Friday, September 22, 2017

The news flow ramps up

WNBA Finals news:

Refs for the Finals are: Sue Blauch, Eric Brewton, Cheryl Flores, Maj Forsberg, Roy Gulbeyan, Byron Jarrett, Billy Smith, Kurt Walker and Jeff Wooten.

The series is another chapter in the riveting Sparks-Lynx rivalry.

The Sparks are preparing for a war of wills.

The MVP showdown highlights the Finals rematch.

How the Lynx captivated a city and built from the ground up.

Why is Minnesota so good? They have a blast together.

The Finals are all about star power.

The Sparks and the Lynx are superteams.

With its quirks and acoustics, Williams Arena could give Lynx a distinct advantage over the Sparks.

Q&A with Candace Parker.

Nneka Ogwumike is stepping between the lines for the Finals.

Maya Moore hopes history doesn't repeat itself for her team.

Odyssey Sims is ready to embrace her first taste of the Finals.

The Lynx owner will stick with the team over going being with the Timberwolves in China.

Player news:

Sylvia Fowles donated some of her MVP bonus money to buy bikes for girls.

Former WNBA player news:

Chamique Holdsclaw is still advocating for mental health.

College team news:

Breaking down UConn's 2017-2018 schedule.

Cancer survivor Julie Taggart has become a Marquette superfan.

College player news:

Top prospect Charli Collier has decommitted from UConn and will go to Texas.

A'ja Wilson will be featured in a special halftime dance performance at tomorrow's South Carolina football game.

College coach news:

UConn coach Geno Auriemma has offered to forego his salary next year, as Connecticut's education budget battle continues.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

No news stone left unturned

Finals news:

Lindsay Whalen sees two great teams and a lot of great players in the Finals.

Relive the first Finals rematch.

Award:

Allisha Gray was named rookie of the year.

Gray reflects on a trophy-filled 2017.

WNBA team news:

The Mercury will go into 2018 with more pieces.

WNBA player news:

Odyssey Sims has stepped up her game in her first season with the Sparks.

Lindsay Whalen's pre-workout power meal.

Photos from the WNBA's inspiring women luncheon.

Chiney Ogwumike interviews the great Tamika Catchings.

Chiney also interviews Cappie Pondexter and Skylar Diggins.

Brittney Sykes and Alexis Peterson will play for the same team overseas this winter.

Ramu Tokashiki welcomes every chance to learn the game.

WNBA coach news:

The Sun have extended coach Curt Miller's contract through the 2021 season.

WNBA owner news:

Storm co-owner Ginny Gilder will join the "Pedal for Pat" cycling fundraiser.

WNBA Live18:

The WNBA has made its video game debut.

Women's National Team news:

Dawn Staley and the Women's National Team is set to begin training camp.

College team news:

The city of Norman is exploring building a new arena that could house Oklahoma basketball.

The Huskers will have their preseason opening event outside.

A former USC player is suing New Mexico State for allegedly rescinding a job offer after learning she is a former lesbian who now identifies as straight.

College player news:

JMU has dismissed senior forward Amber Porter for violating team rules.

College coach news:

Facing a massive budget cut, UConn fires back at the Legislature with Geno Auriemma.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Lynx and Sparks rematch set in WNBA Finals after semifinal sweeps

Our story.

The Finals are set: Lynx and Sparks to face off again

Today's results:

Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles pushed the Lynx past the Mystics, 81-70, to sweep the semifinal series between the two teams.

The Sparks' defense was too much for the Mercury, as they won 89-87 to sweep the semifinal series.

This sets up a Finals rematch many have been anticipating all season long. Both teams are looking more dominant than ever. The Sparks have now won ten in a row. It should be a close, exciting series.

Game one will be next Sunday in Minneapolis, followed by game two on Tuesday. The series moves to Los Angeles Friday, Sept. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 1. If

WNBA team news:

The Mystics just saw what a super-team looks like in the Lynx.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Around the Rim, and officiating

I was part of the Around the Rim podcast this week, where we discussed the WNBA playoffs, and other related topics.

ESPN analyst Rebecca Lobo was asked to comment on the officiating in last night's Sparks-Mercury match up, which featured 46 fouls, three technicals, six long referee reviews and three Phoenix players fouling out. She said the problem isn't so much with the officiating as it is with players needing to clean up their game.

A friend of mine who works in Division I basketball said he disagrees:

"Our rules hinder growth and respect, and the officiating in the WNBA is inconsistent. Basketball is a physical sport, and a lot of the calls last night in the paint were ridiculous. We're rewarding the offense in a sense. The new freedom of movement rule that's in place to "increase point production" and keep the game flowing does only one of those two things. Point production has increased because free throw attempts/makes have increased. No one wants to watch a 40-plus foul game like last night. These players have been playing the same way all year, but the officiating isn't even consistent during one game. It's frustrating to watch. How do you know what to coach or how to play if the officiating isn't consistent? I understand that referees make mistakes, but we're at a point of ridiculousness right now. Something has to change."

I thought Lobo's perspective was interesting and worthy of reflection. I also understand my friend's position on the matter. And I remember officiating in the early days of the WNBA, which to me was much worse than it is today.

What do you think????

The night before games two

WNBA playoff team news:

When the playoff Lynx score, they win every time.

If the Mystics want to remain in the playoffs, they can't play it safe again.

It was a season to remember for the Sun.

How a three-minute trade altered the life of two WNBA franchises.

WNBA playoff player news:

The evolution of Sylvia Fowles.

She's not perfect, but Renee Montgomery has her mojo back.

The Mercury need more scoring from Diana Taurasi in game two.

After traveling the world, ex-Husker Yvonne Turner is playing on the world's biggest stage.

WNBA draft lottery:

The draft lottery, which was to be tomorrow, has been postponed.

College conference news:

The Big Sky Conference will move their tournament to Boise.

College team news:

Miami basketball is ready to turn the corner after Hurricane Irma.

Indiana's transfers are making their presence felt early.

Fordham is going with Under Armour.

College player news:

Colorado senior Brecca Thomas looks to be a mentor to her peers.

College coach news:

Amadou Koundoul is a new assistant coach at Pitt.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Upsets send Mercury, Mystics into semifinals

And then there were four:

Upsets prevailed in round two of the playoffs today.........

The experienced Mercury ousted the Sun, 88-83.

Kristi Toliver's WNBA-record nine three-point shots sent the Mystics past the Liberty, 82-68.

The playoff format dictated that lowest seed would head to Minnesota and the other seed would go to LA, so that means Tuesday's schedule looks like this:

Mystics at Lynx, 7 p.m. Central on ESPN2

Mercury at Sparks, 7 p.m. Pacific on ESPN2

Awards:

Jonquel Jones is the most improved player of the year.

Curt Miller is the coach of the year and the WNBA executive of the year.

Sugar Rodgers is the sixth woman of the year.

WNBA player news:

Sugar Rodgers' story: defying the odds.

College coach news:

Muffet McGraw connects at Notre Dame and in South Bend.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

A bit of everything after round one

Playoff news:

The Sun and coach Curt Miller are aware of the challenges the Mercury will present on Sunday.

The Lynx are spending big money and making big changes to convert Williams Arena into home.

Sugar Rodgers' sacrifice sparked the Liberty.

Jonquel Jones rose from the islands to the Sun. She's had a breakout season.

WNBA player news:

Front court players are dominating today's WNBA.

Sylvia Fowles is leading the MVP race.

WNBA coach news:

Curt Miller is the most successful out gay male pro sports head coach.

Basketball Hall of Fame:

Muffet McGraw reflects on her Hall of Fame induction.

McGraw is taking her rightful place with the best in the sport. She is ready for her moment.

Rebecca Lobo is set to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame tomorrow.

Lobo enters the Hall 15 minutes from where she grew up.

College team news:

DePaul's home court has been installed at Wintrust Arena.

Wichita State will have a new-look atmosphere this year.

College player news:

Mississippi State seniors Morgan William, Victoria Vivians and Blair Schaefer talk about the upcoming season.

Brianna Turner's decision to sit out the season is in her best interests.

College coach news:

Just-graduated Dominique Dillingham will be a new student-assistant coach at Mississippi State.

Steve Pogue is a new assistant coach at Hartford.

Alexis Sherard has been promoted to associate head coach at Liberty.

High school news:

Class of 2018 No. 17 recruit Robyn Benton is soaring after surgery.

Pat Summitt documentary:

A documentary on Pat Summitt chronicles little-known contributions.

List of 30 for Women's National Team training camp announced

The list excludes Candace Parker.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Significant news day

The day began with this:

The Atlanta Dream fired Michael Cooper after a 12-22 season.

Not shocking, but big news.

WNBA player news:

Brittney Griner, Jonquel Jones and Courtney Vandersloot are WNBA 2017 peak performers for scoring, rebounds and assists, respectively.

Sylvia Fowles is the AP WNBA player of the year.

Brittney Sykes is the August rookie of the month.

Brittney Griner and Tina Charles are the Western and Eastern Conference players of the week.

Angel McCoughtry will coach Atlanta's co-ed professional basketball team.

More WNBA coach news:

Bill Laimbeer is the coach of the month for August.

College player news:

Brianna Turner will miss the upcoming season at Notre Dame to rehabilitate her ACL, which she tore last spring.

Three players are transferring from Syracuse. So the Orange makeover begins.

College coach news:

Former WNBA guard Tanisha Wright is a new assistant coach at Charlotte.

Steve Fennelly - son of Iowa State coach Bill - is a new assistant coach at Northern Iowa.

Coaching equity:

Gender doesn't determine a coach's success, a study found.

College AD news:

Potential candidates to become Virginia's next athletic director include Big East commissioner Val Ackerman.

WNBA playoffs begin tomorrow

Previews:

Mystics-Wings preview.

Storm-Mercury preview.

Karima Christmas-Kelly sees similarities between the 2012 Fever Championship team and the Dallas Wings.

Why Dallas and Phoenix are first-round favorites.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each take a record-breaking season into a showdown.

Player news:

Elena Delle Donne is back and better than ever for a postseason run.

Players to watch in the playoffs.

Six former Duke Blue Devils will compete in the playoffs.

Officiating:

The 16 officials assigned to the playoffs are listed here.

Monday, September 4, 2017

And on Labor Day, they rested

Ending the WNBA's regular season the day before Labor Day is one of their best ideas in years. Players across the country are not in practice today but resting, as they should.

Writers seem to be enjoying the holiday too, as there are only a few news bites today.

WNBA team news:

Great Lynx records don't always lead to WNBA titles.

No playoff run for the Sky, but their teamwork showed.

WNBA player news:

Lindsay Whalen will return to Lynx practice Wednesday.

College team news:

The Lady Vols aren't boxed in by team unity issues.

Tennessee chancellor Beverly Davenport deeply values the Lady Vol name.

California's travel regulations are only a small complication for Cal State Bakersfield.

Elite junior recruit Sammie Puisis has verballed to Florida State.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Non-playoff news

WNBA team news:

Despite the Fever losing their last regular-season game, fans were left with smiles.

WNBA player news:

Courtney Vandersloot set a single-season league record for highest assists average.

Kelsey Plum reflects on her first WNBA season.

Former WNBA player news:

Kate Starbird’s research on social media in the wake of disasters uncovers a web of disinformation.

Sammy Prahalis is now a high school coach.

College player news:

Three years after she got shot, a former New Jersey college player will play professionally.

Playoffs are set

After today's games, the seeds and 2017 WNBA playoff bracket is set.

Wednesday is single-elimination night:

#8 Storm at #5 Mercury

#7 Wings at #6 Mystics

Storm-Mercury winner plays #4 Sun and Wings-Mystics winner plays #3 Liberty, both on Sunday.

Finals begin Sept. 24.

WNBA playoff team news:

A confident Lynx lead the way into the postseason.

Championship expectations make Minnesota more tense than loose.

Why the Wings got an ideal playoff draw in Washington.

The Mercury raised $66,100 for Houston hurricane victims today
.

WNBA playoff player news:

Jonquel Jones set a new WNBA single-season rebounding record today.

Breanna Stewart broke the Storm franchise record for most 20-plus points in a game in a single season. She had 21 this year, eclipsing the record by Lauren Jackson.

Today's game results:

The Liberty slipped by the Wings, 82-81. Tina Charles led them with 18 points and 18 rebounds. It's the tenth straight win for New York.

The Sparks cruised past the Sun, 81-70.

Brittney Griner scored 30 points to lead the Mercury over the Dream, 84-70.

The Lynx topped the Mystics, 86-72.

The Storm rallied past the Sky, 85-80, fronted by Breanna Stewart's 29 points.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Playoff teams decided

Tonight's game results:

The Lynx thrashed the Sky, 110-87, to move toward their goal of getting the top seed in the playoffs. Chicago is now eliminated from postseason play.

The Mystics edged the Storm in overtime, 110-106, to secure a home playoff game.

The Mercury dominated the Sun, 86-66, to clinch a home playoff berth.

The Sparks pounded the Dream, 81-56. It looks like Seattle will get that eighth spot now, due to Atlanta's loss.

The Liberty took care of the Stars, 81-69, for their ninth straight win.

Standings.

WNBA news:

The WNBA and music and entertainment service TIDAL will livestream Sunday's match up between the Liberty and and Wings. It is a benefit for Hurricane Harvey victims.

Poor officiating is still the bane of the WNBA's existence.

WNBA team news:

The Sparks haven't put up their first two videos from last week back on Instagram, but they have a part three.

The Lynx and Sparks are vying for the top seed.

Minnesota had a record night on several fronts, including notching a franchise-record 35 assists.

The Liberty have announced their playoff schedule.

Hmong dance team mentor accuses Lynx of using 'exploitative' sales tactics.

WNBA player news:

Sue Bird passed Ticha Penicheiro tonight to become the WNBA's all-time assists leader.

Bird has always been the consummate point guard.

Alana Beard's top toughest players to guard.

Sylvia Fowles signed a multi-year contract extension with the Lynx.

Jonquel Jones is rebounding her way into WNBA history and seizing her moment.

Tina Charles meets the man who says she saved his life.

Bria Hartley on her covetable sneaker collection.

Q&A with Cierra Burdick.

College team news:

Kentucky women's basketball has launched an app.

Georgia Tech continues a global trend.

College player news:

Sophomore Araion Bradshaw will transfer from South Carolina to Dayton.

Lacrosse star Marisa Romero joins Syracuse basketball.

Southeast Missouri State's Carrie Shephard will miss the season after tearing her ACL and meniscus.

College coach news:

Dish N Swish interviews the producers of "Pat: a legacy of love."

UCpnn coach Geno Auriemma is betting the Huskies' Italy tour will pay off.

Recruiting news:

Top recruit NaLyssa Smith has chosen Baylor over several other major schools.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cheap speech killed journalism, and it hurts everyone

Last fall the WNBA Finals came to Staples Center in Los Angeles, as the Sparks battled the Minnesota Lynx in a five-game series. During one of the post-game press conferences, a media member who asked a question was gently ribbed by a WNBA staffer who obviously knew him. He said the reporter’s full name and I perked up; was that who I thought it was?

Afterwards I made my way to the man and introduced myself. Sure enough, he was a well-respected, longtime former writer for a major daily newspaper. He was laid off, with many others, a few years ago as print sales had fallen drastically and the publication was trying to stay afloat. This brilliant writer now does freelance work and doesn’t clear $2,000 per month.

I wish I could say this kind of scenario was an exception for journalists, but over the last 15 years, it has become the rule. The rise of the Internet has systematically reduced the profession, which for so long has been called the fourth branch of government, to a shadow of itself – and one that is on life support.

In 2001, about 411,800 people worked in the journalism industry. By 2016, that number had dropped below 174,000. Between 2010 and 2015, newspaper print advertising revenue had fallen from $60 billion to $20 billion per year. A 2009 Columbia Journalism Review report concluded that “What is under threat is independent reporting that provides information, investigation, analysis and community knowledge, particularly in the overage of local affairs.” (Data provided by Richard L. Hasen, the Chancellor’s Professor of Law and Political Science at UC Irvine, from a forthcoming law review piece, “Cheap speech and what it has done to American Democracy).

Hasen said that the rise of “cheap speech” is “endangering the health of our democracy.”

Cheap speech is also killing the livelihoods, hopes and dreams of journalists, as the ability of anyone to post anything has lowered the bar for the profession considerably. Many who have never had formal writing and/or journalism training are posting stories that read horribly, have an agenda beyond fair reporting, have no AP style or punctuation, and which are biased. Yet, these pieces float around on the Internet and drag down the reputations of good writers with them.

This has resulted in a dearth of jobs for those trained in the journalism discipline. Traditional, ethical, fair journalism has lost ground to blogs and sites that provide “platforms” for any kind of writing; uncensored/inappropriate opinion; and “fan” websites on the sports side.

Young journalists are seeing their careers stagnate, if they ever take off at all. They’re questioning their career choice, wondering what to do with their talents if they can’t use their strengths and gifts.

Older writers are having the same issues, as there are scarcely any jobs to be had at traditional newspapers for us, either. And getting a freelance writing job that pays seems to be an act of God. The way it used to work was that if a writer showed her skill and knowledge, she would get somewhere. But it’s not nearly that easy anymore.

In 2012 I pitched a a story to a large sports news entity and it was accepted immediately. Every story I pitched to them afterwards was rejected, until a couple years ago the editor finally told me that not only do they seldom do stories on female athletes, but that their freelance budget had been shaved to nothing. In other words, don’t bother to pitch.

I had a similar experience with another sports publication, who for a while was paying writers only for stories published in the hard copy; they didn’t pay for pieces featured on their website. Eventually they opted to keep all writing assignments in-house, and no longer hire freelance writers.

There is one major news entity that is like many others in that they don’t pay freelance writers, but they welcome anyone to keep a blog on their website. Similarly, I wrote a story for a new site a couple years ago, for which I received a check. Now they don’t pay writers anymore at all – they welcome anyone to “submit their story as a contribution to the platform,” according to an email I got from one of the editors recently.

I don’t think so. I didn’t go through all that schooling and put work into my craft for the last 27 years to give it up for free.

A writer friend of mine clued me in to a writing job page on Facebook. I found that the ratio of emailing pitches to editors and actually receiving a response was about 25-1 – discouraging odds, even for a vet.

Everyone is competing for the same limited opportunities. Many other experienced writers I’ve talked to have had similar experiences finding paid gigs. Sometimes it feels like better luck would be had mining for gold.

The situation is ironic because the public still relies heavily on news, as they always have. It’s just that now, no one wants to pay for it. And some organizations are having trouble understanding that news entities don’t have the budgets that they once did.

The WNBA has bemoaned the lack of coverage from major news entities, but even ESPN laid off numerous employees earlier this year. Minnesota Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve criticized the Minneapolis Star Tribune for not sending a reporter to cover the WNBA All-Star game last month, which featured four of her players. The paper said they didn’t have funds to cover the cost of the trip, and I have no doubt that was true. If major online sites won’t pay for writers, traditional newspapers have even more meager budgets.

It is a sad state of affairs for those of us who got into the profession because we love to find, research and tell stories. We did not become writers to get “clicks.” Yet here many of us are, and no one wants to pay us for our skills.

I am big on solutions, yet for once, this problem-solver has no solution for this predicament. But know this, younger and older journalists everywhere: you are not alone. We live in a cheap speech world.

Tight squeeze

Today's game result:

The Sun topped the Mystics, 86-76, on a ridiculous statistical night for several players.

Jonquel Jones had 14 points and 22 rebounds to become only the second player (after Tina Charles) to grab 20 rebounds in three games in one season.

Alyssa Thomas had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Elena Delle Donne had 24 points and 16 rebounds.

Standings are tight.

WNBA team news:

The league's final regular-season power rankings have the Sparks on top. The Liberty are third and now the Sun are fourth.

The playoff picture is still muddled, as the Sparks sit atop the AP poll.

Former WNBA player news:

Lisa Leslie will coach the New Orleans Gators, which is part of a co-ed professional league.

Tomorrow's game schedule:

With playoff leverage on the line, the Lynx can't look too far ahead against the Fever.

The Wings enter tomorrow's game against the Sky with a chance to make the playoffs for the first time since relocating to Dallas.

College player news:

Mercedes Russell has no regrets about returning to Tennessee.

Cal State Fullerton transfer Iman Lathan has gone to Butler.

Siena transfer Jackie Benitez has landed at James Madison.

Maryville College guard Brittany Johnson was killed yesterday in a single-car accident.

College team news:

Maryland beat Sweden to finish fifth at the World University Games.

DePaul's new basketball arena will bring big changes to campus.

Dayton sent clothes and shoes to Houston flood victims.

College coach news:

Keeshawn Davenport's contract has been extended at New Orleans.

IUPUI coach Austin Parkinson's contract has been extended.

Chanel Murchison is a new assistant coach at William and Mary.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

More clinching

Today's game results:

The Liberty cruised past the Sky, 92-62, and earned a first-round playoff bye.

The Sparks downed the Lynx, 78-67, and are now only a half game behind them in the standings.

The Mercury slipped past the Storm, 75-71, and secured a playoff berth. Sue Bird didn't break the all-time assists mark; she's still three away.

USA Basketball news:

The Women's National Team will train in Santa Barbara, Sept. 30-Oct 2.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Tamika Catchings' Legacy Tour, part II: giving back

As basketball legend Tamika Catchings prepared to retire from the WNBA last season, she raised money in each WNBA city for youth as part of her "Legacy Tour."

The deal was that she'd return to each city and conduct a fitness clinic, and this summer she's been doing just that. Friday afternoon, the Catch the Stars Foundation stopped in Los Angeles and visited the Challengers Boys and Girls Club.

Tamika opened the camp with a talk and some instructions. Her first rule was to have fun. Her stipulation was that no one was allowed to say "I can't" for the duration of the clinic. Anyone heard saying those two words would have to do ten pushups.

"Saying 'I can't' means you won't even try," Tamika told the kids.

I smiled like a Cheshire cat as I had Pat Summitt flashbacks.

Tamika led an icebreaker game that got everyone laughing. Then participants were lined up in age groups for a warm up. Before they began, she asked them how many WNBA teams there were. Everyone started throwing out guesses except a fourth-grader I ended up talking to for a while later, when she came through my station. This girl was looking at the back of the T-shirt on the person in front of her in line, where all the teams were listed, and she was counting them.

"I'm using my resources," the girl explained when I asked her what she was doing.

I told her to keep it up; that she would take over the world someday.

We then broke out into five stations, where myself and four other coaches guided participants through drills and exercise for about an hour. Tamika's assistant told the woman running the layup station that No. 24 would probably find her way there first, because she's very particular about layups and how they are taught. Sure enough, that was Tamika's first stop. But she made it around to all the stations and jumped in for a bit to add to the instruction.

Tamika is great with young people. She has a friendly, warm manner that is expertly mixed with high expectations. She puts kids at ease, yet pushes them to be their best at the same time. It is something to behold.


Participants and coaches at the conclusion of Tamika Catchings' Legacy Tour Clinic Friday.


The coaches, with Tamika Catchings and an LA Sparks staff member, right.

After the event Tamika talked to us coaches for a few minutes and then started cleaning up shop. She and her assistant knelt on the floor and repacked the leftover camp T-shirts into a USA Basketball suitcase that looked like it might have gone to both London and Rio. They left in their own rental car to go back to the airport.

It is said that character is revealed by your actions when no one is watching. As Tamika always showed great character on court, she is exhibiting even more off of it. In her retirement from basketball, she's expanding the reach of her 13-year-old non-profit foundation to other cities, and she makes it happen with no fanfare. Los Angeles was the eleventh stop on part II of the Legacy Tour, as she has quietly visited other cities to bring awareness and raise money. She does it because it's the right thing to do.

How many other retired professional athletes have chosen this career path? And one of the best that's ever played the game of basketball? I'd venture to say, not many.

Last year, as her final season wound down, I was worried about missing Tamika on the court. For her hustle, her leadership, her selflessness, her statistical dominance in multiple categories, she is my favorite player ever to suit up for the WNBA, hands down. But last night after the clinic, I reconciled two things.

The first was that Tamika will always be around. She's everywhere, has multiple projects in many places, and she is not the kind of person to just disappear into the sunset. She likes to help people. The second thing was that all the things Tamika used to do for fans with her intense drive and commitment, she now does for a different audience: kids. I can live with that.

Donating to Catch the Stars is as easy as going here.

The race for the final playoff spots should be hot

Today's game results:

The Dream edged the Fever in overtime, 79-74, to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

The Wings got past the Mystics, 83-78. Dallas has playoff hopes too.

Liberties:

The WNBA is going to let teams choose how they stand for the National Anthem for the rest of the season.

WNBA team news:

The Lynx are defending their postseason position with LA breathing down their necks.

Chiney Ogwumike breaks down the Sparks' defensive prowess.

The tired Sun are ready for a little break.

WNBA player news:

Elena Delle Donne's Air Swoopes-inspired Nike Hyperdunk PE will release this fall.

Who should win Rookie of the Year? Allisha Gray or Brittney Sykes? You can vote in my twitter poll.

Tomorrow's game schedule:

Sky at Liberty

Lynx at Sparks.......this should be a goody.

Mercury at Storm

College team news:

Jamie Nared says the Lady Vols have a completely different feel this year.

South Carolina could play Notre Dame in the Gulf Coast Showcase Tournament Thanksgiving week.