Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sky clinch first in the East

Today's game results:

The Sky beat the Dream, 85-68, to clinch first place in the Eastern Conference.

The Lynx routed the Storm, 97-74.

The Sparks defeated the Silver Stars, 80-67.

San Antonio's loss means the Storm have clinched their tenth straight playoff berth. They might have to play at the Tacoma Dome, as Key Arena is booked in late September.

The Mercury bested the Sun, 76-68.

Team news:

Mercury....Candice Dupree has stepped it up since the arrival of interim coach Russ Pennell.

Liberty....Katie Smith edges closer to retirement.

Tomorrow's game:

Liberty at Shock

It's almost balloting time again

As the regular season winds down, it's time for the media to choose the "best of" players and coaches.

MVP
ROY
COY
Most Improved
Best Defensive
Sixth Woman

Who do you think should win these awards, readers? I'd love to hear what you think.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Sophia Young comes out against gay marriage, and opposes adding gays and lesbians to code

Silver Stars forward Sophia Young made her views against gay marriage and protection for gays and lesbians in San Antonio known publicly yesterday:

Sophia Young is a three-time WNBA all-star, an All-American while at Baylor University and a fan favorite. Well, that last part may be changing. On Thursday, Young made it clear that she doesn't support same-sex marriage or adding gay people to San Antonio's nondiscrimination code. In doing so, Young gave the WNBA, its gay fans and gay players, its latest headache.

WNBA President Laurel Richie disagreed with Young's stance:

''Sophia has the right to express her point of view, however, I do not share her view,'' WNBA president Laurel Richie said in a statement. ''The WNBA supports diversity and we are committed to the equal and fair treatment of all people.''

The fight for the playoffs

The Fever outlasted the Liberty, 73-67, to cement their fourth place spot in the East, and draw closer to third. Tamika Catchings lead Indiana with 22 points.

The Silver Stars beat the Shock, 74-65, to stay in the playoff picture.

Team news:

Shock....Candice Wiggins is becoming one of the league's top perimeter defenders.

Wiggins and teammate Skylar Diggins have developed a great friendship.

Storm....forward Shekinna Stricklen is improving her three-point shot.

Sky....Elena Delle Donne talks about her signature move, her family, and more.

Delle Donne is doing her part to grow the WNBA.

Checking in with Sharnee Zoll.

Liberty....one-on-one with Delisha Milton-Jones.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Dream at Sky

Storm at Lynx

Sparks at Silver Stars

Sun at Mercury

College news:

San Jose State coach Tim La Kose has resigned for personal reasons.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Storm headed for tenth consecutive playoff berth?

Tina Thompson and Camille Little each scored 18 to lead the Storm past the Sun tonight, 78-65. They need one more win to clinch a playoff berth, which would be a WNBA record tenth in a row. Nobody expected this of Seattle, which lost Sue Bird and Lauren Jackson prior to the season.

Few foresaw the league's lone original season player, Tina Thompson, having a final year like this, either. The 38-year-old is the Storm's leading scorer.

I remember the last time the Storm didn't make the playoffs, in 2003. I forget whom they lost to that night, at Key Arena, but it put them out of the running. A friend and I sat in our seats for the longest time afterward, not wanting to let the season go. The next year - 2004 - I watched Seattle's season end standing under confetti falling from the Key ceiling, the marquee blazing "WNBA Champions!" while Jackson cavorted on court barefoot, drinking champagne from the bottle.

I hope the Storm make their tenth consecutive playoff appearance this year.

Team news:

Sparks....Candace Parker and Nneka Ogwumike pitched at yesterday's Dodger game.

Lynx....coach Cheryl Reeve set the tone for Catwalk for a Cure.

MVP:

I like Slam's MVP rankings way better than the WNBA's:

1. Candace Parker
2. Tamika Catchings
3. Sylvia Fowles
4. Angel McCoughtry
5. Maya Moore
6. Elena Delle Donne
7. Diana Taurasi
8. Lindsay Whalen
9. Liz Cambage
10. Tina Thompson

Tomorrow's game previews:

Fever at Liberty

Silver Stars at Shock

College news:

Nicole Powell joins the staff at Gonzaga as an assistant coach.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Overtime season

Tonight the Mystics got by the Atlanta Dream in overtime, 85-80.

Team news:

Fever....rookie Layshia Clarendon is giving her team a late-season lift.

Tomorrow's game preview:

The Storm host the Sun. Seattle is trying for an improbable playoff spot.

More about last night

The Lynx hammered the Liberty, 73-47.

The Storm survived the Silver Stars, 72-71.

The Sparks bested the Sun, 91-78.

Tonight's game preview:

Mystics at Dream

College news:

Georgia Tech transfer Brittany Jackson isn't coming to Rutgers after all.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Shock at Sparks quotes

The video of Nneka Ogwumike's injury has been up for a couple days. You can see why it scared the crap out of those of us in the arena.

Afterwards, I interviewed Ogwumike in the locker room. The cut over her eye was pretty big, and trainer Courtney Watson was rubbing antibiotic on it. Ogwumike was in good spirits, but hoarse from yelling, as both teams did all game long.

Me: You seemed to get fired up by your own injury, going on a scoring run after that.

Ogwumike: "It was an and-one, and celebrations can get out of hand sometimes. It was a good team effort to get the play, and when something like that happens, there's an adrenaline rush. I would definitely say it uplifted the team."

Me: What got you all going in the fourth quarter after a slow start?

Ogwumike: "It took the coaches getting into us, and then us getting on ourselves. (Assistant Coach) Bridget Pettis really got on us between the third and fourth (quarters), and then we took it upon ourselves to make up for everything. We were trying our best to keep going every single possession."

Me: Do what do you attribute the team's slow start tonight?

Ogwumike: "I have a bad habit of playing reluctantly when I get into foul trouble, and I need to understand that my game is being aggressive, and I can be aggressive without fouling. I definitely felt accountable for that. I felt like I wasn't helping my team do what they needed to to."

Carol Ross corroborated Ogwumike's story.

"We came out flat, and they came out inspired, and before we knew it, we'd dug a big hole," she said of the Sparks' 19-point deficit at the end of the third quarter.

"Assistant coaches are never praised enough or get the attention they deserve, but Bridget Pettis lit into that team. She's my Buddha coach - she's the one that's always bringing all the positive energy. She unleashed it, and because they haven't seen her that way, she changed the energy on the bench. I give her all the credit in the world for inspiring them, and I give the players the credit for taking that and going out and getting it done."

Me: What can you say about the slow start?

"As slow as we started, it was still a one-possession game at halftime," Ross said. "Our offense wasn't great, and we've relied on it too much. Our defense kept us around the first half, but the third quarter was just bad - it was bad basketball on both ends. But as bad as we were in the fourth quarter, we were excellent in the fourth quarter."

Me: Candace Parker almost had a triple-double tonight. How did hers and Ogwumike's performances help the team?

"They're warriors. I thought Candace took a bid leadership role. Her passion to win was exceptional. It only takes one player to get a team fired up," Ross said.

Thinking playoffs

My hands-down vote for rookie of the year, Elena Delle Donne, says making the playoffs is amazing.

But check out the current standings. For all the parity we've seen this year, there is a heck of a drop off between the top teams in both conferences:

Eastern Conference

Eastern W L PCT GB HOME ROAD PF PA STREAK L 10

x-Chicago 20 8 .714 - 11-2 9-6 79.4 73.0 Won 5 7-3
Atlanta 14 11 .560 4 ½ 11-2 3-9 76.7 73.3 Lost 2 4-6
Washington 13 15 .464 7 8-6 5-9 75.4 76.4 Won 1 4-6
Indiana 12 15 .444 7 ½ 7-7 5-8 70.0 70.0 Lost 1 4-6
New York 11 17 .393 9 6-8 5-9 70.1 77.3 Lost 1 4-6
Connecticut 7 19 .269 12 5-9 2-10 71.2 76.5 Lost 4 3-7

Western Conference

Western W L PCT GB HOME ROAD PF PA STREAK L 10

x-Minnesota 21 7 .750 - 12-2 9-5 83.1 74.3 Won 3 6-4
x-Los Angeles 19 8 .704 1 ½ 12-2 7-6 81.9 74.8 Won 1 7-3
Phoenix 14 13 .519 6 ½ 7-7 7-6 81.0 82.0 Lost 1 5-5
Seattle 14 14 .500 7 7-6 7-8 70.6 72.9 Won 1 6-4
San Antonio 10 18 .357 11 7-7 3-11 71.7 77.6 Lost 1 4-6
Tulsa 9 19 .321 12 6-7 3-12 76.8 79.7 Lost 1 4-6

Team news:

Fever....have waived Sasha Goodlett and signed Jasmine Hassell for the rest of the season.

Mystics....a minute with Tayler Hill.

College news:

Candace Parker's jersey will be retired at the University of Tennessee on Jan. 2, prior to their game against LSU.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Delle Donne is East's player of the week again

Players of the week for the East and West are Elena Delle Donne and Maya Moore. It's EDD's fourth time as POY this season.

Team news:

Storm....a talk with CEO Karen Bryant.

Mercury....ten years into her pro career, Diana Taurasi is having one of her best seasons yet.

Mystics....a minute with Crystal Langhorne.

History:

Dawn Staley reflects on her WNBA career and community outreach.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Lynx at Liberty

Storm at Silver Stars

Sun at Sparks

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A double overtime and two underdog wins

You probably already watched it, but the Sparks downed the Shock in double overtime, 90-88.

To say it was an epic game would be an understatement. The Sparks came back from a 19-point deficit to end the third quarter, and pushed the game into the extra periods. Candace Parker came close to a triple-double, with 26 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists, while Nneka Ogwumike added 21 points. Candice Wiggins lead Tulsa with 20 points, and Riquna Williams had 17.

The game wasn't without its injuries, unfortunately. Shock center Liz Cambage sustained a left ankle sprain in the fourth quarter, and didn't return to the court. In the first overtime, Sparks forward Nneka Ogwumike suffered a deep cut over her left eye during a celebration over a basket with teammates Candace Parker and Alana Beard. Ogwumike had just made her second consecutive basket and was fouled, and Parker head butted her, then backed away with a horrified expression on her face. When Ogwumike started walking toward LA's bench, it became clear why: blood streamed down her face, causing gasps from the crowd. She received treatment after the game and said she will try to avoid getting stitches.

I'll have more on this game later, as I got some good post-game quotations.

Other games:

The Silver Stars slipped past the Storm, 70-64.

The Liberty snapped a losing streak to defeat the Sun, 74-66.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Los Angeles Sparks and Habitat for Humanity help restore a home

Link to photo gallery from Thursday's restoration project.

Sky continue their winning ways

Rookie Elena Delle Donne once again lead the Sky today, defeating the Dream 67-56. EDD had 25 points.

Maya Moore put up a career-high 35 points in the Lynx's 84-77 win over the Fever.

Team news:

Shock....Skylar Diggins blogs about finding her shot.

Storm....Joslyn Tinkle has signed a seven-day contract with Seattle.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Storm at Silver Stars

Liberty at Sun

Shock at Sparks

Friday, August 23, 2013

Lynx, Sky and Sparks clinch playoff berths

Joining the Lynx in the playoffs this season are the Chicago Sky, whose 82-64 win over the Liberty put them there for the first time in franchise history.

The Shock inadvertently helped the Sparks by beating the Silver Stars, 73-67. San Antonio's loss puts Los Angeles in.

Other games tonight:

The Mystics defeated the Dream, 74-64.

The Storm upended the Mercury, 81-73. Seattle sweeps the series against Phoenix this year, 4-0.

Team news:

Sun....the injury-plagued team has signed Sydney Carter to a seven-day contract.

Liberty....one on one with Essence Carson.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Fever at Lynx

Sky at Dream

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Lynx regain themselves with a win

Tonight the Lynx regained their footing after a string of losses, beating the Sun, 91-77. Rebekkah Brunson lead the way for Minnesota with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Team news:

Sun....Kara Lawson is back with the team after spending time with her father, who had a heart attack. Lawson is feeling a sadness that transcends basketball.

Injuries have made an uphill battle even harder for the Sun.

Connecticut's season was hampered from the start.

Tina Charles: the MVP you don't see.

Sky....are about to make the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, but they are not satisfied.

Mercury....Brittney Griner discusses her journey so far as a pro.

Charde Houston has become a fashion entrepreneur.

Interim coach Russ Pennell is stressing defense.

Liberty....coach Bill Laimbeer has been fined for commenting that Lynx forward Maya Moore "should get hurt" after a game last week.

Mystics....a minute with Emma Meesseman.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Dream at Mystics

Silver Stars at Shock

Liberty at Sky

Storm at Mercury

ACL:

A UConn orthopedist has developed a new ACL treatment.

Race to the MVP, week 12

Major changes in the MVP rankings this week:

1. Angel McCoughtry
2. Elena Delle Donne
3. Diana Taurasi
4. Sylvia Fowles
5. Candace Parker
6. Maya Moore
7. Tina Charles
8. Tamika Catchings
9. Liz Cambage
10. Kristi Toliver

SLAMOnline has different rankings:

1. Candace Parker
2. Angel McCoughtry
3. Tamika Catchings
4. Sylvia Fowles
5. Diana Taurasi
6. Elena Delle Donne
7. Maya Moore
8. Liz Cambage
9. Cappie Pondexter
10. Lindsay Whalen

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pondering what's going on

I'm still scratching my head at the twin meltdowns of the Western Conference's top two teams last night. In their respective fourth quarters, the Lynx scored five points on 2/14 shooting and had eight turnovers. The Sparks put up four points on 2/10 shooting with nine turnovers.

I don't know what it means. But the situation seems a little more dire in Minneapolis at the moment, where the Lynx have lost four of their last five games. It remains to be seen whether Los Angeles will try to duplicate their efforts in Seattle over the next week.

In the meantime tonight, Shavonte Zellous returned to the court to lead the Fever over the Silver Stars, 80-63.

The Lynx tweeted that San Antonio's loss means Minnesota has clinched a playoff berth. No word on the dot-com about that yet.

The race for the playoffs is getting tight.

Team news:

Mystics....Mystics Magazine, episode six.

General WNBA:

Pictures of celebrities at WNBA games this summer.

It's interesting that no Lakers players show up to Sparks games to support them here in LA, but some of the Clippers do.

Sparks forward Candace Parker met Mr. Belding at the recent WNBA All-Star game.

Tomorrow's game preview:

Lynx at Sun

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

How the West was lost (for the night)

The Dream took down the Lynx, 88-75, with a strong fourth quarter that kept Minnesota scoreless until almost halfway through. Atlanta has rallied of late, winning their last three games, while the Lynx have lost four out of their last five.

The Storm dominated the Sparks, 77-57.

The playoffs are still a long way away.

Other games this evening:

Elena Delle Donne returned to lead the Sky past the Mystics, 79-73, with 24 points.

Diana Taurasi paced the Mercury over the Shock, 89-86, with 28 points.

More news:

Liberty....Katie Smith blogs.

Tomorrow's game preview:

Silver Stars at Fever

Sun's Hightower, Faris done for the season

Allison Hightower and Kelly Faris will miss the remainder of the season with injuries. Hightowter has a strained right knee while Faris has reinjured her left foot.

Tamika Catchings wins July community assist award

Tamika Catchings has received the WNBA Community Assist Award presented by State Farm for the month of July.

Team news:

Shock....coach Gary Kloppenberg is nearing the end of his coaching contract.

Sky....one on one with coach Pokey Chatman.

Rookie Elena Delle Donne blogs about her recent bout with injuries.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Kristi Toliver and Sylvia Fowles are players of the week

Western and Eastern Conference players of the week are Kristi Toliver and Sylvia Fowles. They are two of the main reasons why their respective teams are at the top of the playoff race.

Team news:

Fever....coach Lin Dunn is still trailblazing.

Sky....rookie Elena Delle Donne is featured in the New York Times.

Liberty....coach Bill Laimbeer courts controversy.

Mystics....a minute with rookie Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.

Tomorrow is a four-game night:

Lynx at Dream

Sky at Mystics

Mercury at Shock

Sparks at Storm

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A day of big performances

It looks like part of the Dream's problem was injuries. Tiffany Hays returned to help lead Atlanta over the Mystics, 76-58. Hays had 23 points and Angel McCoughtry, 22.

Sylvia Fowles paced the Sky over the Sun, 89-78, with 20 points and 21 rebounds.

Maya Moore scored a season-high 28 points to guide the Lynx to an 88-57 win over the Liberty.

Standings:

EAST CONFERENCE

W L PCT GB CONF HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK

Chicago1 17 8 0.680 0.0 11-4 10-2 7-6 6-4 W 2
Atlanta2 13 9 0.591 2.5 10-4 10-1 3-8 3-7 W 2
Washington3 12 14 0.462 5.5 5-9 7-5 5-9 4-6 L 1
Indiana4 11 14 0.440 6.0 7-8 6-7 5-7 4-6 L 3
New York5 10 15 0.400 7.0 7-9 6-7 4-8 4-6 L 2
Connecticut6 7 17 0.292 9.5 5-11 5-7 2-10 3-7 L 2

WEST CONFERENCE

W L PCT GB CONF HOME ROAD L 10 STREAK

Minnesota1 18 6 0.750 0.0 14-3 11-2 7-4 7-3 W 1
Los Angeles2 18 7 0.720 0.5 9-6 11-2 7-5 7-3 W 6
Phoenix3 13 12 0.520 5.5 6-11 7-6 6-6 5-5 L 1
Seattle4 11 13 0.458 7.0 6-7 6-6 5-7 5-5 W 1
San Antonio5 9 15 0.375 9.0 5-9 6-6 3-9 5-5 W 1
Tulsa6 8 17 0.320 10.5 5-9 5-6 3-11 5-5 W 1

Games, games, games

About last night:

The Silver Stars dropped the Mercury, 88-82.

The Storm outlasted the Fever, 77-70.

Today's game previews:

Mystics at Dream

Sun at Sky

Liberty at Lynx

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Red hot Sparks put away injury-depleted Fever, 94-72

My game story, with the most in-depth quotes from coaches and players.

Lynx handed their third loss in a row

The Shock lived up to their name last night, beating the Lynx at home, 83-77. It's the third straight loss for Minnesota, who is now only .19 of a game ahead of the Sparks for first in the Western Conference.

My Fever-Sparks story will be posted shortly.

Team news:

Liberty....rookie Kelsey Bone is helping dreams come true with charity work.

Today's game previews:

Mercury at Silver Stars

Fever at Storm

College news:

Retiring Jenny Moshak filled many roles for the Lady Vols over the years.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Longtime Lady Vol athletic trainer Jenny Moshak "retiring"

Jenny Moshak is retiring over issues related to a lawsuit against the University of Tennessee that she is a plaintiff in:

Jenny Moshak is leaving the athletic trainer’s room at the University of Tennessee, but not without having a final say.

The associate director of sports medicine at UT, who’s a co-plaintiff in a lawsuit against UT, issued a statement Friday through her lawyer, Keith D. Stewart, saying that she took an early retirement over issues related to the suit.

“Due to the overall atmosphere since I raised issues of equality at the University of Tennessee and given the university’s unwillingness to address the issues of discrimination and retaliation, I cannot continue my association with the university’s athletic department,” Moshak said in the statement.

Moshak, who worked at UT for 24 years, said in the statement that her retirement began on Thursday. She said that she will continue pursuing a career in sports medicine and “continue the fight for equality and justice within athletics.”

A bit of pre- and mid-game news

A couple games down, more to come so far this eveing:

Mystics 66, Liberty 57 in Delisha Milton-Jones' debut for New York.

Dream 88, Sun 57

WNBA team news:

Lynx....Rebekkah Brunson tries to lead by example.

Silver Stars....their breast cancer awareness game was a night to remember.

Mercury....defense is the difference for Phoenix under their new coach.

Other news:

Is your WNBA team leading in injuries?

Ticha Penicheiro recently brought a message of hope to Angola.

SLAM's MVP rankings:

1. Candace Parker
2. Tamika Catchings
3. Angel McCoughtry
4. Diana Taurasi
5. Sylvia Fowles
6. Elena Delle Donne
7. Lindsay Whalen
8. Cappie Pondexter
9. Maya Moore
10. Tina Charles

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sky make a comeback without Delle Donne

Even without star Elena Delle Donne, who is out with a foot injury, the Sky found a way to win tonight. They rallied from 16 down to beat the Storm, 79-66.

Team news:

Mystics....analysts break down Washington's playoff push.

A minute with rookie Nadirah McKenith.

Sky....Courtney Vandersloot is thriving with Chicago.

Statistically, the team is Sky high.

Storm....Lauren Jackson is back on the court in Australia.

Sun....rookie Kelly Faris is having her day in the Sun.

Lynx....today's practice report.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sun at Dream

Mystics at Liberty

Shock at Lynx

Fever at Sparks

College news:

Trojan great Cherie Nelson is making an impact in Los Angeles.

Meet the Tennessee rookies: Jordan Reynolds.

Pat Summitt Foundation:

New advisory board members for the Pat Summitt Foundation are Joan Cronan and Robin Roberts.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Delle Donne diagnosed with left mid-foot sprain

An MRI of Chicago Sky rookie Elena Delle Donne's left foot has revealed a mid-foot sprain. She sustained the injury in last night's game against the Sparks, and could be out of action for two weeks.

Tonight's game results:

A Tan White shot at the buzzer lifted the Sun over the Dream, 88-86.

The Mercury pounded the Fever, 75-58.

Team news:

Mercury....Diana Taurasi reflects on the season and her 6,000 points.

Fever....Shavonte Zellous has stepped into a starring role for her team.

Silver Stars....have signed Chelsea Poppens.

Sun....Danielle McCray Q&A.

Liberty....players and coaches describe Cappie Pondexter.

Lynx....Rebekkah Brunson is getting a bobblehead.

Mystics....a minute with Crystal Langhorne.

Storm....is the Storm's bench coming together to help with a playoff push?

Tomorrow's game preview:

Sky at Storm

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sparks hold off Sky

The Sparks held off the Sky, 80-76, behind Candace Parker's 18 points. They are now only one game behind the Minnesota Lynx in the Western Conference.

Chicago super rookie Elena Delle Donne only played ten minutes after sustaining a foot injury.

Other WNBA news:

General: ESPN ranks the league's top shooting guards.

Mystics....Mystics magazine, featuring center Michelle Snow.

A minute with Ivory Latta.

Silver Stars....talking with coach Dan Hughes.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Dream at Sun

Fever at Mercury

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Listen to Zack

I always say, listen to the consumer. Often times they have better marketing ideas than the manufacturer.

Zack is a 22-year-old man who works at my gym. He likes women's basketball and can speak the language with me, i.e. players, teams, etc. Today we were talking about the Sparks' upcoming games this week, and he said randomly, "they need to be better at putting (the league) out there. Getting players in people's faces."

I told him he was right, and asked what he would do to make WNBA players more visible and increase interest in the league. His suggestions:

- Put players on TV shows. For example, in the late 90's, members of the 1996 gold medal-winning Olympic team were on "Martin," and Lisa Leslie was on the show "Sister, Sister."

- Get NBA players to promote the league. Besides going to games, they could do commercials and billboard ads. People would listen to what they say.

- Players need to get out into the community more and make themselves known. Do more public appearances.

- Players should do many of those appearances at schools, as kids are a target market. Zack said when he was in elementary school 12 years ago, Leslie and Delisha Milton-Jones visited his school. It made a big impression on him and was one of the reasons he got into the women's game.

I would hire Zack if I were a WNBA executive.

I'm going to add one more thing to Zack's list: media relations representatives for each team need to grant every request for an interview, and promptly.

Marketing is the key to success.

Surprises in today's game results, and some big performances

Elena Delle Donne lead the Sky over the Lynx, 94-86, with 32 points. It's the second consecutive loss for the West-leading champs Minnesota.

In the next-biggest surprise, the Liberty upended the Dream, 88-82. It was a shoot out between Cappie Pondexter, who had 33 points, and Angel McCoughtry, who scored 30.

The Mercury routed the Shock, 77-56. Diana Taurasi scored her 6,000th point in the game.

The Mystics defeated the Sun, 74-63, to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The Storm squeaked by the Silver Stars, 69-63.

Current standings:

East

Chicago
Atlanta
Indiana
Washington
New York
Connecticut

West

Minnesota
Los Angeles
Phoenix
Seattle
San Antonio
Tulsa

Other news:

New York has claimed Delisha Milton-Jones.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Tomorrow is another five-game day in the WNBA

But first, today's results:

Jantel Lavender's 18 points off the bench paced the Sparks over the Liberty, 85-67.

Tamika Catchings put up 21 points to lead the Fever over the Dream, 80-66.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sun at Mystics

Shock at Mercury

Lynx at Sky

Liberty at Dream

Silver Stars at Storm (again)

Contempating ROY

The rookie of the year race is as good as advertised.

WNBA team news:

Fever....SLAM Q&A with Shavonte Zellous.

Sun....Connecticut's feet are to the fire.

Lin Dunn:

The longtime coach's only regret about her upcoming induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of fame is that her mother isn't alive to be there.

She is not going into the Hall alone.

College news:

Loyola coach Sheryl Swoopes discusses the team's upcoming trip to Italy.

Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley has found her trip to Africa "eye-opening."

Shronda Butts has been dismissed from Bradley's basketball team.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Sky, Silver Stars and Mercury win

Tonight's results:

The Sky beat the Sun, 77-61.

The Silver Stars blew out the Storm, 77-56.

The Mercury held off the Shock, 70-67.

Brittney Griner sprained her ankle in Phoenix's game against Seattle the other night, and did not play this evening.

Team news:

Fever....overcoming cancer in college has made Jessica Breland stronger.

Sparks....so far the MVP race is the Candace Parker show.

SparKemistry.

Shock....rookie Skylar Diggins celebrated her birthday last week with a lot of tweets, and a win.

Silver Stars....Delisha Milton-Jones has left the team, and San Antonio has bought out her contract.

Becky Hammon blogs about ACL rehab.

Sun....guard Renee Montgomery is pleased with the team's progress.

Injuries have sidetracked the Sun this season.

General WNBA:

Dee Kantner, who supervises WNBA officials, talks about what it's like to be a referee.

One-on-one with league president Laurel Richie.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sparks at Liberty

Dream at Fever

College news:

USC adds another transfer: Alexis Lloyd from Virginia Tech.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Parker back to help Sparks win; Mystics snap Lynx winning streaks

She's baaaaaaack: Candace Parker returned to the Sparks tonight to help them beat the Fever, 74-64. Jantel Lavender came off the bench for Los Angeles to lead them with 18 points, and Parker added 17.

The Mystics have the Lynx's number. They beat them for the second time this season, 79-75. In the process, Washington snapped Minnesota's two winning streaks: their 18-game regular season winning streak and their current 10-game streak.

More on the Corey Gaines firing:

The Mercury are getting a coach who hasn't watched them play much.

Q&A with Russ Pennell.

WNBA team news:

Lynx....podcast features Rebekkah Brunson.

Sky....Allie Quigley is reunited with her family in Chicago.

Silver Stars....rookie Davellyn Whyte will have a sweet homecoming next weekend, once again, when San Antonio visits Phoenix.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sky at Sun

Shock at Mercury

Silver Stars at Storm

College news:

Rae Rippetoe-Blair has stepped down as coach at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley is vacationing in Africa with Bill and Chelsea Clinton.

USC has landed Keneisha Horn from Alabama.

Cal forward Gennifer Brandon had successful surgery to repair a recurrent right tibial stress fracture.

Meet the Tennessee rookies: Mercedes Russell.

Mercury fire Corey Gaines

Longtime Phoenix Mercury coach and general manager Corey Gaines has been fired.

Mercury president and CEO Amber Cox will be interim general manager and Russ Pennell - coach at Grand Canyon University - will be interim head coach.

Wow.

Day-to-day

Lynx....Janel McCarville is day-to-day after a hit to the jaw in Tuesday's San Antonio game.

Mercury....DeWanna Bonner and Brittney Griner are day-to-day after injuries sustained in Tuesday's Seattle game.

Shock....Glory Johnson SLAM diary, entry two.

Mystics....Tayler Hill returns home tonight, as the Mystics take on the Lynx.

Fever....Jessica Breland is putting Hodgkins Disease and WNBA snubs behind her.

Sun....despite their losses, the Sun say they're headed in the right direction.

College news:

From graduation to coaching staff: Taylor Wootten join's Drexel's staff.

Jonas Chatterton has been promoted to associate head coach at Colorado.

Oakland University is withholding documents on the Beckie Francis scandal.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Low-key Wednesday

WNBA team news:

Mercury....low-budget fun with the team on a road trip.

Silver Stars....will paint the entire court pink for their Aug. 17 breast cancer awareness game.

Lynx....Maya Moore blogs about giving girls the same chance she had.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sparks at Fever

Mystics at Lynx

College news:

Old Dominion coach Karen Barefoot has signed a two-year contract extension.

MVP standings, week 10

Didn't these used to come out Friday? Probably the All-Star break threw them off.

Race to the MVP for this week:

1. Candace Parker
2. Diana Taurasi
3. Angel McCoughtry
4. Lindsay Whalen
5. Elena Delle Donne
6. Sylvia Fowles
7. Maya Moore
8. Tina Charles
9. Tamika Catchings
10. Cappie Pondexter

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

As the five games turn

Today's results:

The Liberty slipped past the Mystics, 93-88.

The Sparks survived the Sun, 74-72. Kristi Toliver was the leading scorer for Los Angeles, with 19 points. They are still without injured Candace Parker, who has a right wrist bone bruise.

The Fever are now 10-10 after defeating the Sky, 64-58. Tamika Catchings lead the way for Indiana with 18 points.

The Lynx made it ten in a row by defeating the Silver Stars, 93-80.

The Storm put away the Mercury, 80-65. Tough break for Phoenix, as both DeWanna Bonner and Brittney Griner were injured during the game. Griner came down on her right foot, but the X-ray was negative for a break. Bonner sprained her right knee, but her status is not yet known.

Team news:

Fever....catching up with Tamika Catchings.

Talking with Briann January.

Storm....Shekinna Stricklen seeks consistency.

Mystics....Mystics magazine, episode five.

Liberty....flashback to All-Star weekend, and it's all-access with Cappie Pondexter.

College news:

Duke is reloading, as 2014 #20 prospect Lynee' Belton has verbaled.

Tennessee coach Holly Warlick has received a 65,000 raise and a one-year contract extension.

Former Lady Vol Alicia Manning has been hired as an assistant coach at John Carroll University.

Former Trinity Valley coach Michael Landers is the new men's coach at Navarro College in Texas.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Elena Delle Donne set to return to the court tomorrow

Super rookie Elena Delle Donne returned to practice with Chicago Sky teammates today for the first time since sustaining a concussion July 24. She will start tomorrow against Indiana.

Despite missing seven days of July, Delle Donne was named rookie of the month for the second consecutive time.

General WNBA:

What will the league's future be when the new NBA commissioner takes over?

Liz Cambage and Tina Charles are the Western and Eastern conference players of the week.

Team news:

Liberty....have signed Janeesa "Chucky" Jeffery to a seven-day contract after declining to renew Samantha Prahalis' second such agreement.

Q&A with coach Bill Laimbeer.

Mercury....have signed Jasmine James for the remainder of the season.

Dream....has a new Angel McCoughtry this year.

Mystics....a minute with Monique Currie.

Lynx....as video bombing sweeps the WNBA like wildfire, Seimone Augustus bombs Sugar Rodgers.

Rodgers' real interview.

FIVE games on tap tomorrow:

Mystics at Liberty

Sparks at Sun

Fever at Sky

Lynx at Silver Stars

Storm at Mercury

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Big performances

Nneka Ogwumike and Lindsey Harding lead the Sparks past the Mystics, 75-57.

The Sparks won without Candace Parker, who has a bone bruise in her right wrist and is listed day-to-day.

Danielle Robinson had 19 points to help the Silver Stars slip past the Shock, 69-65.

The Lynx now have an eight-game winning streak, thanks to Lindsay Whalen. She lead them over the Storm, 90-72.

Team news:

Mystics....rookie Tierra Ruffin-Pratt is earning her WNBA stripes after tragedy strikes.

Full speed ahead for Ivory Latta, on and off the court.

Sun....Kelsey Griffin is seizing success.

Lynx....for Maya Moore, no challenge is too great.

College news:

Sierra Calhoun, the #10 prospect in the 2014 class, has verbaled to Duke.

Will Notre Dame find their identity on their European road trip?

A closer look at Ohio State's recruits, including the Mitchell sisters.

Will Rutgers coach Vivian Stringer return to Iowa?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Indiana Fever is back

It looks like the Indiana Fever that willed themselves to the championship last year is back. They put away the Sky, 79-58, for their eighth win in 11 games. They began 1-7, but now are third place in the East.

The Mercury held off the Dream, 82-76.

The Sun have made it two straight, routing the Liberty, 88-66.

Team news:

Sky....have signed Avery Warley as a replacement player. Chicago was granted a roster hardship exception due to the injuries of Sharnee Zoll-Norman and Carolyn Swords.

Storm....have signed Jasmine Hassell, one day after she was released by the Fever.

Tomorrow's game previews:

Sparks at Mystics

Shock at Silver Stars

Storm at Lynx

Friday, August 2, 2013