Sacramento 70, New York 63
Let's get something straight here. New York didn't win the game against Houston. The Comets LOST it. Despite scoring more than 80 points and holding the Comets to long stretches of nothing, they could never completely shut Houston down. Even in the waning minutes, the Comets were still trying to get something done.
That's not to say that the Libs didn't do SOME things right. The Libs shot over 50% from the field (huzzah!) and opened the game up 23-6 before the 4 minute mark. Leilani Mitchell, in her first WNBA start, scored 18 points and poked for seven assists. Shameka Christon continued on her roll with 19 points. Overall, four starters broke the double-digit point barrier, while also limiting everyone on Houston NOT named Tina Thompson to 45 points.
However, Double T DID play, and play she did. Throughout the game, it was as if the Libs couldn't contain her. She was like some sort of animal, breaking loose, busting through, and eating her own feces.
Well, no, not that last part...
In any case, Thompson posted 28 points and 11 rebounds. Michelle Snow also had a decent game (13 pts), but was largely absent on the D. The Comets also did manage to wake up for the traditional "New York Liberty Naptime" Period that extends through the 2nd and 3rd quarters. This included an eleven-point run to end the 1st quarter. But ultimately, they looked disjointed. Spirited, yes, but very, very, very disjointed.
- New York still looks very inconsistent. Sharp as a whip in the first, flat in the second, decent in the 4th.
- I'm not sure how to take Coyle's coaching style. She seems to be taking the whole "less is more" approach seriously.
- I TOLD you Leilani Mitchell is good.
All of that showed in the next game when the Libs barely registered against the flailing Monarchs. Sacramento shut down the Libs so successfully that the top scorer, Lisa Willis, only managed to put 11 points on the board. Tiffany Jackson added another 10, but no one else even bothered to show up for the Belles.
It didn't look that way at first, however. Despite going into a 9-1 hole to start off the game, the Libs battle back, thanks in large part to 6 points by Essence Carson. By the end of the first ten, the Libs had the lead, 19-14.
Everything went downhill after that, however. Carson only managed 2 more points that night, while the Monarchs went ahead at the 4:35 mark 22-21, only to railroad the Liberty the rest of the way. All of this despite giving the Libs five freebie fouls (equaling 10 strong points) at the end of the half to give the Libs a three-point lead.
The third quarter was much more open than it seemed, with the Monarchs seeming to pick up every loose ball and rebound. In one 45-second stretch, Sacramento managed 4 shots - all missed - before McCarville finally managed to get the ball out of their half. This says as much about the Monarch's offense as it does about the Liberty's defense. And this was a team that New York played neck and neck with through the third.
Finally, Sacramento had enough. They rampaged to win the game with 20 points in the 4th. New York hit the showers early, barely showing up with ten despite a home crowd desperate for a third straight win that would put the team up over .500 for the first time in almost a year. The Libs were held without a point between 8:17 and 3:45 of the final quarter, and while the crowds filed out, the Liberty slipped ot 3-4. Oh well.
- Liberty starters only posted 30 points combined. Tiffany Jackson and Lisa Willis outscored them all while playing with significantly less time.
- First game all season that the Liberty didn't turnover the ball more than their opponent (12 to 16).
- Megan Duffy finally played. 5 points in 10 minutes, with a rebound and a 3-pointer. Still, she did foul and turnover the ball twice.
- Smallest crowd yet, just a hair over 7K. Groan.
Minnesota 90, San Antonio 78
The league (and women's game in general) is abuzz with the news that Becky Hammon is going to play for Russia in the Olympics. Were I to care about the Summer Olympics beyond track and field, I might have something original to say. Unfortunately, this blogger stole the words out of my mouth. If the States can pillage players at will, so can other countries. And - let's face it - most of the competitions are a joke now that professionals can play. The Olympics are horribly broken, and just because one basketballer...
...one basketballer with (figurative) stones like granite...
...decides that she's been overlooked long enough DOESN'T mean that the world will now come crashing down around us. Voepel over at ESPN has her own opinion on the matter.
All that being said, it takes a lot of chutzpah for Anne Donovan to call Becky Hammon a "traitor". Donovan's got some cred for being the first woman to win a WNBA Championship as coach, but that's a little over the line, especially when Donovan didn't even extend an olive branch to Hammon after spurning the Silver Star's cance to play for her home country.
For those who still want more, see here and here.
Anne Donovan's an asshole...
See ya, Space Cowboy...