Archive for December, 2015

what was under their shell… fight, moxie, skill and a little swagger. Yes, they lost to UConn by 10, but the game was closer than the 83-73 score.

“Obviously nobody wants to lose — I mean we’re one of the most competitive teams out there — but I’m really proud of the fact that I felt like we responded punch for punch,” Frese said. “When you look at UConn in the games they’ve played in, usually that knockout punch comes, and you don’t recover. So I loved the confidence and the swagger that we played with. There was no fear.”

Made for a great Maggie Dixon Classic game, and I’m sure looking forward to what they do in the Big 10.

Thanks again, Brenda, for saying “yes.” Thanks, UConn, for making this a tradition. Thank you, Dixon family, for showing up, walking onto the court and sharing your love and loss in honor of your daughter.

Yup, that was Oregon State, down a starting point guard and loving to rebound, pushing the Irish to the edge. But Lindsay Allen’s free throws sealed the 1-point win.

Well, that was a surprise: Hampton got its second win of the season, upsetting an improving Wake Forest club.

It’s tough being an LSU Tiger these days.

That’s 13 straight for Missouri – and the fans are beginning to notice.

Should we be keeping an eye on Marquette? They gave DePaul a run for their money.

Should we be seeing an eye on Vanderbilt? They easily handled New Mexico State.

*no jinx, no jinx, no jinx* William & Mary just beat Old Dominion, 75-64. They get a nice gift from LadySwish.

Washington State was defeated by Ms. Plum with the basketball in Friel Court.

Oregon is still undefeated and, by the way, Alleyne’s 80th career double-double moved her into fifth all-time in NCAA women’s basketball history, behind Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris (128), Tennessee Tech’s Cheryl Taylor (90), Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike (85) and Robert Morris’ Artemis Spanou (85).

Upcoming games that have my attention:

#20 South Florida hosting #8 Mississippi State.

In its first neutral site game of the season, No. 20/17 USF will face No. 8 Mississippi State in the Southeastern/American Athletic Conference Challenge. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Jacksonville Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Fla.

The Bulls return to action after a 10-day holiday break. USF is in the midst of a four-game win streak, and are 7-0 in Tampa this season. Mississippi State and USF face-off for just the second time in program history; their first meeting ended in dramatic fashion, on a buzzer beater by Courtney Williams. The Bulls defeated the Bulldogs in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Postseason Women’s National Invitation Tournament (WNIT).

(10-4) Florida Gulf Coast hosting (10-2) Auburn.

The Florida Gulf Coast University women’s basketball team has had a hectic holiday nonconference schedule. The run is almost at end, but not before the Eagles face another quality opponent.

FGCU has built a rigorous nonconference schedule this season in hopes of earning a higher seed should the Eagles make the NCAA tournament. The next team up is Auburn, a 10-2 team from the powerful Southeastern Conference, at home on Wednesday.

OSU hosting #4 Baylor.

The Baylor women’s basketball team soaked up the sun during its nonconference games away from Waco, with visits to Florida and the Bahamas during the fall semester holidays.

Wednesday’s road trip to Stillwater, Oklahoma, to face Oklahoma State won’t be quiet as warm — temperatures will hover in the low 30s at the 6 p.m. tipoff — but it’s the most crucial road matchup the Lady Bears have played this season.

West Virginia (11-2) hosting #5 Texas (11-0).

“I think you always have to be pleased when you have a team that can go an extended amount of time without a loss,” Texas head coach Karen Aston said after Sunday’s win against Sam Houston State. “We were able to go through some really tough games, through some on the road and withstand the different environments and be able to win.”

Texas faced three Top 25 opponents: Tennessee, Mississippi State and Stanford. The Longhorns also beat Arkansas in the Big 12-SEC Challenge in Oklahoma City.

West Virginia finished its regular season non-conference schedule 11-2. The Mountaineer’s two losses came against Gonzaga and the University of Southern California, both games played in Spokane, Washington.

Green Bay hosting Dayton.

#22 UCLA (8-3) hosting USC (12-0).

Other stuff:

From Graham: Australian Nicole Seekamp right at home in South Dakota

An unseasonably warm Dec. 25 in Vermillion, South Dakota, just means forecasted precipitation might fall as freezing rain rather than snow, at least until overnight temperatures turn it to ice.

But good luck finding anyone who will savor a gift this holiday season more than University of South Dakota guard Nicole Seekamp will as she finds herself shivering her way around the Upper Midwest one final time rather than with family amid the warmth in Australia.

Given a season of eligibility she didn’t expect, Seekamp won’t be home for Christmas. And that’s fine.

OU gets Rich.

Salt Lake Snap: Panguitch’s 64-game winning streak is ended by Cedar City

‘FIFA 16’ Proves The WNBA Needs In The Game

‘And when you look in on it, it doesn’t look noticeably different than the men’s.’

That’s a direct quote from one of the commentators during the Women’s semi-final of the international cup in FIFA 16.

Cool: Rose, Haywood and Catchings to be honored as part of Grizzlies’ MLK Day events

Congrats: Times Sportsperson of the Year: Robert Morris’ Sal Buscaglia spent a career championing women’s athletics

Sal Buscaglia keeps an old newspaper article tucked away in his desk. It’s from his time in Buffalo, and it commends him for spending just as much time promoting women’s basketball as coaching women’s basketball.

Congrats: Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year: Maya Moore is the leader of her pack

Nice: Nanticoke Area’s 1990 state championship girls basketball team bonded by lasting memories

A lot has changed in 25 years.

Casey Comoroski moved to Missouri.

Ellen Bartuska beat breast cancer.

Tia Hornlein had twin daughters and Lori Scally’s busy raising three kids.

Their perfect run together at Nanticoke Area 25 years ago?

That will always remain the same.

From Dave: Women Roar: The Story of the Year at the Intersection of Sports and Politics

This past year saw no shortage of people who tried to leverage the sports world to boldly speak out on issues beyond the field of play. The football players at Missouri going on strike against racism; the remarkable activists in Boston—led in many neighborhoods by people of color and women—who kept out the rapacious Olympics; the continuing fight in advance of the 2016 Rio Olympics that’s taking on both the International Olympic Committee and the Brazilian government; South Carolina football coach Steve Spurrier speaking out against the Confederate flag before and after the Dylann Roof murders at Mother Emanuel Church; the courageous statements—amid an ugly atmosphere—of Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones, manager Buck Showalter, and front-office chief John Angelos after the police killing of Freddie Gray and the property destruction outside of Camden Yards; tennis living legend Serena Williams returning to Indian Wells 14 years after being showered with racist invective by “fans”—a return she combined with raising funds for the Equal Justice Initiative; NBA Ref Bill Kennedy coming out of the closet as a responseto Rajon Rondo’s homophobia; Atlanta Hawk Thabo Sefolosha’s pursuit of justice after getting his leg broken by the NYPD; the odyssey of Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner; or even Steph Curry putting the name of slain Muslim student Deah Barakat on his shoes before the All-Star Game. I could name even more. We are clearly in a sports moment when social crisis and inflamed bigotry, conjoined with social media, has created a space for athletes to take their beliefs straight to the public. It’s courageous, and it matters, puncturing the privilege that surrounds the lives of so many fans, like LeBron catching a Bay Area aristocrat in mid-heckle.

That being said, I will not remember the past 12 months primarily for the aforementioned athletic actions. For me, 2015 will be recalled as the Year of Women in sports: a time when female athletes muscled for center stage and masses of people—men and women—put aside their prejudices to join the party.


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since a tall, young woman streaked across women’s basketball and swept so many up in her story.

As Maryland and UConn prepare to face off at the Garden’s Maggie Dixon Classic, I thought I’d take a moment to recall what made Maggie so classic.

Dixon first came to my attention on December 31st, 2005, when Army played #8 UConn at the Hartford Civic Center. Under the guidance of their new coach, the Black Knights made the first half interesting against a Husky team that included Ann Strother, Barbara Turner and a couple of freshmen: Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery. As was my wont, I tended to follow teams that played UConn and, because of some of the pre-game discussions amongst the media personas, I became intrigued by this story unfolding in upstate New York.

Dixon, who’d been an assistant at DePaul under Doug Bruno, had been hired 11 days before the start of the 2005–2006 season. Much to everyone’s surprise, she led Army to a 20–11 record, won the Patriot League in a memorable game, and earned the first NCAA tournament appearance for any Army basketball team. First her team, then the cadets at West Point, and then the women’s basketball world embraced her.


And then, inexplicably and heartbreakingly, she was gone.

Her story was well chronicled:

November, 2005:

“I am extremely honored to be given the opportunity to coach at West Point and to be able to work with the quality of individuals that are in our program,” Dixon said at the time of her hiring. “I’m very excited about coming to a program that has a foundation for success already in place, and I look forward to the challenges of bringing that success to another level.”

March 15th, 2006: West Point Is Standing at Attention for Army Women’s Coach

When Army was 5-7, Jamie Dixon said, he told his sister, “Don’t despair, look on the positive side.” She did just that. After Army lost to Connecticut by 29 points, which followed a 17-point loss to Baylor, she told her players, “We’re just in the spot where we want to be.”

She said she received some quizzical looks. “But I said, ‘Look, we’ve played some of the toughest teams in the country — UConn, Baylor, Princeton — and we’ve played well, even though we lost,’ ” she said. ” ‘We’re just coming together as a team. We’re learning to play with each other. We’re gaining confidence.’ “

Then she told them what she has told them during timeouts in games in which they were behind, about overcoming obstacles: ” ‘You guys have gone through so much just being cadets, you’ve overcome so much in the program here, you can come back from 12 points down with 12 minutes to go, too,’ ” she said. ” ‘Let’s just start with cutting the lead to 8 points with 8 minutes to go.’

And they did.

March 16, 2006: Dixon siblings make NCAA tourney history

Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon is taking his Panthers to the men’s tournament for a third straight year. Not to be outdone, little sister Maggie led Army to its first bid in the women’s field, six months after getting her first head coaching job.

“What can I tell you? It’s beyond belief,” said their proud father, Jim Dixon. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful thing.”

Historical, too. The Dixons are believed to be the first brother and sister to coach in the Division-I tournament in the same year.

“It was never determined, ‘This is what you’re going to do, be the first brother and sister in the NCAA tournament,'” Jim Dixon said. “You never thought about those implications. But since this is what we’ve got, we’ll take it.”

March 17, 2006: Army coach is just like her team: tough when it counts

“I thought this was an opportunity of a lifetime, but people wondered, how are you going to recruit there?” Dixon says. “How will you do it? To me, this is an institution that just has so much to offer.”

Five months and 20 victories later, it’s strange how the perspective of coaching women’s basketball at the United States Military Academy changes as you’re sitting on the shoulders of the Long Gray Line, bobbing in the air at Christl Arena after the Patriot League Championship game, a scene unlike anything ever witnessed in West Point basketball.

Why did she take this job?

For that experience, she would tell you, but she’d be lying. So much, so fast at West Point was beyond her wildest dreams.

April 8th, 2006: Coach’s death shocks cadets at West Point

“She just came here this year but we all loved her, especially whenever she came on stage for announcements and thanked the corps and made us feel we helped them win,” said Cadet Greg Shaw, a 21-year-old junior from Montgomery, Ala.

Mr. Shaw, who sometimes traveled with the team as a member of the pep band, said Ms. Dixon was kind, energetic and grateful to supporters.

April 8th, 2006: Army mourns its Cinderella women’s hoops coach, dead at 28

“Maggie has been a credit to herself and to the mission of the U.S.
Military Academy,” he said. “Her presence here enriched the lives of
everyone. I will never forget the image of the cadets carrying her on
their shoulders as they celebrated the team’s Patriot League

“That lasting image will stay on everyone’s mind,” Beretta said. “She
was riding the shoulders of the cadets with a big smile on her face.
Anyone who knows Maggie, if you look at her face, she was happier about what that meant for West Point than for herself.”

April 8, 2006: Dixon, a Guiding Light for Many Sudden Death at 28 Stund Valley Family, Army Friends

Young, tall and striking, high heels seemed altogether unnecessary for Maggie Dixon. 

While Dixon’s collection of some 50-odd pair of heels, from black pumps to fire engine-red boots, were the envy of the young women she coached, the men who cared for the basketball courts would cringe every time they would see Dixon stalking the sidelines, knowing she was leaving imprints on the wood floor. 

As word of Dixon’s sudden death began to circulate Friday, it didn’t take long to realize that the 28-year-old North Hollywood native and head coach at Army made an impression with more than her shoes. 

No matter whom she came in touch with over the years teammates, classmates, coaches, administrators, Army grunts or Valley girls she left a mark with her personality and passion. 

April 8th, 2006: A Final Salute

Death is no stranger here. It is the United States Military Academy, Army for the less formal. The chapels here, for Catholics, for Jews, for Protestants, are used often to mark the deaths of young soldiers, male and female.

But even so, on a cold and rainy spring Friday, more than 670 packed the 550-seat Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, which sits on a bluff overlooking the Hudson River. Mourners attending this memorial service had come to cry for and laugh about, to praise and honor Maggie Dixon, 28, not a soldier, a coach.

April 10, 2006: Remembering Army’s Coach

Even though I’’d never met coach Dixon and only watched her and her Army team once or twice on TV this season, I can’’t get her death or her life out of my mind. By all accounts, Maggie Dixon was remarkable young woman, funny, compassionate and wise beyond her 28 years. She was also without question on the verge of a great career coaching. It didn’’t take very long, even watching on TV to know there was something truly special and unique about coach Dixon and the way she energized the entire Army athletics community.

April 11, 2006: Coach touched core of cadets 

His plane had just arrived Monday afternoon in Van Nuys, Calif., a city and landscape so different from West Point, N.Y. An atmosphere so opposite of the stringent United States Military Academy. 

But Kevin Anderson,  Army’s athletic director, knew this was the area that Maggie Dixon called home. That today at St. Charles Church in North Hollywood, Calif., he and an army of family and friends say final goodbyes to Dixon. 

This reassuring Army women’s basketball coach died Thursday from an arrhythmic episode caused by an enlarged heart and a defective valve. No warning. No clue. Just dead – shocking Army and the world of sports – at age 28. 

“Maggie and I had become pretty close,” Anderson  said via telephone from the Van Nuys airport. “I thought I was starting to get a little better with all of this. And then I read so many e-mails on the flight out here from people who did not know her, people who do not know us at Army. People who understood our pain. People who have been following her story. Our story.” 

What a fairy tale.

April 15th, 2006: West Point burial locks in Dixon’s legacy at Army

“What Maggie Dixon accomplished here in six and a half months,” said Patrick Finnegan, Brigadier General and West Point Dean, “some people won’t accomplish in a lifetime.”

They’ll never look at women the same way here; that’s what Maggie’s brother, Jamie, said as he stood near the empty silver and black hearse from the William F. Hogan Funeral Home. Jamie is the big-time men’s coach at the University of Pittsburgh. He knows people who didn’t even realize women attended West Point.

They realize it now. They saw the clips of Dixon leading her Army team to the Patriot League championship, leading the academy on its first trip to the NCAA Tournament. They saw the clips of Army football players in fatigues storming the court as if they were taking a hill behind enemy lines, and throwing Dixon onto their shoulders for the kind of ride Bob Knight and Mike Krzyzewski never got at West Point.

April 17th, 2006: Dixon’s death cuts short a championship-caliber life

Maggie Dixon had been a storybook coach of the storybook season, hired from DePaul just days before the start of preseason practice, winning 20 games and making her brother and her the first siblings ever to make the NCAA Tournaments together as coaches. “This is such a great story,” she said that day in the hotel suite.

And without warning — without anything but the cruelest of fates — the Dixon family was back together on Thursday at the Westchester Medical Center where the most vicious of nightmares was unfolding. Maggie Dixon, 28, suffered an arrhythmia heart episode on Wednesday at West Point, leaving her in critical condition in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

May, 2006: Maggie Dixon

I didn’t know Dixon, but like a lot of other West Point grads I followed the whole, sad saga of her death as best as I could on the West Point Web site, ESPN, etc. 

In these days death is a fact of life for the cadets and faculty at West Point. That same week a young captain (and pilot of an Apache gunship) was killed in Iraq. 

Somehow though, Maggie Dixon’s death was even more tragic, if that can be. After all, the military academy is in the business of training young men and women to lead our soldiers into harm’s way. But a basketball coach – and one who wasn’t much older than her players and in her first year as a head coach? It shows us how life can be totally unpredictable (and unfair). 

The superintendent said she stood out as a leader in “a house of leaders” and that she left behind 20 more “Maggies.” One of her favorite comments to her players was “Adversity, ladies, learn to deal with it.” From their comments at her funeral and memorial services, she has made a lasting impression on all of them that they will carry for the rest of their lives – not a bad thing for someone starting a military career.

October, 2006: They’re playing for Maggie — Dixon’s presence hovers over Army women

Sometimes Margaree “Redd” King thinks her former Army basketball coach is going to walk through the door at any moment. Six months after Maggie Dixon died from heart failure at 28, the disbelief lingers. 

“I feel like she’s off on a recruiting visit or something,” says King, a junior guard.

To various degrees, the players are still struggling with the loss of the vibrant woman who guided Army to its first Division I NCAA Tournament and changed their lives immeasurably during her short time on campus.

October 20, 2006: Army Women’s Team Trying to Move Forward

On a rainy September day, coach Dave Magarity invited the Army women’s basketball team to his house — the one that used to belong to Maggie Dixon.

He wanted to be sure the players felt comfortable with him living in the home where they’d spent countless hours with their former coach, friend and mentor, who died April 6 after suffering heart arrhythmia at the age of 28.

To help ease their pain, Magarity took a suggestion from his wife, Rita —  an impromptu backyard memorial service.


November 13, 2006: In Classic Style, Army Pays Tribute to Dixon

In six short months Maggie Dixon taught these young women – who will go on to bigger and better things than basketball – how to spread their wings and fly.

Jim Dixon looked at a picture of his daughter calling out a play and said, “She had such beautiful hands.” Then in a moment of grief, he asked, as any father would: “Why did they have to take her?” No one can answer that question.

All we do know is that Maggie was needed here, and so deeply loved here.

January, 2007: For Pitt coach Jamie Dixon, the loss of his sister Maggie makes Chicago visit trying

The photo of Dixon being carried off the floor by jubilant Army players and fans was one of last spring’s most poignant images.

Meanwhile, older brother Jamie, in his third year as Pitt’s head coach, was compiling a 25-8 record and earning a third straight NCAA tournament berth for the Panthers. The Dixons were believed to be the first brother-sister tandem to take teams to the tournament in the same season.

Maggie Dixon was a visible presence behind the Pitt bench during the Big East tournament title game with Syracuse, her palpable nervousness a testament to family bonds. The term “feel-good story” was invoked more than once.

November 21, 2009: The Maggie Dixon Story: An Inspiring Legacy

Doug Bruno was getting fired up about an evening with the guys on a spring-fever kind of Friday night in May of 2000 when Blair Banwart hollered into the DePaul locker room: “Coach, there are a couple of tall girls that look like players standing at center court and they are asking to see you.”

Recruits, thought Bruno, and the nationally renowned women’s basketball coach finished his shower and quickly got dressed.

Little did Bruno suspect he was about to embark on a most amazing life experience as he walked out to the old Alumni Hall gym.

Instead of encountering prospects, Bruno would meet for the first time an extraordinary young lady named Maggie Dixon, who had driven all the way from North Hollywood, Calif. with a friend to join the Blue Demons’ coaching staff.

It was as if the 22-year-old Dixon—made up of equal parts moxie and charisma—was planning to shake Bruno’s hand, give him a resume and ask: “When do I start?”

October 2, 2009: Maggie Dixon’s legacy lives on

Every day, Pitt basketball coach Jamie Dixon is reminded of his late sister, Maggie, who died 3 1⁄2 years ago of a heart arrhythmia at age 28. 

“It’s constant,” Dixon said earlier this week, as he was driving through Texas on a recruiting trip. “Every day, something or somebody will remind me.” 

And that evokes conflicting emotions. 

“It’s sad but inspiring at the same time,” Dixon said. “I’ve resigned myself to knowing that is how it’s going to be, and that’s a good thing. Her death continues to provide inspiration to people.” 

Proof of that will be on display 1-4 p.m. Saturday at the Petersen Events Center, in the form of the Maggie Dixon Heart Health Fair, which, for the first time, will be part of Pitt’s annual basketball Fan Fest. 

December 18, 2010: More than four years after Maggie Dixon’s death, basketball classic helps healing

There are certain times when Jamie Dixon feels the past five years have gone by quicker than he could have imagined. And then there are other times where the loss of his sister Maggie lingers in a mix of pain and confusion.

“In some ways it’s moved quickly, and in some ways it’s moved very slowly,” the Pittsburgh men’s basketball coach said last week by phone.

But despite the pain, this is a weekend he looks forward to. 

With the fifth annual Maggie Dixon Classic tipping off this afternoon at Madison Square Garden, Dixon knows his sister’s memory lives on through the excitement and attention the in-season tournament in her honor has generated since she died suddenly in April 2006 of an arrhythmia from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 

April 8th, 2011: Maggie Dixon still revered for her impact

Micky Mallette hesitated to dial the number and ask. It was good news, which is something all of them could use, but who knew how Maggie Dixon’s parents would react?

Jimmy and Marge Dixon had 28 years with their youngest girl Maggie; Mallette and the Army women’s basketball team had only six months. But when the cadets huddled together for one last time, Maggie told them this: that it was the best time of her life. The team made pancakes together, danced and bowled and laughed. They took the United States Military Academy to its first NCAA tournament in basketball, and along the way, Maggie splashed pastels into a camouflaged world. And then she was gone.

But, as the ’62 West Point grad said – she left she left behind 20 more “Maggies.” Which made me wonder, “Where are they now?”

With a little help from google and some input from the West Point media folks,  I can offer you some information on some of the cadets/players Maggie worked with:

Class of 2006

Ashley Magnani
Currently: Deputy Project Manager at CACI International Inc, Washington D.C. Metro AreaMilitary

Previous: 1ABCT, 3ID, 1HBCT, 3ID, Fort Stewart, GA

Micky Mallette
As of 2010: Mallette, a captain on Maggie’s one-and-only team at Army, is married now and lives in Albany, N.Y., where she’s finishing up her first year of law school. She’s the only one from the 2005-06 squad not on active duty, long ago forced into a medical discharge. Her bad back allowed her one of the closest views to Coach Dixon, which is the only name they call her to this day. 

Adrienne Payne
As of 2007

At Stanford, the performance of Brooke Smith will be vital to the NCAA Tournament hopes of the Cardinal.

And in Baqubah, 30 miles north of Baghdad, in the playoffs of a makeshift league of soldiers of the 215th Battalion Support Brigade, 2nd Lt. Adrienne Payne will be expected to provide floor leadership by the Bravo Company Pitbulls.

The Pitbulls lost a playoff-tuneup game Monday night to the always-tough Charlie Company Witchdoctors, but in your bracket for the Camp Warhorse playoffs, you have to ink in the Pitbulls to go all the way. People who know Payne will caution you not to bet against her. They say she’s a leader.

Besides, Payne has her good buddy rooting for her.

“I opened my e-mail this morning to find a note from Brooke,” Payne said Tuesday via e-mail. “It definitely brought a smile to my face.”

Payne will try to catch news of Smith and Stanford via ESPN in the mess hall. In Army’s 2006 media guide, Payne names her favorite basketball player: “Brooke Smith.”

Megan Vrabel
Current: Director, Imaging On Call, Greater Los Angeles Area

Previous: Served as an Officer in the U.S. Army for 5 years. Received MBA from Saint Joseph’s University in August of 2014.

Class of 2007

Jillian Busch
As of 2010: 1st Lt. Jillian Busch, of Fort Hood, Texas, to Capt. Brian Bourque, of Fort Bragg, N.C. The couple met while serving in Iraq in June 2008. Jillian is serving as the brigade ground maintenance officer in the 4th Combat Aviation Brigade. She will start her Captain’s Career Course in June at Fort Lee in Richmond, Va.

Joanne Carelus
Currently: Human Resources Professional, New York area

Previous: US Army, Combined Arms Unit, 3rd Infantry Division

Jen Hansen

Class of 2008

Erin Begonia
Currently: stationed in Germany as a Telecom Systems Engineer, transitioning out of the Army in January of 2016

Previous: Graduated from in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Systems Management. Upon commissioning as a 2LT, was branched in the Chemical Corps. In 2010, she was selected by the FA24 branch. Telecommunications Systems Engineering (FA 24) provides the Army with a core of professional telecommunications systems engineers, who engineer, design, develop, install, implement, integrate, test, accept, and upgrade tactical, strategic, and sustaining base wired and wireless telecommunications systems and networks enterprise-wide at all levels of the GIG (terrestrial, air, and satellite) in support of Army, Joint, interagency, and multinational operations worldwide.

Cara Enright
Currently: General Mills/Yoplait- Logistics

Previous: US Army, 2014, including Ft. Bragg, NC. Planned, coordinated, and resourced operations and training for Air Defense Battalion of 700+ personnel. Directly supervised 25 personnel.

Margaree King
Currently: Stationed at Fort Campbell KY as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer. CPT.

Natalie Schmidt

Stefanie Stone
Currently: Stationed at West Point working in Department of Military Instruction. CPT.

Previous: Graduated from two of the most sought after and prided Air Defense Schools in the Air Defense Artillery branch: Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer Course and the Patriot Top Gun Course. The Air Defense Artillery Fire Control Officer course qualifies an Officer to conduct duties in a branch qualifying position at the Brigade Level. The Patriot Top Gun Course is designed to populate Patriot and Air and Missile Defense (AMD) units and selected AMD staffs with at least one individual with a “graduate level degree” in AMD Operations and Defense Planning. The Patriot Top Gun course typically has a 33% graduation rate. Stefanie was one of four personnel that graduated out of twelve students.

Anna Wilson
Currently: Financial Advisor at First Command Financial Services

Class of 2009

Sarah Anderson

Megan Ennenga
Currently: Company Commander for a Military Police Company at Camp Walker Korea. CPT.

Megan Evans
Currently: Company Commander for a Military Police Company at Ft. Riley KS

Alex McGuire
Currently: Assistant Professor of Military Science at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Courtney Wright
As of 2010: Disarmed bombs in Afghanistan

And so now we come to tomorrow’s Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden (it’s on ESPN2 @ 8:30). I invite you to celebrate the athletes on the court as well as the athletes and coach who made such an impact.

And, if you feel inspired, donate: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Foundation: Maggie’s Legacy

The Dixon family made a firm decision. They would remember Maggie by honoring her passion—women’s collegiate basketball and their new cause—heart health issues, including sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). “We decided we would do everything we could to educate ourselves about sudden cardiac arrest, and then educate others,” says Jamie.



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Debbie Antonelli (and everyone else who loves women’s basketball)? In the battle of the West Coast Bears, #18 UCLA and #21 Cal wore out the basketball’s through two overtimes. Eventually it was the Goldens over the Bruins, 108-104.

Arnecia Hawkins gave her #22 Arizona State teammates something nice: a win over #10 Florida State, 68-56.

The senior guard, coming off the bench, scored a career-high 23 points on 7-of-7 shooting, including three 3-pointers. That’s 21 more than against the Seminoles in late March, when she only played 12 minutes compared to 31 this time.

“Extra everything,” Hawkins said of the reason for what is becoming a breakout season. “Extra workouts, extra shooting that we all do every day. It feels good just be relaxed and be able to help the team.”

Swoopes, there it is! Loyola (CHI) stunned #17 DePaul, 88-75.

“Once you give a team the belief that they can win, a well-coached team will absolutely take advantage of that,” head Coach Doug Bruno said. “They might be the best 2-7 team in the country. Their record doesn’t show what kind of team they are. They’ve played a great schedule, just like we’ve played a great schedule.”

The #4 Texas Bears had their hands full with James Madison, but a strong second half propelled them to a 77-63 win (Davis with 15 assists). Baylor’s first trip out of their home state has proved to be no walk in the park: in an earlier game, Miami kept it close.

St. Joe’s kept it close with the Irish through two, and then Notre Dame said, “That’s quite enough of that, thankyouverymuch, it’s coach’s homecoming!” cruising to a 91-55 win.

#8 Mississippi State moved to 11-1, but not without a heck of a battle from SMU. 19 turnovers doomed the Mustangs, and the Bulldogs prevailed, 72-70.

Fellow American Conference member Tulane had better luck against the Billikens, winning 66-58.

Speaking of the American, #20 South Florida made Oklahoma State’s first loss of the season painful, 68-48.

In the Battle of the Blues, it looks like #8 Kentucky may have gotten better by subtraction. The Wildcats got a comfortable lead in the first quarter and held it through to the end, beating #13 Duke 71-61.

WHB jinx strikes again: UNC Asheville loses to Clemson and it was ugly.

Ditto with William & Mary – though they have an excuse: they were playing VCU (10-2).

Nojinxnojinxnojinx: Is anyone noticing Abilene Christian this season? They’re 8-2 and defeated the Vandals, 71-59.

Colorado State looks strong again in the Mountain West. Do they really only play New Mexico State and Wyoming once in the regular season?

Maine v. Purdue? Just avert your eyes.

Penguins lose!

Virginia Tech squeaked out a win over Radford to move to 11-1.

With their win over NC State, Florida is also 11-1.

K State is now 10-1.

Santa Clara is at 10-1 and the WCC fun begins: they meet the Gaels tomorrow. St. Mary’s just took down San Francisco (9-3), 78-68 and, if you recall, upset Cal. Wonder if the two teams will tell “How we played the Pac-12” stories.

Yes, Missouri is 11-0, “atop” the SEC with it’s best start ever, and has entered the Top 25 for the first time since Justin was bringing SexyBack… but here comes Tennessee…and undefeated South Carolina and its zillions fans is lurking.

#5 Texas got the best of their SEC/Big 12 Challenge, defeating Arkansas 61-50. It’s been pretty cool to watch the Longhorns start to rebuild legacy

#18 Texas A&M got conference revenge by beating #17 Oklahoma, 74-68.

Georgia State has not (traditionally) been good and Stetson has… so props to the Panthers for upsetting the Hatters in the Hatters Classic,  80-72.

“I am proud of this team’s fight,” coach Sharon Baldwin-Tener said. “They made plays when they had to, they got some key stops when they had to and that is what winning teams do. This is probably one of our better wins recently as Stetson is really tough here at their place and a perennial 20-win program.”

Yes USC-West is still undefeated, but (as warned) they got a scare from the Great Danes.

Oregon State rolled over Cal Poly, but that is small comfort to the Beavers: All-Pac-12 point guard Sydney Wiese is out with a (potentially season-ending) wrist injury.

About OSU v. Tennessee. Again, a wicked ugly game – but this time Tennessee prevailed. So yes, the Volunteers held a 4-hour players-only meeting. Cool. But what’s next? There’s the rub. For the Beavers, they believe Tennessee game could define season

No Stewie? No biggie.

Speaking of the Huskies, they next face Maryland at the Garden. Hard to gauge Frese’s Terpsthey’ve not played a ranked team yet, and the only team of “import” they encountered was d’em famous Wabbits. She says they’re ready, though.

Congrats! Outsports Female Hero of the Year: Layshia Clarendon

And yet the Education of the Bigots still continues: 5 Lesbian Basketball Players Who Could School Pepperdine

Ryan Heisenberg, coach of the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team, [allegedly] believes that lesbians on his team “would cause the team to lose games,” according to a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

NB: This post is from the 22nd and got stuck in the “draft box.” Someone’s head is going to roll!!!

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Still noticing the Tribe’s record. Sure, we’ll learn a lot when they face VCU Monday and then leap into conference play…. BUT, they’re 8-1 under third-year coach Ed Swanson, equalling the best start in program history.

The same commentary goes for the Thundering Herd.  Their only loss is to West Virginia, by 6. I’m looking at their game against Western Kentucky as a good test.

Rinse, repeat and insert the UNC-Ashville Bulldogs. They have been SO bad… Now look at what folks are writing about 4th year coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick’s team: 

Last season, the ninth win for the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team didn’t come until the 30th game.

What a difference a season makes.

On Friday before an Education Day crowd of 1,705, the Bulldogs improved to 9-1, matching the 1984-’85 Asheville team for the best start in school history with an 84-71 victory over a solid Furman team.

How nice to be able to ask, “Might they challenge Stanford-slayer Gardner-Webb for the Big South?

I see you, no longer undefeated UTEP. Looks like the Miners have regained their moxie.

And I see you, too, Santa Clara: coach JR Payne has them on their longest winning streak since 2005-06, folks. (Dani California, flashback.)

Yes, USC-West is undefeated. Let’s see what happens when they play Albany on the 20th and UCLA on the 30th, shall we??? (Not to mention Oregon State on January 2nd.)

Speaking of the Beavers: OSU women’s basketball: No. 7 Beavers expect best shot from No. 14 Tennessee and Oregon State Beavers ready for clash with traditional power Tennessee

“We will learn exactly where we’re at on Saturday and where we need to go as we continue to prepare for conference,” coach Scott Rueck said. “So from that standpoint, it’s the biggest test that we’ve had so far.”

Too much offense: Princeton got rolled by the Buckeyes, 90-70.

Ohio State married a wicked pace to a sizzling 57.6 percent shooting night and ran laps around the stunned Princeton Tigers, winning 90-70 in Value City Arena on Friday night.

“That’s probably as good a game as we’ve played in a while,” coach Kevin McGuff said. “I thought our kids did a great job of executing the game plan. On offense, we played with a great pace and really shared the ball to get great shots.

Yes, we noticed: Anigwe off to impressive start for Cal women’s basketball

“After she committed to us, she improved leaps and bounds,” Gottlieb said. “She’s gone from a post player we wanted with a lot of potential to the clear cut best freshman in the country. I knew she’d contribute right away, but her ability to score at this level consistently is beyond what I expected.”

A little something from Graham: Duke’s Azurá Stevens becoming a big riddle for opponents

Few basketball players see the court quite like Azurá Stevens, but many younger siblings can identify with her lifelong plight in games of one-on-one against an older sibling. No matter how much she grew or her skills developed, her older sister stayed one step ahead of her with that maddening back-you-down, pump-fake craftiness that seems a birthright of those born first.

Hello, Hurricanes: 

Somewhat lost in the excitement of football coach Mark Richt’s hiring and the bustle of the holiday season is a significant development in University of Miami athletics: Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are ranked in the Top 25.

The men are ranked 15th heading into Saturday’s 2 p.m. home game against College of Charleston. The women are 10-0 and ranked 23rd as they prepare to play No. 4 Baylor, which is 11-0, on Saturday night in Winter Park at the Florida Sunshine Classic.

Goodbye, Sue Bird?

Sue Bird knows the time has come after three Olympic gold medals, two WNBA titles and at least eight surgeries.

“I’m at the end of my career,” the 35-year-old point guard said last month. “This is more than likely going to be my last Olympics. When you get older, you start looking back on your career more and you want to leave some sort of legacy and to be a fourth time Olympic gold medalist wouldn’t be so bad.”

There was a time when Bird didn’t seem so sure about the Rio Games.


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at least four or five times: “‘Ware the Wabbits!”

#16 DePaul learned the hard way. It’s the 4th-straight year the Jackrabbits have defeated a Top 25 team.

Have you noticed Oklahoma State is undefeated?  Looking forward to their 12/20 matchup with USF.

Have you noticed #12 Northwestern is undefeated? (Blame Pallas Kunaiyi-Akpanah) Looking forward to their 12/19 matchup with DePaul.

Have you noticed Oregon is undefeated? (Blame senior Liz Brenner) Looking forward to their 1/2 match up with UCLA.

Southern Miss couldn’t defeat the “other” in-state rival – Mississippi State wins, 78-65.

So, Tennessee visited Maples and it was. not. pretty. Stanford’s balanced attack overwhelms uninspired Lady Vols

 It was a game that was, in many ways, a shell of its former shelf [sic?].

Not just because, for the first time in the 33-year history of the annual matchup, neither Stanford nor Tennessee was ranked in the top 10.

Not because Maples Pavilion, which is historically full to the rafters and rocking when the Lady Vols come to town, was a little more than half full and sufficiently enthusiastic.

But because neither the 14th-ranked Lady Vols nor the 15th-ranked Cardinal look like obvious contenders to be in Indianapolis in April.

The two most storied programs in the history of the game, the standard-bearers in their respective conferences, are looking up at long line of teams with more talent, more potential right now.

Both still have to prove they belong in that line.

Penguins win!

Okay – so New Mexico, which seemed to have taken a half-a-step back this season, toasted Rachel Banham and Minnesota, 72-53. At the Barn. Nice homecoming for Benilde-St. Margaret’s star Khadijah Shumpert.

In other news:

Congrats Connecticut Sun.

Namaste, Ms. January: Briann January promotes basketball in Delhi

Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Erin: Opal and WNBA player Erin Phillips agrees to become Port Adelaide’s first female player

Hello Lady Swish on ESPN! Path of a pioneer: Old Dominion is fourth program to win 1,000 games

The Old Dominion women’s basketball history book is its own “War and Peace,” a thick chronicle about a program that was a pioneer for all of women’s sports. Many of the significant characters — Nancy Lieberman, Marianne Stanley, Anne Donovan and Ticha Penicheiro — still resonate and influence sports in 2015.

Several chapters document a glorious time, recalling national championship victories over coaches such as Pat Summitt, Leon Barmore and Andy Landers. And the plot thickens with the program’s resurgence in 1997, when the southeastern Virginia university — highly regarded for its business, engineering and distance learning programs — reached the Final Four alongside Tennessee and modern-day stalwarts Stanford and Notre Dame.

With Old Dominion’s 83-64 victory at Howard on Tuesday, the team and coach Karen Barefoot added another chapter: The Lady Monarchs became the fourth Division I program to amass 1,000 victories, joining Tennessee, Louisiana Tech and James Madison.

No, really, #ByeGilbert. (I will say it’s funny how some folks recognize how misogynist Arenas’ bile was don’t see how racist that Washington NFL team’s nickname is.)

Florida es mi otra casa, says Leticia Romero

Through basketball, Leticia traveled across the world and into the world of college basketball. However, coming to the United States meant more than a change of scenery or a change of culture—it meant a change to the way she played basketball.

“When I first came, it shocked me the way they played because it’s very physical. We don’t use the contact as much and they play really fast,” Romero said. “I was the type of point guard that came from Europe and our game was running the play and being poised. It took me some time to adjust to be able to run the floor.”

Speaking of Florida: UCF’s Aliyah Gregory gives back in honor of late aunt

Aliyah Gregory was riding the bus home from high school in Tampa when she heard the news. Three hundred miles away in Jacksonville, the day before Gregory’s 15th birthday, her aunt, Nicole Bush, was killed in a domestic violence incident.

“It changed my whole life,” Gregory said. “No longer having someone in your life that you are used to having there. It’s been a big adjustment.”

FiveThirtyEight Podcast: Will UConn’s Dominance Of Women’s Basketball End Anytime Soon?

Speaking of UConn: On the Road Again: UConn Freshman De’Janae Boykin Transferring; Hadn’t Played Because Of Injury

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the WHB curse is alive and well and kicking. Sorry Texas Tech – you encountered a Santa Clara team (Remember them? The folks that beat Stanford?) that is reaping the benefits of hiring JR Payne away from Southern Utah. The former point guard at St. Mary’s is in her second year.

Two horrific quarters doomed the Vandals against #7 Oregon State, 69-44.

A spectacular third quarter lifted the #18 Blue Demons over #15 Texas A&M, 80-66.

Burn the tape of the fourth quarter for both teams, okay? The Wildcats down the Blue Raiders, 68-52.

Welcome back, Ms. Moos! #24 Arizona State eked out a win over #18 Syracuse, 61-54.

It took OT, but Cal escaped the Huskers, 87-80. Yup, learn to spell it: Kristine Anigwe.

Baylor’s Niya Johnson was delightfully generous during the Bear’s romp over McNeese State, 105-46.

Alaina Coates triples herself up as South Carolina smooshed Winthrop, 86-37. A little concerned that Wilson was sitting because of being dinged up….

Penguins bounce back and win!

Hello, Bonnies! They take down struggling Penn State, 70-60, for their eighth win.

Hartford v. Dartmouth... yikes. Just look away, folks, nothin’ to see.

Princeton’s monster first quarter propelled them to a 61-47 win over Pittsburgh.

Rachel Banham made sure her “award day” was a good one.

Pushing through the legal distractions,  Bollant has his team at 7-1.

In a back and forth game, it was St. Mary’s over Washington State, 75-71.

With their 72-68 win over Fresno State, San Diego is now at 9-1.

Seton Hall moved to 9-1 with a solid thumping of Liberty, 92-56.

Ahhh, in-state battles: Southern Miss topped Ole Miss, 57-38.

FGCU is still winning – perhaps not with the dominance we (and they) are used to… but Kaneisha Atwater scored her 1000th point.

Everyone has a different story about what his or her life was like at 18 years old. For Kaneisha Atwater, her story continues to follow her.

Last week, in a Monday evening away game against FIU, single mother and star point guard Atwater scored her 1,000th career point. With Whitney Knight out with an injury, Atwater has stepped up to lead the team in all aspects.

A not insignificant win for #5 Texas, as the hosted and then, behind Empress Davenport’s 23, handled the #14 Cardinal, 77-69.

Michigan gave #20 UCLA a battle, but the Bruins pushed through for a 86-77 win.

IUPUI had Louisville down 18… and couldn’t hold on.

Sheryl Swoopes’ Ramblers gave undefeated #12 Northwestern all they could handle in the first three quarters, but ran out of gas in the fourth. Wildcats stay undefeated, 81-72.

Record breaker: Alisa Jenkins took down USF/WNBAer Wanda Guyton’s rebounding record as USF took down Chattanooga.

The good news is the Buckeyes won. The bad news: Ohio State assistant coach, two players suspended. The good news: Former Kentucky guard Linnae Harper to play for Ohio State.

Boston College has moved to 8-1… keep an eye on their game against Florida State, Jan 7th.

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they must play the rest of their games with their shoes tied together…

@NDsidMasters: During pregame radio interview, Coach McGraw announced Taya Reimer has left @ndwbbfor balance of 2015-16 season for personal reasons.

But never fear, Muffet is here:

It’s been almost 15 years since the University of Notre Dame women’s basketball team won its first — and so far only — national championship, and began a journey that has cemented the Irish as one of the most respected programs in the country. The number of All-Americans who don the blue and gold jersey has become constant. Loyal fans still pack into Purcell Pavilion at the Joyce Center to cheer on their favorite squad. The wins continue to accumulate.

And leading the way is Notre Dame’s Karen and Kevin Keyes Family Head Women’s Basketball Coach Muffet McGraw, who still paces the sideline and stomps her high heels to get her team’s attention during games. But plenty has changed — and some hasn’t — in that decade and a half. Universal changes to women’s basketball itself and personal changes for McGraw that have molded her ability to coach on and off the court.

“I think overall there have been a lot of great changes to women’s basketball, and we’re heading in a really good direction,” McGraw says. “At least here we’re heading in a good direction.”

Of course, she probably felt a little different near the end of the #18 DePaul game, having watched her team squander a huge lead. Yes, they won, but this will not be a comfortable season… though it might be one of her best coaching jobs.

#1 UConn rolled through Colgate, and then used a series of runs to take down #11 Florida State. “Under-appreciated” will become an overused word when it comes to UConn’s Tuck – but I can’t imagine opposition coaches feel that way about her. Certainly, Auriemma doesn’t: ‘She’s pretty special’

Gotta love in-state games: Cyclone Comeback Topples No. 23 Iowa, 69-66

Speaking of in-state games, weird: Analyst: ‘Quite unusual’ for UK defectors to be behind bench

Perhaps television analyst Brenda VanLengen summed up best what many fans were thinking as they watched Kentucky top Louisville on Thursday night.

“This is quite a surprise honestly,” the ESPN play-by-play announcer said just before halftime as the cameras zoomed in on two specific fans among the 14,425 at Rupp Arena.

Didn’t distract the Wildcats, though, as they took it to struggling (Walz: Cards women have talent, not work ethic) Louisville, 72-54. Graham says that With big win over Louisville, Kentucky quiets any talk of a crisis in Lexington. I say, it’s still early in the season…

Speaking of the “defectors,” the Hilltoppers get a nice pickup: Former Kentucky guard Kyvin Goodin-Rogers transferring to Western Kentucky

Texas Tech is continuing its rise from the ashes, defeating the not-to-be-triffled-with Vandals, 78-62.

Sigh. BU is still 0-fer.

Ummm… things are NOT good in the land of the Hartford Hawks. BC humbled them, 62-28.

Good: Texas ramps up efforts to sell women’s team to fans

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How much does San Diego State miss Beth Burns.

You know, UNC Asheville has been pretty awful for a while… and I don’t want to jinx them, but…. they were 6-1 for the first time in 31 years. And now they’re 7-1. AND they have a junior named Knuckles. What’s not to love?

Winning is important, but so is handling the expectations of the coaching staff and not getting too caught up in the early season success.

“The thing I’m most proud of with this team is their commitment to the process,” Kirkpatrick said. “I really think they’ve bought into treating each game separately and getting better with every opportunity.”

Super congrats to Army’s Kelsey Minato. In their win over NJIT, she became the first Army women’s player to reach the 2,000-point milestone. The 8-1 Black Knights look particularly fierce this season – might they return to the Big Dance for the third time since that fateful 2005-06 season? (watch this space for more on that team.)

Speaking of Army….#5 Maryland is 10-0, but Syracuse is the only ranked team they’ve faced. Looking forward to see how they hold up against UConn in the Maggie Dixon Classic at the Garden Monday, December 28th. (This year, I have 189 folks joining me! Come visit sections 10, 11, 12 if you want to say hi. I’ll be the shy, quiet, demure one… not!)

“Ruff!” says Gonzaga to Dayton, “we should be the top-dog in the mid-majors.”

Banham gets some love from the Star Tribune: 

Banham was 107 points shy of the record when she collapsed at the end of a fast-break layup on Dec. 10, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. She had torn her ACL and suffered a partial tear of her MCL, forcing her to spend the next three months watching from the bench as the Gophers returned to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2009.


That gave her plenty of incentive for a rehabilitation period she described as the hardest thing she ever has done. Her doctors followed a strict, cautious timetable, prohibiting her from jogging until three months post-surgery and forbidding any basketball activities for seven months. As she healed, she worked with the Gophers’ new strength coach, Ralph Petrella, and began reshaping her diet.

Good to hear: Texas A&M’s Jordan Jones rebounding well after injury

Gary Blair’s plan early in the season was to lighten the load for senior point guard Jordan Jones, who was coming off knee surgery. But when the Texas A&M women’s basketball team played at 14th-ranked Duke in the second week of the season, the Aggie head coach leaned on Jones for 41 minutes to pull out a 72-66 overtime victory.

“She had played 15 minutes in her first game, 22 in her second game, and she just came in [at Duke] and kept going,” Blair said. “I did not want to play her that many minutes just coming off of that ACL, but she is the heart and soul of our team.”

BTW: That’s 700 for Mr. Blair.

Dishin & Swishin 12/10/15 Podcast: Miami leads group of upstarts changing the guard in the ACC

Notre Dame, Duke, North Carolina, Louisville are the teams we expect to be at the top of the ACC every year. In the last couple of years Florida State became a regular to the discussion too. This year? It is early, but Miami at 10-0, Virginia Tech at 8-1, and Boston College at 7-1 are crashing the party.

One of the reasons Missouri is 9-0: they generating more steals, fast-break chances

If the Lady Vols seeking to reverse tailspin on the road, their performance against a short-handed, shadow-of-its-former-self Wichita State can’t be seen as a good sign. Next up: Stanford (who must deal with Texas) followed by Oregon State. Seatbelt time, y’all.

Speaking of the Beavers: Weisner in a groove offensively

Jamie Weisner entered last Thursday’s game at Marquette hitting 60 percent of her 3-point attempts through the season’s first five games.

But Weisner, No. 7 Oregon State’s senior sharpshooter and leading scorer, for some reason couldn’t find the range against the quick and aggressive Golden Eagles.

She missed all seven of her attempts.

Earlier in her career, that may have led to a bit of frustration for Weisner.

But last Thursday, she wasn’t fazed.

The New York Times: A Life on the Move Molds a U.C.L.A. Basketball Star

Home for Nirra Fields these days is a room in a five-bedroom suite on the U.C.L.A. campus. It is not luxurious: Fields has decorated it with basketball and family pictures, and she shares a common space and a single bathroom with four other students. But the space is clean, and it is organized, and — this is most important — it is all hers.

After the route Fields took to get to it, that is enough.

Ah, high school:

Louisiana: Mothers of Salmen High School girls basketball players who were kicked off team make emotional appeal to School Board

Pittsburgh: West Jefferson Hills school board retains controversial girls basketball coach

Mississippi: Parent puts girls basketball coach in hospital

Seattle: Review of Bishop Blanchet football, girls basketball confirms recruiting violations, self-imposed penalties

Not high school:

Hello, Nancy Lieberman: Sacramento Kings assistant coach nails backward one-handed half-court shot

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Bad news for Liberty fans: Epiphanny Prince has surgery for torn ACL

Hmmmm…. Goldstein resigns from WNBA players union

“I’m very passionate about player rights and, having worked at the MLBPA, was excited to see how I could advance the causes of this union,” Goldstein said. “I think we’ve made some good strides. But as things transpired during my tenure, it seemed there might not be a shared vision of how to continue moving this union forward. So I decided to step aside.

Natalie Achonwa has never been so busy.

The Canadian forward is a promising newcomer for Dike Basket Napoli in Italy’s Serie A1, latest stop in a roundabout basketball career that’s yielded two gold medals and brought her within one game of the WNBA title. It’s Achonwa’s first season of overseas basketball and the start of a brand new, round-the-clock cycle in her pro career – WNBA and international duty with Canada in the summer, Euroleague in the winter.

“That is reality for us. Playing overseas is how we make a living,” says Achonwa. “Whether we are going into a qualifier summer, a World Championship summer, or an Olympic summer, it is what we have to do.

When she gets back home, she better study the rule book: New rules changes for the 2016 WNBA season announced


From Graham: Dayton rules the Mid-Majors (but will they stay there after the loss of Kelley Austria?), followed by the Wabbits and Tigers and…lookee! The Army Knights.

Army probably isn’t a program that can compete at this level on a regular basis, but this shapes up as a once-in-a-long-time kind of season. The three most important players are seniors who have started most or all of their time in the program: Kelsey Minato, Aimee Oertner and Jean Parker. And Minato can play on any court against anyone. In going to Duke and closing within four late in the fourth quarter or beating an Albany team on the cusp of these rankings, Army played the kind of defining games it simply didn’t have on the schedule en route to 23 wins a season ago.

The Women’s Mid-Major poll has a different top three: Gonzaga, Princeton, Green Bay.

LadySwish has Gimme Five (or six): the state’s top teams (Dec. 8)

Resounding road victories at Penn State and at Tennessee sent an emphatic message, particularly from a Tech team that had stumbled badly at Georgetown (73-56 losers) in its only previous road contest. While the win over the Lady Vols generated the headlines – and understandably so – in some ways we were even more impressed with what happened in State College, Pa. Tech seized control early, held it together during a Nittany Lions’ second-half run then used back-to-back 3-pointers from Hannah Young and Vanessa Panousis to snap a 44-44 tie and re-assert command. Tough stuff, particularly in the other team’s building. Of course, they don’t hand out trophies for what teams do in December, and the Hokies still have some things to clean up (23 turnovers vs. Penn State; 10-20 FT shooting at Tennessee). But as we sit here today, this looks like a team that can compete for a spot in the top half of the powerful ACC.


Hello, Washington State – they take down Gonzaga, 55-48. The 8-1 Cougars are off to their best start since (fakers) Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it On the Rain” was atop the charts. Next up: The Gaels.

Nice win for San Francisco over Long Beach, 66-52. Take a moment to check in with coach Azzi.

Speaking of coaches trying to turn a program around, I’m noticing that Erik Johnson has Boston College off to a 7-1 start.

So far so good for Georgia, who stand a 8-1, having passed their first test. Speaking of tests: Point guard Marjorie Butler is redefining “student-athlete”

The Georgia Bulldogs came home last week from a Thanksgiving tournament in Southern California on an overnight flight that got them there early Monday morning. After landing, everyone headed home or to class except senior point guard Marjorie Butler.

She stayed at the airport to catch another flight – to Virginia, to interview for medical school. After that, she flew to Tennessee for another interview with a school the following day.

Wednesday night, Butler put in 7 points, dished 5 assists and grabbed 4 rebounds in Georgia’s home win over Mercer.

Extra air miles aside, it was a pretty typical week for the 22-year-old starter, who will graduate next spring with two degrees before beginning her quest to be an orthopedic doctor.

Oregon’s rising: Mark Campbell’s tireless approach helping Oregon women’s basketball turn corner

Louisville’s recovering: Psychology keeps Cards women ‘above the line’

Cortnee Walton acknowledges that not everyone believes in the benefits of sports psychology, but the Louisville women’s basketball veteran does, and she credits it for the Cardinals’ recent bounce back from a 1-4 start.

U of L topped then-No. 19 Michigan State last week before routing Valparaiso on Saturday, victories that set up Walton and company with some momentum heading into Thursday’s game at No. 8 Kentucky.

Break my record? I’ll come to your party: Banham to be Honored.

Prior to tipoff against Memphis on Saturday, the Gopher women’s basketball program will recognize Rachel Banham for breaking the Minnesota career scoring record. Former record holder Lindsay Whalen will be part of the ceremony. The game will begin at 2 p.m. at Williams Arena.

Banham passed Whalen’s total of 2,285 points during the Gophers’ game against Auburn in Puerto Rico. She has tallied 2,349 points entering the matchup with the Tigers.

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…I was ever afraid to play somebody?” Colgate coach Nicci Hays Fort from Mechelle’s piece, which explores why Breanna Stewart’s homecoming game is happening in Hamilton, NY,  not her hometown Syracuse.

Hmm… guess the H-teams are glad I called them out. Both Hampton and Howard earned their first win of the season.

I’m not going to get excited by Florida’s 7-1 record… not until they play Mississippi State January 3rd.

Billikens… lose!

Hello, St. Bonaventure! They take down perennial top dog James Madison, 56-45.

You stay put: Texas Tech signs Candi Whitaker to contract extension through 2020

Crap: Dayton’s Austria out for season

In other news:

Why it Will Be ‘Nothing But Knicks’ for Liberty Star Swin Cash.

Where’s the Catch? Tamika Catchings On The WNBA, Equal Pay In Sports, And Giving Back On And Off The Court

Tamika Catchings is one of the most decorated female basketball players of all time. Scratch that – with two NCAA titles, A WNBA title, WNBA MVP award, and three Olympic gold medals, she’s one of the most decorated basketball players of all time, period.

But, Catchings is also an MVP off the court. Her foundation, Catch The Stars,which helps empower youth ages 7-15 through literacy, fitness and mentoring, will be celebrating its 12th year in 2016. The Indiana Fever star is also an ambassador for Allstate’s WBCA Good Works team, which honors outstanding collegiate basketball players who excel not just on the paint, but in giving back through volunteering and civic-engagement.

Brava, Aussie: Abby Bishop proud of stance for niece Zala as Basketball Australia relaxes policy

Bishop will make her Australian Opals (currently Liz-free) comeback at a Rio Olympic Games test event in Brazil in January, ending almost two years in international limbo.

The 27-year-old declared her niece Zala will always be her number one priority and praised Basketball Australia for being flexible to pay for some of the childcare costs while she is on Opals duties.

Scroll back and enjoy


What do you get when espnW IMPACT25 honorees Carli Lloyd, Lydia Ko, Serena Williams, Ronda Rousey and Misty Copeland join forces with Ms. Marvel, The Black Widow, Thor, She-Hulk and Medusa? A #SUPERSQUAD, that’s what. And below, see more original renderings as Marvel artists turned our illustrious list of 2015 Influencers and Athletes into super versions of themselves.

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whomping #8 Tennessee by 14. I mean, this is not the old Big East program that challenged the UConn team of 2002. Yes, they’re 7-1, but they lost (big time) to Georgetown and can really only point to their 5-point win over struggling Penn State as a victory of any significance. The win did earn the Hokie’s Vanessa Panousis espnW Player of the Week honors.

But getting back to Tennessee, fans have got to be concerned not just by what they see on the court (6 points in the 4th quarter?!), but what they’re hearing from coach Warlick:

I am not here just to motivate those kids, and they know it. Something has to start clicking for them, because I can go stand on my head, and they can figure out what they need to do. I thought in the first quarter we came out and got after it, but then after that we just kind of settled. I don’t know the answer, or I would fix it. Now we go on the road, which will help us get more focused. I’m not giving up on this basketball team, but we need to get a lot more disciplined, and maybe going on the road will help with that.

And, if you’re looking down the road – be in the next few games (Stanford & Oregon State) or next year’s recruiting class – things look bleak. Michelle and Susie Arth talk about Tennessee’s recruiting woes, but I feel like they’re avoiding the real problem: coaching. Not only has Warlick not shown herself to be an effective leader, but Tennessee’s committed to her for four years, which means they’re in this for the long haul. For a season that started with such optimism, things are looking pretty bleak in Rocky Top land.

Movin’ on…

#2 South Carolina dispatched #14 Duke, 66-55, courtesy of a strong fourth quarter. I wonder if Dawn’s feeling good about her offense yet.

#4 Baylor took care of business against Grambling . Still undefeated, they’ve handled USF, DePaul and MSU. It will be interesting to see how they deal with (currently) undefeated Miami, inconsistent #21 Oklahoma and #5 Texas. I’m not quite buying Texas yet – though I want to. Yes, it was a 66-56 win over Arkansas-Little Rock, but the fact that they were down 13 doesn’t fill me with optimism.

#18 Cal ran off its frustration against Sacramento State, 117-99.

Hmmmm… Should we be paying more attention to Georgia this season? The just whupped #22 Seton Hall, 70-52.

Ditto with the attention question to Purdue. They recovered from they disappointing loss to Boston College and clipped the Flyers, 61-58 (Verysp’s 200th as a Boilermaker).

Marist is happy to be playing in the MAAC – they’re 2-0 there.

Whoops! Celebrating too much VCU? Toledo, who’s been struggling, took it to’em in the first quarter and coasted to a 80-61 win.

In this in-state rivalry, after being down 21, it was the Huskers over the Blue Jays, 65-63.

Down the road, it was Omaha over Eastern Illinois. I’m not saying the Mavericks are going to win the Summit, but they’ve been so bad for so long, winning should be celebrated.

Princeton handed Michigan its first loss of the season, 74-57.

Washington State did the same to San Diego, 78-72.

In other news, did you catch this from ex-WNBA/ODUer Clarisse Machanguana: The First Step

Every year in Mozambique, 17,000 adolescents are newly infected while another 4,500 die. And perhaps most startling, three out of five people there have HIV and don’t even know it.

I often think about who would still be here if we had started talking about this awful disease years ago. I think about my uncle. I started playing basketball as a young girl, mostly because my mother’s brother was a star point guard. Through him, I also fell in love with the game. And after his own career ended, he became a coach and put me on the path to playing professionally. He was my inspiration in everything I did on the court. Without him, I’m not sure I’d have made it to the professional level.

When I was in the WNBA, I would return home during breaks in the season to see my family. In later years, my uncle was a different man. He developed a drug addiction and, likely through sharing needles, a case of HIV. He went from being this big-time athlete to spending nights in the locker room because he had no money. He was so stoned that after practice, he’d just get lost. Sometimes I’d see him on the street, begging for change.

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So, how’s THIS for a lesson

Shoot 13-20 from three… and you still lose by 10.

#3 Notre Dame showed it’s mettle, walked into a sold-out Gampel arena sporting a four guard line-up that (offensively) gave UConn fits. How much fun are the Irish going to be this — and especially NEXT — season?

In the end, though, Moriah Jefferson turned up the defense, Breanna Stewart tapped her inner POY, Morgan Tuck turned on her “I love playing Notre Dame” and UConn escaped with a 10-point win.

Current ND assistant coach Beth Cunningham must be thrilled about her former team’s accomplishment. VCU dropped rather precipitously after she left, but yesterday they earned their first victory over a Top 25 team. The Rams knocked off #17 ASU, 57-48.

Keeping up the theme, the always tough St. Mary’s Gaels eked out a win over #18 Cal, 64-63.

Not to be upstaged by their conference-mate, BYU took it to #12 Texas A&M, 72-64.

Not. So. Fast: Winthrop stomps Gardner-Webb, 81-62.

As important as the win was the presence of Asia (not done) Durr. Louisville over Valpo, 75-42.

Yes, I know Clemson is bad… but I’m going to point out William & Mary’s victory over them as potentially significant. The W&M has, frankly, stunk it up these last few year. But, with the win, the Tribe owns its “first five-game winning streak since the 2008-09 season, and its 7-1 record equals its best Division I start in school history.”

Wow – Hampton AND Howard are o-fer-7.

The Ducks, on the other hand, are 7-0.

Well, hello, Army. Down 12, the Black Knights tame the Great Danes, 65-62. Kelsey Minato is still kickin’ ass and takin’ names. 

By the way, sending a “Hello” to Boston College, who ran their record to 6-1 with their win over Purdue.

(BTW: Mt. Vernon’s Erica Moore to transfer from Purdue women’s basketball and Freshman Kaylan Pugh exits the Ohio State women’s basketball program)

Is there something going on in North Texas that we should be paying attention to? Mean Green roar back in the final quarter to defeat IUPUI, 68-67.

Ditto for Abilene Christian – who dispatched the usually solid Eastern Michigan, 83-59.

A nice win for UTEP, who seems to have regained their old mojo – they hold off New Mexico State, 71-65.

Wichita State’s tough year continues

More goodness from Jim Massie:

Alone in the Ohio State practice gym, Kelsey Mitchell listens to the sound of a bouncing basketball while it provides the timpani for the symphony that the sport is playing in her head.

“When I don’t have anything to do as far as class, I come to the gym,” said Mitchell, a sophomore guard and the leading scorer for the Buckeyes. “Whatever free time I have, I try to get in here as much as possible.

“Our schedules are all pretty hectic, but I still try to come in here to keep my form right, to stay consistent and to be balanced.”

Nobody has to prod her to practice because Mitchell loves the sound and the music of basketball.


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Yup, that WAS fun…

Two groups of blue-clad racehorses zoomed up and down Doug Bruno court in a display of push-the-pace basketball. For most of the game, the #23 Blue Demons stayed within a hand’s length of the Huskies. Eventually, though, UConn pulled away for a 16-point win.

Equally entertaining, Madison Cable sealed #3 Notre Dame’s win over #10 Ohio State, 75-72. Me thinks the Buckeyes may be practicing their free throws this afternoon….

Speaking of UConn, Notre Dame and DePaul: Notre Dame plays UConn Dec. 5th and DePaul Dec. 9th. Wheeeeeeee!

#5 Maryland inexorably pulled away from #20 Syracuse, posting a convincing 82-64 win.

#6 Texas is not going to win any style points with their 53-47 win over #9 Mississippi State, but when you’re 6-0, who cares?

Strong second halves were key in #8 Tennessee’s win over East Tennessee State and #11 Kentucky‘s win over Northern Kentucky. Ditto with #21 Oklahoma’s win over Arkansas-Little Rock.

A strong second half by the Tar Heels made the score less painful (85-72), but it’s still an important program win for #15 (and undefeated) Northwestern.

Wow – Tennessee-Martin (3-4) gives Alabama (6-1) their first loss of the season, 83-65.

Arizona (5-1) does the same to New Mexico State, 68-64.

Miami did the same to Illinois, as the Hurricanes moved to 8-0.

Billikens win!

Perhaps Gardner-Webb isn’t a fluke this year – they put the Big South on notice with their confident win over perennial conference powerhouse, Liberty.

I think I may have jinxed Lehigh. Sorry.

Penguins win!

Tough start of year two for Dykes – after winning their first two games, Arkansas has lost five straight.

That’s Missouri at 8-0… let’s see what happens when they face Tennessee Jan 4th.

Gotta love those in-state rivalries: Colorado State over Colorado, 64-63.

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I warned ya…

#8 Burnt Orange traveled into the Land of #4 Orange and the results weren’t pretty for the Vols. It wasn’t a particularly aesthetically pleasing game – though goodness knows the sport has endured worse – but Tennessee fans have got to be concerned. The offense is incoherent, players are playing one-on-one, and there’s inconsistent energy and commitment. Yes, the team is certainly banged up but, as Mechelle writes,

It ended up being a display of so many things that Tennessee coach Holly Warlick already was worried about, including discipline on defense, shot-making and turnovers.

And while it’s just one game — “We will figure it out,” Warlick said — the fact is that while most teams obviously are still in construction mode this early in the season, Tennessee clearly has much to work on.

It took overtime, but #13 Stanford took down Purdue (Their first loss. ‘ware, Big 10?), 71-65.

Another first loss of the season – Lehigh falls to Villanova, 65-44.

Nice win for St. John’s as they took down #18 USF by 4.

Don’t look now, but Columbia is 5-1.

Yup, she’s good: Lexi Bando scores 35 in a rout of San Jose State Spartans (As is the Duck’s double-double machine Alleyne)

Yup, she’s good, too: High-scoring Kelsey Plum learning how valuable she can be as a passer, too

Even as the rest of the world wiped sleep from its eyes and stumbled in search of coffee, early-morning pickup games were a bond between Kelsey Plum and her dad throughout her adolescence. She was usually the only girl on the court, but with Joe, she always got a game.

Not that such sentimentality stopped Plum’s fury at her dad’s shot selection.

Nor did it stop her from occasionally walking home, too angry with him to endure the car ride.

LSU is not who’ve they been, but that won’t diminish the thrill Maine got from their 52-41 win over the Tigers.

Wow – tough times for American.

The Wildcats lose again – a player, that is, as it was announced that Kyvin Goodin-Rogers was leaving the UK women’s basketball team. Coach Mitchell says it’s nothing to worry about.

Bad news for their friends down the road: Not only did Louisville lose to Dayton, but Asia Durr may be pushed into redshirting because of a stubborn groin injury.

Speaking of bad news: It’s not good at all for Brianna Turner and Taya Reimer. Sure makes the UConn/Notre Dame game less intriguing.

Speaking of UConn, they dismantled a point guard-less Chattanooga (Huskies motivated to always put on a show). Up next, a trip to Chicago to face DePaul. That oughta be fun.

Hello, Pirates! Seton Hall women’s basketball enters top 25 behind best start in 26 years

Of note: OSU stayed undefeated, giving Washington State their first loss of the season, 70-60.

Lady Swish say, Gimme Five – the state’s top teams (Nov. 30)

The Dukes vault to the top after a 2-0 week featuring a dominant win over tough Liberty (ask Cal and Ohio State how tough) and an escape-from-the-dead overtime win at Hampton Sunday that left coach Kenny Brooks scrambling for superlatives.

A WATN? that I believe we knew: Thompson brings championship experience to Texas

Then she got yet another unexpected call: Karen Aston offered her a job as an assistant coach at Texas.

“I was like, ‘no,’ right away,” Thompson said. “‘Thank you so much for considering me, but I humbly decline.’”

Aston persisted and convinced Thompson to visit. After meeting the staff, Thompson agreed to consider the offer. From that point on, Thompson said the stars just started to align.

“It just came down to being divine intervention, in a sense, that there were so many people I bumped into that I had relationships with,” Thompson said.

I’m always amused when folks complain about women’s basketball officiating, as if it’s the only sport where refs are complained about. NFL Officiating Under Increased Scrutiny

Deserved: Lauren Hill, O.J. Brigance to receive 2016 NCAA Inspiration Award

‘Tis the season? Dozens of Christian schools win Title IX waivers to ban LGBT students.

Thus far 36 schools have asked for the waiver. According to documents obtained in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by The Column in July, these schools have asked the federal government for these waivers not only to deny enrollment to or expel transgender students, but the broad-based waiver requests have also targeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual students and staff. In some cases schools have even asked for, and been granted, a waiver to allow them to expel women who have been pregnant outside of marriage.

Banning transgender students
News that schools were requesting such waivers first surfaced in July 2014, when Inside Higher Ed reported that three Christian colleges — George Fox University in Oregon, Spring Arbor University in Michigan, and Simpson University in California — had requested and received a waiver from the federal government’s Title IX.

“Please, sir, may we promote bigotry?”

“Sure, just give back those funds…and let’s remove you from our schedule.”

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