 93 Pittsburgh
51 Syessence Davis G 5'7" NJ 93 Rutgers
52 Madison Cable W 5'11" PA 93 None
53 Brittany Roundtree PG 5'9" FL 93 North Carolina
54 Megan Buckland G 6'0" NC 93 North Carolina
55 Kiana Johnson PG 5'4" IL 93 None
56 Sarah Imovbioh F 6'2" VA 93 Virginia
57 Mariah Smith W 6'1" IL 93 None
58 Brianna Kiesel PG 5'7" NY 93 None
59 Kaylon Williams F 6'2" OK 93 Oklahoma
60 Alexandra Cohen P 6'5" WI 93 Northwestern
61 Bonnie Samuelson W 6'2" CA 93 Stanford
62 Virginia Johnson W 6'1" IA 93 Iowa
63 Britney Hardy F 6'1" TX 93 Oklahoma State
64 Chanise Jenkins PG 5'4" IL 93 DePaul
65 Tiffany Jones F 6'3" NY 93 None
66 Hasina Muhammad G 6'0" TN 93 Auburn
67 Taylor Brown G 5'8" MD 93 Georgetown
68 Linda Stepney PG 5'5" VA 93 West Virginia
69 Ronisha Major F 6'1" TX 93 Texas
70 Brene Moseley G 5'7" MD 93 None
71 Alyesha Lovett W 5'11" NJ 93 Cincinnati
72 Keani Albanez G 5'11" CA 93 None
73 Whitney Knight G 6'1" NC 93 Duke
74 Kayla Hirt P 6'2" MN 93 Minnesota
75 Krystal Barrett G 5'8" TX 93 None
76 Amber Battle W 5'9" NM 93 Texas Tech
77 Liza Clemons F 6'2" IN 93 Purdue
78 Erica Payne F 6'2" CA 93 Stanford
79 Danielle Butts W 5'10" NC 92 North Carolina
80 Averee Fields F 6'0" KY 92 None
81 Ka'Nesheia Cobbins W 5'11" LA 92 None
82 Ka'lia Johnson PG 5'9" VA 92 Duke
83 Jasmine Camp PG 5'7" GA 92 Stanford
84 Emily Cady F 6'2" NE 92 None
85 Danielle McCray F 6'0" FL 92 None
86 Apiew Ojulu P 6'2" MN 92 None
87 Taylor Ford W 6'1" NY 92 None
88 Aleighsa Welch F 6'0" SC 92 None
89 De'Amber Wilhite G 5'8" TX 92 North Carolina-Wilmington
90 Sharane Campbell W 5'10" OK 92 Oklahoma
91 Michelle Woods PG 5'8" FL 92 Miami (FL)
92 Achiri Ade F 6'1" MD 92 James Madison
93 DeArica Hamby F 6'2" GA 92 None
94 Ariel Haynes W 5'11" IL 92 Pittsburgh
95 Shalethia Stringfield G 5'7" FL 92 South Florida
96 Aneesah Daniels F 6'0" GA 92 Alabama
97 Chyna Golden P 6'2" NJ 92 Pittsburgh
98 Kara Spotton F 6'2" CO 92 Colorado State
99 Brittany Hrynko PG 5'7" PA 92 None
100 Nichole Moody G 5'9" TX 92 Iowa State

The substantial movement on the roster was due largely to summer play, Chris Hansen says.

A few players went from unranked to ranked - perhaps one more so dramatically than Rachel Banham of Minnesota. She enters the top 100 at 19.

It will be interesting, as usual, over the next two and a half months to see where the uncommitted players go.

WNBA today and tomorrow

Wow! Atlanta takes the series with the Mystics in two! They advance to the Eastern Conference finals. I don't think anyone expected that. Angel McCoughtry and Iziane Castro-Marquez each had 21 while Sancho Lyttle had 20.

ESPN says that if the Sparks get their defense together, they could win game two tomorrow.

Storm basketball says the team will go into the game as mentally tough as they did Wednesday night.

Sue Bird gives an unusually candid interview about the upcoming game to USA Today.

Lots of interesting stuff in this piece, including Bill Russell's visit to Storm practice and Lauren Jackson's claim that she couldn't see on replays where she clubbed Delisha Milton-Jones in the jaw and got a tech. *eye roll*

Bonus: The Chicago Sky owners/GMs/whomever's in charge were dumb.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Checking in from various departments........

WNBA playoffs department:

The Liberty squished the Fever, 85-73.

Phoenix beat San Antonio in the Western Conference game.

WNBA awards department:

DeWanna Bonner has won the WNBA's Sixth Woman Award for the second consecutive year.

Leilani Mitchell is the WNBA's Most Improved Player of the Year.

Tennessee lands a big fish department:

Ariel Massengale has always wanted to be a Lady Vol. Now the top recruit has committed to her dream school.

High school department:

ESPN lists its top 35 club ball teams from this summer, which features quite a few California teams and players. I don't agree with their rationale on placing the U17's over the U18's, but everything else pretty much gels.

Best of summer player's list.

"I got skillz" list. Bless ESPN for making these lists.

Mark Lewis warns that before they release their player rankings for the fall, there are several criteria.

Seattle Storm department:

ESPN Los Angeles' take on last night's win over the Sparks.

The Storm humor department:

Sue Bird and Swin Cash rap an acceptance speech.

I LOVE the human beat box! I wish it would come back.

As funny as that video is, I can think of two interviews with Bird from around 2003 that were even more humorous. One was her sitting next to former UConn teammate/Minnesota Lynx player Tamika Williams rapping, and the other was Bird describing how much she loved the Notorious B.I.G., and reciting his line, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa."

What the hell? department:

Apparently a UConn fan robbed a bank today.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Hell week at USC

My sources tell me that USC Coach Michael Cooper is running "hell week" for his players right now. Missed shots equals pushups - the numbers of which increase with every miss. Yesterday all the players were told to run a mile in seven minutes or less, and not all made it. But yes, the workouts are being monitored for harshness and time limit.

Sounds like those Trojans are getting in shape.

Mystics, Storm win

Two completely different games.........

Atlanta won its first playoff game, beating the higher-seeded Mystics 95-90 in a riveting game.

The Storm maintain a solid lead throughout the game, and beat the Sparks 79-66.

Tomorrow it's Indiana vs. New York and San Antonio vs. Phoenix.

Storm vs. Sparks: here we go again

Coaches, players and fans weigh in on the rivalry.

I had fun writing that story, because my perspective on both teams and this matchup is somewhat unique.

I was there on the Storm's opening night as a franchise on June 1, 2000. I was a season ticket holder until I moved to Los Angeles. And I hated the Sparks like every Storm fan.

I know what Scott Englehardt means when he speaks of the high horse the Sparks team used to be on with the Storm - they were downright condescending. Or at least, they appeared to be due to one or two players. In fact, Lisa Leslie made a comment before the two teams' very first playoff matchup in 2002 where she effectively said the Sparks weren't worried about the Storm at all.

I also remember LA's style of play, which did seem to be abusive.....I have a couple of VHS tapes of some old games that show this. And I'll never forget July 12, 2002 when Michelle Marciniak and Latasha Byears got into a fight on the Key Arena floor. The peak of the bad feelings between the two teams and their fans was that night.

My dislike of the Sparks continued until 2008, when they drafted my favorite college player from my favorite college program: Candace Parker of Tennessee. They also grabbed Shannon Bobbitt. So I bought season tickets.

I met all the Sparks players. And though I'll never necessarily be a Lisa Leslie fan, I could see she had mellowed after the birth of her daughter.

Delisha Milton-Jones is one of the funniest people I've met in a long time. She's a jokester, a prankster and laughs a lot. I finally understood why her other nickname besides "D-Nasty" is "Sunshine." She really does have a split personality - rough on the court and hilarious off of it. And I can understand how those two can co-exist. After all, I'm a nice person who sometimes has to "go hard" with my high school students to keep them in line.

The Sparks aren't the bad, swaggering team they were 7-10 years ago. There's no Tamecka Dixon to taunt opposing fans and no Byears to let her gum hang out of her mouth while shooting free throws (2002 championship game) or throw the ball at Marciniak's head. LA is just like any other team: a bunch of women juggling multiple responsibilities and giving it their all on the court. I can't hate them.

I can understand why Storm fans and other opposing teams - who aren't here to see the Sparks every game or up close and personal - still can, though. I'm a fair person and can see both sides of the "irrational sports hatred" issue.

With the Storm-Sparks rivalry, I take it on a game-by-game basis. Sometimes I want the Sparks to win, and sometimes I'm rooting for the Storm. It just depends on how I feel.

In this series, though, I want Seattle to win as quickly as possible. I want them to take it all this year. They really deserve it, and so do their fans.

I'll never forget Oct. 12, 2004. As streamers poured from the Key Arena ceiling, the electronic banners read: "SEATTLE STORM - WNBA CHAMPIONS!" Fans were screaming, going crazy. Players were running around on the court hugging each other and kicking off their shoes. That was an experience I'll never forget, and I hope Seattle fans have that again this year. Their team has worked hard.

If Candace Parker is healthy next year, and Betty Lennox is back, I'll want the Sparks to win. :)

First day of WNBA playoffs

Instead of trying to post about a million links, I refer readers to the hoopfeed.com twitter page. Hoopfeed always has the most extensive and comprehensive list of women's basketball links, and today the playoffs are on tap. Check it out.

Pre-playoff conference call was this morning.

The 2010 awards are starting to roll in: Diana Taurasi, Ticha Penicheiro and Tina Charles have each earned a Peak Performer award.

There is a wealth of great stuff on the wnba.com home page. I love this playoffs history page especially, because not only is it a great reference tool but it is a scrapbook.

Non-WNBA humor bonus: the college schedule board. Check out Long Beach State assistant coach Derek Wynn's bargain deal for a game......

Long Beach State Beach Classic. Dec 19-20. Alright it's getting really late and no one wants to travel. We're addding Roscoe's Famous Chicken and Waffles to the Package for you and your team! What more could you want than The Beach and Roscoes?? Let's get this done! Call Derek Wynn 562-480-1158 dwynn@csulb.edu

How can anyone turn that down? :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Late night wrap up

Look at ALL the great things that went down and interesting news items that came up while I was out all day...........

First, I have to give it up to Tina freakin Thompson, who was not only named Western Conference Player of the Week yesterday for the second consecutive week, but has been named WC Player of the Month. Deservedly so, too. I've not seen her play this possessed in a very long time. Last Tuesday's game against Phoenix, where she dropped 33 points, was a phenomenal display. Go on, girl.

On a related note, even the Seattle Storm say the Los Angeles Sparks are peaking at the right time.

The Storm are trying to forget the 06, 08 and 09 playoffs.

The Sparks have renewed confidence.

The Washington Mystics also have mad confidence.

And Cal State Northridge has released its season schedule......can't wait.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Good off-day morning

Just a few interesting items right now:

Number-one recruit Elizabeth Williams of Virginia Beach, perhaps best-known for leading the Boo Williams team this summer, will visit Tennessee this weekend. Heyyyyy.....that would be nice.

The Guru says he's not surprised that the Mystics finished at the top of the Eastern Conference. I'm not either.

Diana Taurasi has signed a new contract to stay with the Phoenix Mercury, which helps renew my personal contract to continue strongly disliking that team.

I think it's time to hit the beach on this beautiful day.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The dust settles on the WNBA's final regular season day

Sophia Young's three-pointer with .9 seconds left lifted the Silver Stars over Phoenix, 83-82.

Monique Currie and Crystal Langhorne lead the Mystics over the Dream.

The Lynx won a wild one, beating the Fever 83-79 in overtime. Seimone Augustus lead with 25 points.

The Liberty also needed an OT to beat the Sun, 88-87. Cappie Pondexter put up 31 points.

Here's the complete semifinals schedule, which will see Los Angeles take on Seattle, San Antonio vs. Phoenix, Atlanta vs. Washington and New York vs. Indiana. Good times!

Extra: Sparks co-owner has a thoughtful (as usual) reflection on last night's game.

So Wednesday it's game on!!

More on the Storm and their 17th home win

The Storm finished perfect at home, and point guard Sue Bird talks about this "magical" season.

Of course, Storm fans were prepared: many last night were wearing "I am home court advantage" T-shirts.

Bonus: Marion Jones plans to stay in the WNBA next year. Of course she does - what else is she doing right now?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Storm stay perfect, beat Sparks 76-75

The Seattle Times is being slow to put up a substantial story, but anyone who watched already knows about the incredible game that just went down.

The organization has tweeted that the Storm is the first WNBA franchise to go 17-0 at home. Their 28 regular-season wins also ties the 28 wins of the LA Sparks in both 2001 and 2002.

One thing the Seattle Times does have is a great game photo gallery. (This one is particularly funny)

The Storm and Sparks should see each other again in the first round of the playoffs unless San Antonio loses.

Sparks-Lynx game (part 2)

Here's the story and game thread. Here are a few more pictures that didn't make the page........



Delisha Milton-Jones and Rebekkah Brunson tip the ball off to start the game.



Monica Wright for two of her 15 points. The rookie is the real deal, Holyfield.



Lynx high-scorer Charde Houston looks to pass the ball in the fourth quarter.

Tennessee and Tennessee-related items

Item 1:

Nicky Anosike responds to suspension from Minnesota Lynx:

Anosike is in Knoxville this weekend and will have surgery on Monday at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and will begin rehab immediately this coming week with Jenny Moshak, the Lady Vols’ chief of sports medicine, just as she did a year ago when she hurt the knee.

The former NCAA Woman of the Year made it through four years of Pat Summitt’s rules without a single suspension – which can come from missing even one class or being one minute late for a meeting – and she believes that Tennessee and Minnesota Lynx fans who are aware of her high character realize she did nothing wrong.

“I think everyone has heard just part of the story, and thinks, ‘She was suspended because she refused to get on the road trip,’ ” said Anosike, who has played in the WNBA for three seasons. “But that’s not the whole truth. The whole truth is that right after the San Antonio game, which was Sunday night, they gave me the results of the MRI that I took Saturday. The doctor said I had torn my lateral meniscus. I have been dealing with this injury for the past two months.

“After the doctor gave me this information I decided that I would not go on this road trip. Same knee, same injury (as last summer).”

The suspension followed WNBA rules – in order to pick up another player, one player had to be suspended since the league no longer has Injured Reserve – and Anosike was concerned about the reaction to the news as she didn’t want to be cast in false light.


Ahhhh, that clears that up.

Item 2:

The 2010-2011 Lady Vols have begun their workouts for the year.

Item 3:

The UCLA Bruins schedule is out.

Sparks 98, Lynx 91 (part 1)

While we wait for my story and pictures to be posted on the fab hoopfeed.com site, here are some others, and some wrap-up:



Charde Houston takes a shot as the Lynx warm up. She ended up with 21 points on the night.



I don't understand how a team with this much talent on the roster has the record it does.



Sparks season ticket holders received an MVP gift last night - a key chain personalized with their section, row and seat number. What a thoughtful gift from Sparks management.



Lailaa Nicole Williams has advanced motor skills for a 15-month-old. She went to the trouble of getting a french fry while dad Shelden wasn't looking.......



.....and downed it.



Lailaa's mom Candace Parker twittered last night that she had been "dyying" watching the game, wishing she could play. I could see that, as at halftime she stood under the basket while her teammates shot around. Above, she walks away from the baseline past her family and friends.......



.....and heads back towards the Sparks bench.



Alexis Hornbuckle drives past Kristi Toliver in the fourth quarter.



The 13,154 fans on hand last night were terrific - loud, waving signs, the whole bit.

____________________

Box score.

The Sparks really did what they needed to do for this win last night in the fourth quarter. When the chips were down, they stepped up. At halftime only four LA players had scored to the Lynx' seven, but by the end of the game, three more had put up points.

Mechelle Voepel's take.

Last night was a wild one around the league.

Mel Greenberg, aka the Guru, has a nice summary of the current state of the standings, which are a little wack. The Western Conference is pretty much set, while the Eastern Conference is now in a log jam after last night's Liberty loss and Indiana's defeat. No one predicted that.

Meanwhile last night, the Storm survived the Mercury in a "battle of the benches," Chicago dropped one to Connecticut, leaving players at a loss. The Lynx still have a small chance of making the playoffs.

The Sparks are on their way to Seattle to play the Storm today in their last regular season game. Here's a preview.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A bit of pre-game news

Sports Illustrated has great photos of the WNBA's MVP candidates.

One of those candidates - Lauren Jackson - is grumpy.

Pet finishes his series with the top 10 Division I programs in the country. I disagree about Maryland, but everything else looks solid.

OK, gotta leave soon for the Sparks-Lynx game.....the tension in the building will be high, I think.

WNBA preview

There are five games tonight, the most critical of which is probably Los Angeles vs. Minnesota, as both teams vie for a Western Conference playoff spot.

Storm veteran point guard Sue Bird talks about finishing the season strong, the playoffs and other topics in this interview.

Ticha Penicheiro has become used to playing for her former enemy, but still has sadness about the collapse of the Sacramento franchise last year.

In non-league news.......

Cheryl Miller will be inducted into the FIBA Hall of Fame.

Connecticut Coach Geno Auriemma claims he's "not worried" for his team in the face of the loss of guard Caroline Doty.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Liberty in first place, WAC is pissed

The Liberty beat the Shock tonight for their franchise-record tenth win in a row, and the victory ties them with Indiana for first place in the Eastern Conference. What else can you say but WOW! And great job, New York.

Western Athletic Conference officials are pissed at Fresno State and Nevada for leaving to join the Mountain West Conference. They want to levy a $5 million fee on each school and prevent them from leaving until 2012. You know, that kind of bitterness kills people. Let it go.

Former Lady Vol Kyra Elzy has been promoted to associate head coach at Kentucky.

Answer to OSU prospect camp question

The other day I posted the link announcing that Oregon State University will have a prospect camp this Saturday, and those who want to try out will have to pay $25. A reader asked if this violated NCAA regulations, so I checked it out.

According to an NCAA spokeswoman, schools can hold prospect camps and charge participants however much they want. So I guess those planning to try out could be glad it's "only" $25. *shrug* But I thought that rule was interesting.

The good and the not-so-good

On the injury and illness tip:

Chamique Holdsclaw had successful surgery yesterday to repair her torn Achilles tendon.

The Connecticut Sun's Allison Hightower has been experiencing illness this season. Hope she feels better soon and figures out what's up with her.

Oklahoma's Whitney Hand is out yet again - this time for five months - with recurring knee issues.

Leftcoasthoops asks Joanne Boyle 10 questions.

More good stuff from pet: the top 100 Division I teams, 26-40 and 11-25.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Crystal Langhorne left out of USA Basketball pool

In a situation remniscent of what happened during U18 team tryouts, Crystal Langhorne has been left out of the women's USA Basketball pool. She has been in the WNBA's top ten in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and efficiency, but she was bumped for....rookie Jayne Appel?

That's beyond scandalous. How and why does USA Basketball make their decisions?

Anosike suspended due to injury?

It seems that Minnesota Lynx forward Nicky Anosike was suspended after finding out she has a torn meniscus.

What??!!

I've never heard of any team doing anything like that before. Why?

I'm not sure I can root for the Lynx anymore if this is true.

Say what? Anosike suspended

The former Lady Vol who was always known as "the calm one" of the 2008 class of national champions has been suspended from the Minnesota Lynx. Nicky Anosike "declined" to go on the team's three-game road trip to the West coast. What does that mean?? Now Jessica Adair has been signed to take her place.

Anosike hasn't been on twitter in a week.

What's going on? Very unusual.

Mercury 90, Sparks 84

Here's my game story.

Here are some other photos I took that didn't quite make the cut. (They're all stills because the lighting was such that I couldn't get a good action shot to save my life).



Christine Leslie-Espinoza (LL's mother) and Michael Lockwood (LL's husband) watch tipoff.



A first quarter Mercury timeout.



DeWanna Bonner waits to go into the game in the second quarter.



The UCLA team was introduced at a second half timeout, and ticket sales were promoted.



In the fourth quarter when things were tight, Phoenix was a bit tense.

Last night's scores.

WNBA game summary.

Kathy Goodman's take.

Box score.

This Western Conference is a battle.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Oh no - Chamique Holdsclaw has a torn Achilles tendon

Out for the season. Man, that sucks.

Sportspagemagazine has a nice roundup of this week in the WNBA.

Nice Q and A with Storm center Lauren Jackson.

Tamika Catchings wants to forget last year and win a title now.

The Chicago Sky had a job fair....and charged participants $25. What the? How can you pay $25 if you don't have a job. Stupid.

The next installment in the top 100 programs in NCAA Division I: 41-70.

Oregon State will have a prospect camp.

Duke loses one.

Monday, August 16, 2010

MVP race narrows.....and other notable items

At last, the WNBA's MVP race is down to three candidates: Lauren Jackson, Tamika Catchings and Cappie Pondexter. A tough call, indeed.

Pondexter and Tina Thompson are the Eastern and Western Conference players of the week. Let's give it up for the vet Thompson. How long has it been since she got that honor? Fantastic.

The New York Liberty are planning to play for the next three years in Newark, N.J.

The Storm's Brian Agler is a candidate for coach of the year.

Atlanta Dream players recently had a team meeting, which I've always advocated as a great way to keep the lines of communication open. But this writer calls it "desperation." I don't get it, because it's not as if the Dream weren't having a great season. It sounds like the writer was just desperate for a story lead.

Former University of Florida great Murriel Page has entered her pro retirement in the best of all situations: by being named an assistant coach at her alma mater. Congrats, Page.

Oregon State Coach Scott Rueck has added another assistant coach to his staff in Eric Ely, who comes from Oral Roberts University.

ESPN's Chris Hansen has an excellent U17 tip sheet.

And if this story doesn't touch you, you're a cold piece: Andrea Woodson-Smith is playing wheelchair basketball.

It's "back to school" time

Pat Summitt and Bruce Pearl get their tagging on to welcome the class of 2014. 2014? Good grief.

The Texas Tech Raiders recently went to Canada, came back and decided they need to work on defense.

I'm late in posting this, but pet has a great breakdown of the 10 worst Division I teams in the country.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Dropping, or staying in?

The Lynx beat the Silver Stars today, 84-78, which keeps them in the playoff race for the Western Conference. Chamique Holdsclaw sprained her ankle in the first half and left the game. I hope it's not a bad sprain.

The Fever eliminated the Sun from playoff consideration with their 79-66 victory. What's going on in Thibault land? Maybe he's just having an off year.

And make it stop: the Mystics beat the Storm.

WNBA playoff spots being gobbled up.....or not

The Liberty continued their winning streak last night (eight in a row) by kicking the crap out of the Phoenix Mercury, 107-69, and setting a new franchise scoring record. New York has now clinched a playoff spot, believe it or not.

The Sparks survived Tulsa, and kept their playoff hopes alive.

The Atlanta Dream have also made it to the playoffs, by defesting Chicago 98-74. The Sky's Sylvia Fowles hit the 1000-point mark (congrats!) but said her team "played like boo boo." Coach Steven Key said he was embarrassed by the loss.

Lindsey Harding has become a steadying force for the Mystics, who play a "still resting the starters" Seattle Storm today.

And how'd you like to have Cynthia Cooper-Dyke as your college coach, with all of her high expectations? I'd be nervous.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

IUPUI coach being investigated

Coach Shann Hart is being investigated for violating NCAA rules on practice times and recruiting, causing fear and humiliation, disregarding injuries and inappropriately probing into player's personal lives. There's no deadline for completion of the inquiry.

The Iowa State University basketball court was floating during recent flooding. My goodness.

Top recruits in Maine often go elsewhere to college.

More, more, more

Tangela Smith has broken the record for number of career games played: 411. Very impressive! Congrats to her.

Last year's WNBA Finals loss is still on the minds of the Indiana Fever. (Nice story, except the author got the date wrong - they won the title on Oct. 9, 2009).

The Silver Stars are now third in the west.

Here's a nice write up on Cynthia Cooper-Dyke's induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame yesterday. But I like these player and coach quotes even better. A fitting tribute to a great player.

Friday, August 13, 2010

More W news than can be believed

Indiana and Phoenix didn't fight tonight, but the Fever won soundly, 110-90.

Seattle may want to rethink that "resting the starters" plan, because they lost to the Sun, of all teams.

San Antonio put the hurt on Tulsa, 94-74.

Check out the Candace Parker renewal videos under the "fun stuff" heading. They played the one with Lailaa and the hoop at Tuesday's game.....love it.

The Sparks have hired a new president - Mike Levy. Check out the video.

A writer actually put Tully Bevilaqua and Lisa Leslie together in a story. I have a hard time thinking of two more opposite people, unless it's Tamika Catchings and Diana Taurasi.

Cynthia Cooper-Dyke was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame today, and Mechelle Voepel looks back at her legacy.

The fireworks of August

High school/college:

Recruits are starting to name their colleges this month, just out of the July viewing period. Bria Smith, ranked third in the class of 2011, announced last night she will attend Virginia - the first major recruit in what the local newspaper calls "the post-Monica Wright era."

The loss of Caroline Doty to injury could prove to be a major blow for UConn. One can only hope.

The WNBA has plenty going on right now:

Attendence, TV ratings are up again.

The Fever and Mercury have taken over the "most intense rivalry" spot for now.

Kathy Goodman - bless her heart - was stuck watching her Sparks play via her own cell phone yesterday. But she still took time to reflect on how far the game has come in 20 years.

The Seattle Times' Jayda Evans talks playoff picture.

Full Court Press has an astute analysis of the state of the WNBA.

Lindsay Whalen has signed a multi-year deal with the Minnesota Lynx.....no surprise there.

Hall of Fame:

It's cool that Cynthia Cooper-Dyke is being inducted, and she couldn't be more deserving. But she's only the 13th woman to be enshrined at the Springfield Hall. What a crock of crap.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

WNBA race heating up

The looks on the faces of the players says it all: the Sparks are still in the playoff race. After Tina Thompson's buzzer-beater shot lifted her team over the Lynx 78-77, LA is a half a game out of fourth place in the west.

The most interesting thing about the playoff picture to me is how bad the Western Conference teams are this year. Really? Only one team above .500? Amazing.

Earlier today, the LA Times posted a nice piece on Candace Parker and her shoulder rehab.

Extra: Gonzaga stand out Vivian Friesen reflects on what she's learned since being cut from the Tulsa Shock roster last spring. I like people that never give up.

The dreaded ACL injury strikes again

Amber Smith of Kentucky is out indefinitely, and UConn's Caroline Doty is out for the season.

Tulsa Shock players juggle their multiple roles (as do all female pro players).

Atlanta Dream owner Kathy Betty is interviewed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Lady Vols release 2010-2011 schedule....and other good stuff

The Paradise Jam and Georgia Tech are cool, but boo, hiss! - no UCLA. I was hoping that would be an annual rivalry. Schedule.

Yikes! Flooding has put Iowa State's home court under eight feet of water.

Storm Coach Brian Agler plans to rest his starters during their current road trip, but will that hurt Lauren Jackson's chance at MVP?

The Atlanta Dream is having a giant girl's sleepover this weekend. What a great idea! (I wish they had stuff like that when I was a kid)

On the high school tip, August is the rest/best month of the year. ESPN's Mark Lewis has some tips for the parents of recruits, and Joy Hollingsworth speaks to the players. Good stuff.

The Sky don't take none, and win

The Sky's Sylvia Fowles took a stand in last night's game against Phoenix, and she got ejected:

On Tuesday night with the Phoenix Mercury visiting Allstate Arena, Fowles was anything but quiet, and her roar helped spur the Sky to an emotional and hard-fought 91-82 victory over the defending WNBA champions.

"My mother would not be proud of me," Fowles said. "I was not sugar lips tonight."

Indeed, Fowles had a bit of vinegar for the referees.

Usually, she puts her head down, goes to work and says nothing as she endures the endless physical abuse. But with about three minutes left in the fourth quarter, Fowles raised her head - and put her foot down. Enough is enough.

She thought she had been hacked on the offensive end, argued the non-call and then was hit with a technical. She kept going and was quickly teed up again.

Two technicals result in an automatic ejection and the removal of the player from the bench.

"I just try to do my job as much as possible and not get in trouble," Fowles said after the game from the locker room, where she watched on TV as her team salted away the victory. "But you get to a point in time where it's just ridiculous. I mean, I know I'm big, I know I'm strong, but a foul is a foul. This was my time to vent out and let it all out because I've been dealing with it all season. I hated to leave my team out there, but at the same time, they need to understand what I'm dealing with.


Poor Syl. I had to learn to take and stand and be an asshole back too; it's part of growing up for some people.

But why does never-nice Diana Taurasi get in people's faces, break people's noses and never get ejected, while Fowles just stands up for herself and gets tossed? There's something really messed up about that picture.

Extra: Sparks co-owner Kathy Goodman reflects on Lisa Leslie, including the first time she met her a decade ago.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Fever 82, Sparks 76



Believe it or not, Tina Thompson (falling to the floor) made this shot in the first quarter.



The refs were in danger of getting run out of the place in the first quarter, when they allowed Thompson to get fouled three times in a row with no call. The last one was particularly blatant, and the crowd erupted in jeers. Ticha Penicheiro threw her hands out to her sides and walked on court toward the refs. As Thompson complained, Penicheiro kept an eye on the situation.



The entire Sparks coaching staff joined her on the court, as well as most of the team.



Thompson finally just said "whatever" and walked away.



Delisha Milton-Jones was doing some interesting yoga-looking balance stuff and lunges on the side, while Assistant Coach Steve Smith talked to players during a second quarter timeout.



At halftime, Lisa Leslie and Michael Lockwood watch a video of Leslie on the big screen while waiting in the tunnel.



They were lighthearted, having a good time.



Leslie then addressed the crowd, thanking them.



Her jersey was raised to the rafters......



....and she ended by noting that she was from the inner city, and that if she could do it, other young girls could do it.



The Fever's Ebony Hoffman, far right, made this shot in the third quarter as she was fouled.



Briann January vs. Andrea Riley. Riley played like a big girl tonight, with double-digit scoring. She also had two behind-the-back assists that gave me palpitations.



Penicheiro didn't play tonight, and limped into the tunnel twice during the game. What happened?



Here's that ad I mentioned last week.

Leslie has her sights set on being an NBA TV analyst.

The Fever's Jessica Davenport played very well tonight with a broken nose.

The Mercury's Diana Taurasi will be fined, as the technical she incurred in elbowing Davenport Sunday night was upgraded to a flagrant two foul.

No one is even close to the Storm, especially after their hard-fought victory this evening in Atlanta. The win gives them home court advantage for all of the playoffs.

That pretty much guarantees them the championship right there, trust me. The Key Arena crowd is their sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth.....woman.

Tuesday morning news

From the alleged abuse department:

Former players of the IUPUI coach accused of emotional abuse say she did the same thing at her previous school.

Oregon State paid over $14,000 to investigate the LaVonda Wagner coaching situation before firing her.

WNBA:

Ben York profiles some amazing WNBA fans.

Seattle is a model franchise for the Atlanta Dream.

The technical fouls of Shavonte Zellous and Diana Taurasi during Sunday's bloody game are being reviewed by the league.

General NCAA:

Kari Duperron has been hired as assistant coach at the University of Washington. She fills the shoes of Loree Payne, who left to be a head coach at a D3.

Monday, August 9, 2010

More high school and WNBA news

Where are the best Florida-area players going? The Floridainsider blog knows.

One more ESPN tip sheet from the July recruiting period.

The 11-player roster limit is hard on everyone in the WNBA, but so is the assistant coaching limit.

The LA Sparks will retire Lisa Leslie's jersey at a halftime ceremony during tomorrow's game.

Davenport has a broken nose, dream team

More out of last night's Mercury-Fever carnage: Indiana's Jessica Davenport has a broken nose.

President Obama recently got to play basketball with some of his favorite male players. This quote got me thinking: "Every hoops fan dreams of that one special birthday when his pro-ball heroes join him on the court to see whether he's got game."

OK, women's hoops fans - who would you like to play a game with? Here's my list:

Candace Parker
Betty Lennox
Tamika Catchings
Sylvia Fowles
Kara Lawson
Alana Beard
DeWanna Bonner
Nicky Anosike
Kelsey Griffin
Candice Wiggins
Monica Wright
Seimone Augustus

What's yours????

Sunday, August 8, 2010

More record-breaking stuff, and a couple of sisters

Tina Charles has set a rookie record with her 18th double-double tonight. Congrats to her.

More stats and some great quotes on the Storm's record-breaking win last night.

Watch out for these prodigy sisters.

Silver Stars 92, Sparks 83

I'm not going to comment on yet another pointless loss to another sub-par team. I'm going to focus on the positive instead: Tina Thompson breaking Lisa Leslie's WNBA scoring record.

She got off to a slow start in the game and had only six points in the first half. But in the third quarter she went on a personal run, and pretty soon she was squaring up to hit the basket that put her over the top. I jumped up out of my seat and yelled, "Whoo! There it is!" And less than 10 seconds later the Staples Center people started playing Tag Team's "Whoomp, there it is!" as the crowd screamed.

Freaky funny.

Congrats to Thompson on her milestone. Too bad the Sparks couldn't celebrate it with a victory, too.



Betty and Candace look nice in street clothes, but I wish I didn't have to look at that, if you know what I mean.



Chamique Holdsclaw (1) has just fouled Marie Ferdinand-Harris (second quarter).



Blurry, but I really enjoyed this Lindsay Wisdom-Hylton block of Becky Hammon.



Just before Tina Thompson became the WNBA's all-time leading scorer, she was hot and playing aggressively (above).



Tina squares up to hit the shot that puts her over the top.......



....and gets mad congrats and cheers from all.



Not to mention a nice salute on the jumbotron.



Jamba Juice was introduced as the new sponsors, bless their healthy hearts. Check out the banana mascot in the background.



Delisha Milton-Jones telegraphs a pass to Kristi Toliver in the fourth quarter.

During the game they flashed the Mercury-Fever score, but we didn't realize what a physical game it had been. DeWanna Bonner sustained a concussion after being knocked unconscious briefly in the game. That's scary! Get well, DeWanna and Jessica Davenport.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Record-smashing night by the Seattle Storm

The game report so far only tells part of the story, but the Storm's twitter page does the rest:

Seattle's 111-65 win over Tulsa is the largest margin of victory in league history, breaking a record set by the Comets in 1998.

It's the most scored by the Storm in regulation play.

Seattle's 57 rebounds also sets a league record.

Camille Little reached the 1000-point mark tonight.

Wow! The Storm give the term "overachiever" new meaning.

WNBA check-in

Lauren Jackson will probably be the league's MVP this year.

Tamika Catchings helped stop Indiana's losing streak last night. Thirty points is the bomb, but that pink uniform gives me a headache.

The Sparks are doing it big on their home stand.

Sparks co-owner Kathy Goodman's perspective is here. She and fellow owner Carla Christofferson were running around the arena last night to talk to season ticket holders about renewing.

Friday, August 6, 2010

FIBA championships perspective and Pac-10 tidbit

ESPN's Chris Hansen says the recent U17 show in France and Spain wasn't just all about the U.S.

Pac-10 basketball is quietly moving into a new era: no more Thursday-Saturday games. Ha-what?

Sparks 77, Shock 70

I'm a little confused, because one news source says that "defense and unselfish play" have been the keys to the Sparks' wins lately - four out of six, to be exact. I can see the unselfish play, but the defense? What games have these people been watching?

The Sparks' offense has certainly picked up from early July and their last long home stand. But the defense looks to be the same. And once again tonight, the Sparks seemed to work their tails off for a basket much of the time, only to stand and watch the Shock then sail easily to their own basket for the return score. And while every win is a great thing, the two teams matched up pretty evenly in the box score, so should we get too excited about that, given the records of both teams? You be the judge.

Ivory Latta was extremely impressive for the Shock tonight. For LA, Delisha Milton-Jones continues to defy age with her silky moves and huge point totals. Ditto Marie Ferdinand-Harris, who always boosts up the entire team's energy when she's on court.

The funniest moment was in the first quarter when Jennifer Lacy was called for a reaching in foul. It was pretty blatant, and as the whistle blew and everyone else stopped moving, the ball laid in Lacy's arms where she had rudely wrested it from Tina Thompson. The veteran gave the younger player the stare-down to end all stare-downs, and then she abruptly turned and walked away. Everyone in three rows of our section giggled like kids.

I really was curious to see what Marion Jones could do, but she took one shot that didn't fall and was out of the game after 38 seconds. What's up with that? Give somebody a chance.

Notables:

Tonight’s Sparks victory over the Shock places the Sparks in a three-way tie in third place in the Western Conference standings.

Tulsa’s bench outscored the Sparks bench 27-8.

Seeing the Sparks win two in a row has been very nice. Let's see if they can make it three when they take on San Antonio Sunday.

Story.

LA Times story.



Ivory Latta looks to pass while Nicole Ohlde flashes for it.



Everybody braces for the rebound in the first quarter.



Don't let this picture fool you into thinking that the Sparks have effective defense. Latta is about to pass it past all of them.



Scholanda Robinson (number 5) puts up a shot in the second quarter that doesn't go.



Candace Parker has been doing the matching jacket and pants thing with light eyeshadow this week. Tonight she was also getting up and walking down the line of teammates to high-five them when a particularly hot basket was made. It was cute.



Ticha Penicheiro, passing to Kristi Toliver here, had 13 assists tonight; she's averaging 10.2 per game. Holy crap! Mad props to her for that.



Amber Holt grabs the defensive rebound in the third quarter.



Tina Thompson's shot didn't go that time, but she earned her keep tonight. Only 14 more points to go to break Lisa Leslie's all-time scoring record. Go, Tina!



Good thing I snapped this picture of one of my ex-favorite athletes, Marion Jones, because she was pulled out of the game about 30 seconds later. She only played 38 seconds! Ridiculous.