Montana’s strong Big Sky regular season came to an abrupt halt in the quarter finals as Idaho State roared back in the fourth quarter to defeat the Bobcats, 52-50. One of those heart breaking/heart filling shots.
Double ouch: Ohio has ruled the MAC. No such luck in the quarterfinals, as Buffalo stunned’em with authority, 72-60. Clearly, getting a day of rest was a killer in the MAC: Toledo fell to Akron (by 2), Ball State got run over by Eastern Michigan… CMU was the only “rester” who needed a 15-point comeback to escape into the semis, 66-62, over Western Michigan.
Owie: Top seed Bethune-Cookman (18-12, 12-4) got bounced in the MEAC quarters by South Carolina State (13-15, 7-9), 56-48.
Towson (7-23, 3-15) pulled the upset over William & Mary (15-15, 6-12) in the CAA, 71-65.
The Owls of Rice (9-21, 7-11) surprised LA Tech (14-16, 9-9) in the C-USA second round, 72-67.
Familiarity breeds upset. In the NEC, it was Robert Morris (19-12, 11-7 NEC) over Bryant (18-13, 14-4 NEC), 72-59, to advance into the finals.
Speaking of Eastern Washington, a nice story on this season: Wendy Schuller, assistants molded Eagles into another contender
Not even coach Wendy Schuller knew what to expect this year from the Eastern Washington women’s basketball team.
Except that the Eagles would work their tails off and make her proud.
For a decade-and-a-half, the Eagles have been doing just that for Schuller, who’s on the cusp of a second straight 20-win season going into Wednesday’s night’s quarterfinal game against Sacramento State in the Big Sky Conference tournament.
This year’s 19-11 overall record has been earned the hard way, with only five returning players following the offseason departure of seven athletes. Last year’s 21-12 campaign was quickly forgotten by the media and coaches, who picked the Eagles to finish sixth and ninth, respectively, in the Big Sky.
The Times Union does a nice job of covering Albany: Well-traveled Zakiya Saunders finding home with UAlbany women’s basketball
Zakiya Saunders started counting on her right hand but couldn’t quite get through all of the fingers on her left one. She finally took her dad’s word for it.
Ten homes, Master Sergeant Vincent Saunders calculates, including a few areas multiple times. That was childhood for the University at Albany women’s basketball team’s point guard.
Now, the junior ranks as one of the best passers in the country. Third nationally in assists per game, Saunders has been influenced by a lifetime of required travel.
“I notice everything,” Saunders said, flashing a sly smile that slightly lets you into her carefully scrutinized world.
Maine held the America East’s best player, UAlbany’s Shereesha Richards, in check, making her a nonfactor in the Great Danes’ offense. Richards scored just eight points — only the fourth time she has not scored in double figures this season.
Richards is not going to say there was anything special Maine did against her in that game.
“In my head, from that last game, everything just fell for them,” Richards said. “There are days when things just go for people. There is a lot of stuff we could have done better in that game.”
From the Bangor Daily News: Tournament puts spotlight on America East women’s basketball
As a mid-major conference, America East has had its collective work cut out for it in terms of maintaining relevance in the national picture.
This season, with University at Albany and University of Maine leading the charge, the league ranks 16th out of 32 conferences in the Rating Percentage Index, jumping from last season’s rank of 23rd.
America East Commissioner Amy Huchthausen said it is a testament to the overall caliber of basketball and the tough scheduling being done by conference programs.
From the Florida Times Union: Gamecocks aiming for bigger prize in women’s basketball
Say this much for the impending dynasty of Southeastern Conference women’s basketball: South Carolina made sure to celebrate properly Sunday, taking no championship for granted.
After the No. 3-ranked Gamecocks wore down Mississippi State 66-52 to win their second consecutive SEC title, players reveled in the moment. They took turns gathering confetti to throw at each other, got on the Veterans Memorial Arena floor to make confetti angels, and many of them posed for pictures with the SEC trophy.
“This is what we live for,” said sophomore forward A’ja Wilson. “You got to enjoy the moment while it’s here.”
Out: Chris Paul, IPFW
Stay put, please: Goodenough, Abilene Christian. Ummm… if ADs aren’t noticing the work Goodenough has done at Abiliene Christian…
For three weeks, Jennie Simms was in limbo, unsure of when or if she would be allowed to play this season for the Old Dominion women’s basketball team.
She was suspended in late November for an incident involving teammate Ije Ajemba during a tournament in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Simms won’t talk about the specifics, but does remember the aftermath.
The players were banished from practice, games, team meetings and even from hanging out in the locker room with teammates.
“It was a difficult time,” Simms said. “I had to pray a lot, to try to keep my mind where it should be.”
Simms and Ajemba worked out together during that time, ate together and studied together. “We didn’t separate,” Simms said. “Instead, we came together.”
“It has been such an honor to be a part of HWBB (Harvard Women’s Basketball)” Tummala said. “The program has taught me so much about myself, providing me with the tools to go out in the real world and be successful. More importantly, I have made life-long friends in my teammates and coaching staff, and have cherished the opportunity to play here every single day. I will forever be grateful.”
However, the journey has not been easy. Though Tummala considers herself her biggest critic, both on and off the court, she reveals that the greatest hurdle was acceptance from her South Asian community. Specifically, it was difficult for them to accept her decision to play basketball competitively.
’cause you know I love me some history: Massapequa High School’s 2006 girls basketball champions: 10 years later
Congrats to area great, Mary Coyle Klinger: St. Rose falls in final to Rutgers Prep
Chasing sectional titles has been a trend since Whalen took the helm, as the Purple Roses captured two consecutive titles and three out of the last four entering Tuesday night’s tilt.
But the coveted three-peat wasn’t to be, as the Argonauts (28-1) opened up a 44-32 lead on seventh-seeded St. Rose (25-5) after the third quarter, before earning the lopsided victory and avenging a semifinal round exit at the hands of the Purple Roses a season ago.
The win topped off Klinger’s season nicely. In January of this year, she earned her 500th win.
It’s funny—I hadn’t really thought about it,” said Klinger. “I’m not big on personal milestones—I’m more about the team and the kids. After our 499th win, I started thinking, ‘Wow, 500, holy cow, that’s a lot!’ What it really got me thinking about were all the kids that had played for me, and I thought that was really cool because it brought back a lot of memories of terrific kids, and it was neat to think about them again.”
Klinger is no stranger to success, and this milestone adds to a career full of accolades. The 2015-16 season marks Klinger’s 32nd year as head coach of the girls’ basketball program at Rutgers Prep (and her 19th year as athletic director for the school); in her time she has won 10 NJSIAA Prep B State Championships and four Somerset County titles for the Argonauts, and has earned numerous Star Ledger and Courier News Coach of the year awards. Her career record is 500-228.
And though she did, briefly, try her hand outside the basketball world, it didn’t take her long to realize where she belongs, and the continued success has certainly proven her correct.
“I was in the business world for a year and thought, ‘This is not me,’” Klinger said. “Sports and athletics were such a big part of my life, and the thought that it wouldn’t be for the rest of my life was naïve thinking. I’ve always wanted to coach. I’ve always been a student of the game, I’ve always been interested in helping others achieve goals. Did I think I would be in one place for 32 years? Initially, not. But as I grew up in the community, it was a no-brainer for me. I love Rutgers Prep and I love being part of this community.”
Looking to the summer:
The .com has What They’re Saying: WNBA Draft 2016
Sue’s in SlamOnline with her WNBA Draft Index, Vol. 1 – Scouting the top Draft prospects in the NCAA.
From New York Magazine: The Sexist Garbage Women Athletes Face, According to a WNBA Star
“It needs to be talked about because it’s there, but for some reason it’s not really spoken about that much. The men … they do get trolled, but it’s just always following us.”
And the comments are different — people trash-talking male athletes aren’t telling them to wear less clothing or to worry about domestic duties. Delle Donne believes that increased coverage will help the public realize that female athletes are not here for you to ogle or demean. They are here to compete.
“I think the best way [to change it] is continuing visibility and getting eyes on our game and the product that we put out there. That’s the biggest way to get people to speak about the game and our talents, instead of always just being like, ‘Oh, a female basketball player … ’ I’m a basketball player.
Head women’s basketball Coach Yolanda Moore is about to complete her second season of coaching the team. Moore is also a motivational speaker and wrote a book entitled “You Will Win If You Don’t Quit”. Before coming to Southeastern she coached the LSU Eunice women’s basketball team to their first conference championship. Before coaching, Moore was a women’s basketball analyst for Fox Sports South in 2005 and for the Memphis Grizzlies in 2007. She had a very successful playing career finishing as a three-time All-Southeastern Conference post player at Ole Miss and was inducted into the Sports Ole Miss hall of fame. Moore also won two WNBA championships in the inaugural years of the WNBA.
A litte USA Basketball:
USA coaches named for 2016 Women’s U18 National Team: Suzie McConnell-Serio, Kamie Ethridge & Charlotte Smith. BTW, if ADs aren’t paying attention to what Smith is doing at Elon….
“Every single time we go out, everybody’s gunning for us, so you never have an opportunity to not have a good game,” said 36-year-old forward Tamika Catchings, who was on the last three gold medal-winning U.S. teams. “They all play their best games against us. You want to be the country, you want to be the team to take the USA out.”
Speaking of international basketball, Paul writes: Changes to calendar around FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 a boon for ever-expanding WNBA Eurovision
There’s little doubt that the change to the calendar around the FIBA EuroBasket Women 2017 Qualifiers window has been of benefit to the WNBA.
While each summer will still be occupied by the inevitable major tournaments locked into the cycle, there is much more room for those players not involved to now move Stateside.
It is already manifesting itself of late with the likes of Zoi Dimitrakou, Jelena Dubljevic, Frida Eldebrink, Evgenia Belyakova and Katerina Elhotova all jumping aboard – helped by the fact they won’t have any commitments with Greece, Montenegro, Sweden, Russia and Czech Republic respectively.
The Qualifier windows have seemingly expanded the scope for the WNBA to have a more eclectic demographic and hopefully with that, broaden the appeal further around the globe – something which fits neatly into the accessibility offered by technology nowadays.