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Conference play starts….

but rats: DePaul women’s basketball star Jessica January is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday to repair a broken right index finger.

Welcome to Pac 12 ’16-’17, JR: The Trojans stomp all over #20 Colorado, 79-54. UConn transfer Sadie Edwards and Sr. Courtney Jaco combined for 30 and the Buffaloes shot 30%.

It was a tussle, but #13 Stanford escaped with a 64-57 win over #18 Arizona State.

Pluminator in action v. Ducks w/out Sabrina Ionescu (broken thumb) and Maite Cazorla (foot)? She jammed: Kelsey scores 44 as Washington Huskies down Ducks  , 99-77

Speaking of the Ducks: following in Jessica Moore’s footsteps, Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard turning heads in Lower 48

It’s much easier for Ruthy Hebard to get recognized for her skills now that she’s at Oregon.

The Ducks freshman forward grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska. 

Also, Migrating Duck: Freshman Jayde Woods leaves Oregon.

OSU women’s basketball: Cowgirls pull away late to win Big 12 opener

The “other” OSU  improves to 12-1 with win over Washington State, but questions remain

OSU may prove to be a major player on the national scene before the dust settles on the 2016-17 campaign, but the non-conference schedule proved little.

The Beavers have yet to play a ranked opponent and Marquette, which is the best team they have played so far, upset OSU on Nov. 22 in Corvallis.

Friday’s win didn’t come easy.

Missouri women’s basketball team faces personal challenge over holiday break

Robinson’s gunshot trauma is the latest in a string of issues the team has dealt with so far this season. Senior forward Jordan Frericks and junior forward Bri Porter both suffered season-ending ACL injuries in preseason.

Bri Porter’s younger sister, sophomore forward Cierra Porter, has been dealing with her own knee pain this year, while sophomore guard Sophie Cunningham has been dealing with a bulged disc in her back.

No longer undefeated – Buffalo falls to Harvard, 74-62. Again, Harvard in the Ivy this year.

“This win means so much to our team,” freshman forward Jeannie Boehm said. “It proves that all of our hard work has payed off. I think we’re super confident going into conference play now, and we all feel very ready and excited.”

So, is Marquette the new boss in the New Big East?

And Bucknell in the Patriot? Or is it Army?

How about Charlotte (9-3) in the C-USA? Or is it Western Kentucky (9-4)?

Fun (successful) experiment with the Seton Hall/St. John’s game. Pirates win.

Every victory is an improvement overt the early years: St. Peter’s over Niagara, 78-66.

Ho hum: Latest UConn women’s basketball winning streak carries a little less hoopla

WNBA

It got Alex Montgomery to the WNBA, it can work for her Steilacoom High players, too

Alex Montgomery didn’t need to reach the WNBA to teach some of these drills.

She told her players to line up across the baseline. It was for a drill she has performed thousands of times in her own playing career. 

“Everybody knows what a sprint is, right?” she asked. 

Their answers were inaudible. Montgomery cupped her hand around her ear and leaned the side of her head in their direction for a more understandable response. 

“Yes, coach,” they yelled.

Then she blew her whistle.

“I feel like because I am in the WNBA I am a role model,” Powers said. “For me, I had girls I looked up to when I was growing up. 
NBA players use the summer to develop their games. WNBA players are in a paradox of sorts. The WNBA itself is the best professional women’s league in the world, but they only play during the summer. During the winter and fall, most players go to Europe, Asia, or Australia to play where they work to expand their skill sets.
Earlier, we talked about the challenges of evaluating international talent. So now, let’s check up on how the players are doing as we head into 2017.
Elizabeth Williams wants to go to medical school. She followed the pre-medicine track at Duke, majoring in psychology and interning at the university’s hospital before her senior year. Her father is a doctor and her mother is a nurse.
But for Williams, the medical field will have to wait for now. The former Princess Anne star is playing her second year as a professional, suiting up for the WNBA’s Atlanta Dream and a EuroLeague team, Nadezhda, that plays in the Russian city of Orenburg.
Give yourself a chance to reflect on all the goodness that was the W in 2016: 20 Moments of 2016

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This happens, sometimes, when an unranked team of seasoned seniors meets the #2 team in the country. NC State pummeled Notre Dame through through three quarters and withstood the Irish’s fourth quarter charge to earn a stunning upset, 70-62. That ended the Irish’s AAC win-streak at 35 – underscoring how ridiculous UConn’s streak is – this stuff happens

“This is something that they’ll cherish,” Wolfpack coach Wes Moore said. “All night long on ESPN, that (score) is going to be going across the ticker. I may just go home and sit in front of the TV for an hour and watch it: there it goes again, there it goes again.”

Speaking of upsets, how about this one: Pepperdine (3-8) over Gonzaga (9-3), 79-69. Did they suit up Milton-Jones? Nope, Allie Green.

Nice way to come home – get your jersey retired and watch your team handle its business. #15 Duke pulled away in the fourth quarter to earn a 69-54 win over #17 Kentucky.

Bears-on-a-Roll: #21 Cal women’s basketball adds to perfect record with win over Arizona

Bear-on-a-Roll 2: #3 Baylor rolled over Kansas State by 30.

#7 Seminoles and #11 Hurricanes were close through the first half, then Florida State powered to a 15 point win.

The #25 Orange had a lovely lead in the first quarter, and then the wheels fell off. Badly. #8 Louisville by 15.

Git along, little froggie. #12 West Virginia dispatched TCU, 83-61.

Not much of an in-state rivalry as the Longhorns topped Texas Tech by 20.

Boomer Sooner, indeed. #24 Oklahoma unloaded on Kansas, 84-54.

Lots written, and well deserved, on a fab game in a GREAT atmosphere (missing the pithy DC Basketcases blog. Hope they were at the game)

WaPo, Jerry Brewer: Brenda Frese’s Terps have closed gap on Huskies, and they’re making a move

It still exists, that feeling the Connecticut women’s basketball team can lose. You felt it in faint and flickering moments Thursday night as Maryland activated a sellout Xfinity Center crowd, which responded with wild cheers at the end of a strangely competitive game.

NY Times, Howard Megdal: UConn Extends Streak to 87, Shrugging Off No. 4 Maryland

“I just think for us, we’re not afraid of the name on the jersey,” Maryland Coach Brenda Frese said. “And that’s three-fourths of the battle.”

The idea was more than just wishful thinking.

AP, David, not Doug: No. 1 UConn outlasts No. 4 Maryland

“When we needed a shot, we got one. When we needed a stop, we got one. When we needed a play, we got one. It came from different spots, and we needed every one of them.”

ESPN, Mechelle: Katie Lou Samuelson sparks UConn past Maryland to 87th straight win (is it too much, ESPN video folks, to look at a pronunciation guide before you narrate video? )

 Samuelson — known simply as “Lou” by the staff and her teammates — led the way Thursday. She had 23 points to lead five Huskies scoring in double figures.

This despite the fact that she wasn’t feeling well before the game. She was sick enough, in fact, that Auriemma wasn’t even sure she would play. Samuelson, however, said she never had any doubt.

“Once you start, adrenaline gets you through anything that’s going on,” she said, and that included vomiting during the contest. “There were moments I was a little tired. But our team was doing really great stuff, so that got me excited and hyped up.

Yahoo Sports/The Dagger, Henry Bushnell: UConn women’s basketball win streak reaches 87, and it isn’t ending anytime soon (So say the writers, but neither the coaches or players disrespect would their future opponents so) 

“I set the schedule up so that this wouldn’t happen,” Auriemma told ESPN’s Kara Lawson after the game. “And it’s happened. I’m flabbergasted.”

Business Today: Geno Auriemma tried to teach UConn a lesson — and it backfired because they won’t stop winning

Deadspin: UConn’s Women’s Basketball Still Hasn’t Lost A Game Since 2014

USA Today, Nina Mandell: UConn is three wins away from history and seem unstoppable

What makes this UConn team especially remarkable is its resiliency after it lost Moriah Jefferson, Breanna Stewart and Morgan Tuck, who went on to be the top three picks in the 2016 WNBA draft. Katie Lou Samuelson, the team’s leading scorer, was spotted throwing up in a trash can on the sidelines in the first half. She went 2-for-8 in the first half, including 1-for-6 from the 3, but came back in the second half and finished with 23 points.

“I just think she’s a relentless player,” Slocum said.

Hartford Courant: UConn Holds Off Tenacious Maryland, 87-81

 

Speaking of undefeated teams: Utah women’s basketball: Unbeaten Utes open Pac 12 play at UCLA, USC

Nobody can accuse the Utah women’s basketball team of easing into its Pac-12 schedule.

Coach Lynne Roberts and the Utes open conference play Friday night at 10th-ranked UCLA, just 36 hours before a Sunday afternoon battle against perennial power USC.

Utah is 11-0 for the first time since 2000-01. It has lost nine straight games to UCLA, however, and hasn’t yet faced a player like Jordin Canada, the Bruins’ All-American point guard and national Player of the Year candidate.

Courtney Jaco plays at USC and is Canada’s former high school teammate.

“You think you’re in front of her,” Jaco told ESPN, “but she’s so quick [and] so explosive, she’s gone in the next second.”

Also, Buffalo held off Fordham to remain perfect. Their in the same tourney as Harvard, now 10-1.

Oklahoma State continues to trot on the edges of the rankings – they defeat Iowa State, 71-59.

From Howard “whoopee I’m writing for the NY Times!” and Gabriella Levine, listen to their Year in Review.

Speaking of the Times, did Tom Jolly get fired? *goggles* NOPE, just not in charge of sports anymore. Which might explain the increased coverage of women’s basketbll, including this: Push the Ball! Box Out! Zone! Did You Get All That, Viewers?

Steve Scheer is a basketball junkie. He had often fantasized about eavesdropping on a coach’s huddle during timeouts. The short, edited snippets on some telecasts were hardly enough to satisfy his appetite for access.

Unlike most fans, though, Scheer was in a position to fulfill his wish. As a senior coordinating producer for college basketball at Fox Sports, and a 37-year sports television veteran, Scheer was better positioned than most to see his suggestion for an all-access, commercial-free, live basketball telecast become a reality.

On Friday, when St. John’s plays at Seton Hall in a Big East Conference women’s basketball game at 7 p.m. Eastern, both head coaches will wear microphones throughout a commercial-free telecast on Fox Sports 2. Viewers will be able to hear not only what is said inside the huddle, but also the live interactions and directions from the sidelines and the coaches’ talks inside the locker rooms at halftime.

UT-Arlington earned a win over Appalachia State. Check out DJ’s Sixmith’s piece on the Maverick’s Rebekah VanDijk, who didn’t start playing hoops until 7th grade.

Brenna Greene offers up the story of Nevada player who’s waited 2 yrs, 9 mos to play a conference game.

I kinda want this t-shirt: How America East is changing the conversation on LGBTQ inclusion in North Carolina

Earlier this month, the University of Maine became the third school in the NCAA America East conference to make a statement about playing in the state of North Carolina. On Dec. 3, when the Maine’s men’s basketball team faced off against Duke University, its players warmed up in America East T-shirts with the conference’s logo silhouetted in bright rainbow colors as a symbol of inclusion. The gesture, which won media attention from across the country, was the biggest move made to date by one of the conference’s nine schools over the state’s passing of House Bill 2. It was also the culmination of a four-year partnership between America East and You Can Play, a national non-profit organization that works to ensure the safety and inclusion of all in sports, specifically LGBTQ players, coaches and fans.

Library additions! ‘Dust Bowl Girls’ by Lydia Reeder is a classic of sports literature

In ‘Dust Bowl Girls,’ Lydia Reeder tells the heroic true story of Sam Babb (whose leg was severed as result of a brutal attack by his father during boyhood days) and the women he coached. Babb diverted from early plans to enter Christian ministry to become a life-long advocate of competitive women’s basketball.
Wearing a wooden prosthetic, he became one of the great coaches from the first half-century of organized women’s leagues in America. Sam’s sister was Lydia May Babb Thomas – Reeder’s grandmother.
Initially, Babb is the book’s star, but the focus soon shifts to the young women he gathered in Durant to begin challenging studies (classical education fused with passionate Christianity and practical support for women and their dreams).
For decades Oklahoma Presbyterian College was home to world-class education and, for a few seasons, the best women’s college basketball program in America. And, for two years running, the national champions. 

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Put on your cardigan and *All Sing*

“Won’t you be… my neighbor.” (I’m sure he’s never heard that) Mike Neighbors finds a home at Washington

The doors swing open and Mike Neighbors is standing at the entrance.

“Welcome,” he said in that unmistakable southern drawl. “Y’all come on in.”

It’s a bright, clear and cool afternoon – the last day of autumn – and the Washington women’s basketball coach guides a tour through his newly purchased Mercer Island house and explains why he finally feels at home in Seattle.

Since taking the job as a Huskies assistant in 2011, Neighbors rented a one-bedroom, one-bath 860-square feet condo in Bitterlake, Wash. that he cherished.

From Mark Wiedmer at the Times Free Press: Muffet McGraw is another Jim Foster success story

Back in 1980, when Muffet McGraw was an assistant women’s basketball coach to Jim Foster at St. Joseph’s University, they used to run a play called “high play.”

With a certain degree of pride, Foster noticed McGraw’s second-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish still running that play during their 79-58 win over Foster’s University of Tennessee at Chattanooga Mocs on Tuesday night.

What may have made him happiest — and it was perhaps the only time he was happy all night — was the result of that play.

Asked if the Irish scored on it, Foster softly replied, “No.”

Austin Statesman: Texas women counting on freshmen to grow up quickly in Big 12 play

“In the Big 12, we’ll have opponents that really value rebounding, and it’s tough,” [Aston] said. “It gets physical and it’s hard to get a rebound. Hopefully some of this mindset will carry over but we need to get more involved. Our guards have not been as involved in rebounding as they need to be.”

Games: 

Whoops-see-daisy! Last time this happened we were walking like an EgyptianUniversity of Memphis women upset Vanderbilt, 75-59

The University of Memphis women’s basketball team got 26 points and 13 rebounds from Cheyenne Creighton – both career-high totals – to power a 75-59 upset of Vanderbilt Wednesday at the Elma Roane Fieldhouse.

Told ya to pay attention to William & Mary: Junior Abby Rendle got the second triple-double in school history (also got the first), as the Tribe topped East Carolina, 82-72. I his fourth season, coach Ed Swanson has got it goin’ on, opening with the season with the best non-conference slate in school history.

Whoa – huge upset as Ohio (9-2) falls to North Carolina A&T (3-9), 63-57.

Illinois upsets Iowa, 70-65.

“I am really happy for our team,” head coach Matt Bollant said. “It is the first time since 2010 that we started with a win in the Big Ten, and to get it against an Iowa team that we have a lot of respect for is a great way to start.

UC Davis (9-3) topped UCF (10-3), 77-71.

Ugly, but Auburn will take the 53-41 win over Jacksonville.

A decorated locker.

Gas money from a friend.

Her parents in town to celebrate. 

A career-high 15 points.

All of these are things that Jessica Jones got for her 21st birthday on Wednesday.

See above for Virginia’s 56-30 win over UMBC.

See above for Xavier’s 54-51 win over Providence.

We see you, Indiana, and your 19 point win19 point win over Penn State.

Ton of interesting games today: 

#4 Turtles v. #1 Huskies, 6pm

Generally, there’s nothing people dislike much more than being taken for granted. Yet we’re about to do just that with the UConn women’s basketball team. Sorry, but …

The Huskies are 11-0, the winning streak they don’t want to think about is at 86 in a row, and they’re soon to face their last likely obstacle before a new benchmark is set.

But here they are, 11-0 through a formidable schedule that included powerful programs like Baylor and Notre Dame, while Maryland, which is at 12-0 under Coach Brenda Frese, has routed most opponents and won its most challenging nonconference game at Louisville.

Even that has not brought college stardom to Gillespie, which makes this meeting less about settling an old score with Auriemma that she says does not exist and more of an opportunity to remind the many people watching back home that she did not have to settle for the Little Sisters of the Poor.

#17 Wildcats v. #15 Blue Devils, 7pm

#8 Cardinal v. #25 Orange, 7pm

#7 Seminoles v. #11 Hurricanes, 7pm

# Irish v. Wolfpack (10-3), 7pm

#12 Mountaineers v Horned Frogs, 7:30pm

#16 Longhorns (6-4) v. Raiders (8-3), 8pm

#3 Bears v. Wildcats (10-2), 8pm

#21 Golden Bears v. Wildcats, 9pm

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The Miami Herald is staying on a story: The player has graduated. The coach is fired. The school and the lawsuit remain

Destini Feagin graduated from FIU with a degree in liberal studies in May.

The FIU women’s basketball coach, Feagin said, pursued her sexually throughout her senior season. Marlin Chinn was fired last March.

Still with FIU, however, is the civil lawsuit Feagin filed in U.S. District Court against the school for sexual discrimination under Title IX and common law battery.

“Destini hopes that the filing of this suit will prevent future female athletes from being sexually exploited and harassed, not only at FIU but at every academic institution in the nation,” said Elizabeth Parker, one of Feagin’s attorneys.

The Des Moines Register is breaking a story:

A former Drake University assistant women’s basketball coach was forced to resign from her job after head coach Jennie Baranczyk learned that she was gay, according to allegations made in a federal lawsuit.

The lawsuit filed on behalf of former assistant coach Courtney Graham claims that Baranczyk pressured her to quit approximately six months after the head coach learned that Graham was gay, violating Iowa’s anti-discrimination law. Graham’s lawsuit also claims that her sexual orientation and mental health became the focus of office gossip that was started by Baranczyk.

Well, at least there’s ONE team named Rutgers that’s kickin’ butt: Girls Basketball: No. 6 Rutgers Prep blasts defending ToC champs for statement win

As Big 12 women’s basketball (and everyone else) moves into league play, Kyle Fredrickson has Five Players to Watch

Brook Pryor wonders, “Can any Big 12 team stop Baylor?”

More Kyle: Five storylines facing the Cowgirls entering Big 12 play

Oklahoma State opened the season as if it is set on proving the skeptics wrong.

The Cowgirls, predicted in the preseason to finish ninth in Big 12, ran out to a 10-1 nonconference record with their only loss to Oregon State — which reached the Final Four last season — in the finals of the Play4Kay Shootout in Las Vegas. Here are five storylines to watch for OSU entering conference play:

From the Notre Dame Insider: McGraw varying Notre Dame starting lineup and rotation

Andrew Erickson at the Columbus Dispatch: OSU women’s basketball | Goals in place as Big Ten opens

The league race is a two-team battle.

Maryland or Ohio State will win the regular season championship. The Buckeyes and Terrapins are superior in talent and are several lengths ahead of the rest of the conference. Circle Feb. 20 as the date when the title will be decided when Maryland, the two-time defending champion, visits Columbus, Ohio.

Brent Wagner at the Lincoln Journal Star: 
On a few occasions in recent months Amy Williams has been welcomed back to the Big Ten Conference, which while polite, is not exactly accurate. She’s never been a part of the Big Ten Conference.
The first-year Nebraska women’s basketball coach was a player at Nebraska, but that was back when the Huskers were in the Big 8 Conference, and later the Big 12.
Mike Neighbors loves to crunch numbers.
Washington’s analytics-minded coach was impressed with what the Pac-12 Conference accomplished in the nonconference portion of the season. The teams went a combined 114-21 (.844), and the Pac-12 has seven teams ranked this week, including the No. 9 Huskies. That’s the most in conference history and doesn’t even include the three other Pac-12 teams that are sitting just outside the Top 25.
Moreover, the conference has an average RPI of 33.1 — more than 13 places better than the second-ranked Southeastern Conference.
“We don’t have a top-five team, but a whole bunch in the top 20,” Neighbors said. “That was the plan, make sure we have great depth so that every night in our league there’s a quality game.”

When you never make an error, there is no margin.

When Geno Auriemma looks over the schedule that his U. of Connecticut women play, he sees no resting place. The Huskies don’t talk about going .500 on the road. They don’t recognize “trap games.” Their whole lives are winning streaks.

“Our standard is an undefeated season,” Auriemma said the other day, calling as he changed planes on the way to Nebraska, and another win.

He laughed.

“That’s kind of ridiculous, isn’t it?”

Happened

Sydney Wiese hit her 300th three-pointer, and passed Pac-12 career mark set by Candice Wiggins. Oh, and the Beavers won.

Irish over Mocs by 21 as Allen gets a triple-double.

The Plum-inator is slacking. Only scored 21 in Washington’s romp over Washington State.

Gonna Happen

  • DePaul v Georgetown, 2pm
  • East Carolina v William & Mary,  7pm
  • Jacksonville v. Auburn, 7pm
  • Indiana v. Penn State, 7pm
  • Providence v. Friars, 7pm

Thursday‘s packed. Who ya got, Turtle or Husky? Coach Frese talks about it. And it’s a sellout!  From the Courant: Saniya Chong, UConn Women Face Another Challenge In No. 4 Maryland

Well done, Ariel Powers: Viewers and 7 Action News team members help make girl’s dream of meeting a WNBA player come true

She Drowned in Moonlight, Strangled by Her Own Bra

 

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Aaaaaaaaand we’re back (almost)

Doug and  company vote: UConn still unanimous No. 1 in AP women’s hoops poll

It’s been a wonderful few months for Cal coach Lindsay Gottlieb.

She’s pregnant with her first child due next spring, her team is unbeaten through non-conference play and now the Bears are back in the Top 25. The Bears entered The Associated Press women’s basketball poll at No. 21 on Monday. UConn remained the top choice, as the unanimous No. 1.

“Definitely for me I think it’s nice, but I understand how these things go. A lot of it is perception,” Gottlieb said. “For these young women who handled losing last year and finished strong. They did nothing but bring this program back to where we can be. Hopefully it’s a motivating factor to keep doing what we are doing.” 

The Bears are 12-0 and off to the best start in school history. They open up Pac-12 play in Arizona on Thursday before facing No. 18 Arizona State on Sunday.

Hello, Harvey! UConn Women Say ‘Nah’ to Rebuilding Year

Brian Stewart told people so. For four historically triumphant years, he contended that the Connecticut women’s basketball team was greater than the sum of Coach Geno Auriemma’s prize recruits, a conga line of achievers that included Stewart’s daughter, a once-in-a-generation talent by the name of Breanna.

(Finally ranked) Cal’s Kristine Anigwe is espnW’s player of the week

Cal was off to the best start in program history entering last week’s Puerto Rico Classic. However, with a schedule strength that ranked in the bottom half of the country, no one was sure exactly what to make of the Bears’ 9-0 record or just how good they are this season.

They emphatically answered the question in their second game at the South Point Arena (the eight-team tournament was moved from San Juan to Las Vegas due to lingering fears of the Zika virus). And top scorer Kristine Anigwe provided the necessary emphasis. 

Remember when we mentioned Northern Iowa? Schonhardt’s comeback has been worth the wait

Thursday night, she turned back the clock with one of her best performances in nearly three years as a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds helped UNI (7-4) upset No. 24 Kansas State, 67-59.

“I’m so happy for our seniors,” UNI head coach Tanya Warren said afterward. “For the Hannah Schonhardts who came back for a fifth year after two knee surgeries and has a double-double. That stuff for me is priceless because I know the pain that she’s been through and I know the pain that she goes through on an everyday basis.”

The Crimson’s red hot: Harvard Women’s Basketball Stays Competitive as Ivy League Talent Grows

A coach doesn’t go 546-375 over 34 seasons by being lucky.

Especially when that coach competes in the Ivy League.

The Ivy is one of the top two academic leagues in D1 women’s basketball — along with the Patriot League — and Harvard head coach Kathy Delaney-Smith has done a masterful job with the Crimson despite the academic rigors and standards that hold Ivy schools to higher a standard.

From Corvalis: OSU women’s basketball: Beavers gaining momentum

Shredder! Jamming with Washington women’s basketball coach Mike Neighbors

Big Sky news: Montana State looks tough while Lady Griz have steep climb

Turn back the clock to Oct. 8, 2016.

It was the day before the Montana women’s basketball team lost Big Sky Conference preseason MVP Kayleigh Valley to a non-contact injury in practice. Even then — with Valley, senior post Alycia Sims and junior forward Mekayla Isaak heralded as returning starters — it was going to be hard for the Lady Griz to win the conference.

Now that Valley and Sims have been lost for the season with knee injuries, Montana’s climb toward a potential third league title in five years seems incredibly steep.

Optimism is good: Arizona Women’s Basketball off to a fantastic start to the season under Adia Barnes

From the Lincoln Journal Star: Ex-Husker Page surprised she’s first from program with Olympic medal (BTW, got a chance to listen to the Husker’s radio broadcast team, Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch and they pretty much rock. Great analysis and respect)

When Danielle Page made the Serbian national women’s basketball team, and Serbia qualified for the 2016 Olympics, Page became just the second Nebraska women’s basketball player to make an Olympic team.

Page’s former teammate, Chelsea Aubry, was a captain for the 2012 Canadian Olympic team.

Once at the Olympics, Page did one better, becoming the first former Husker women’s basketball player to win a medal when she helped her adopted country to its first-ever Olympic medal in women’s basketball, a bronze.

Crap: Former Mizzou women’s basketball player Juanita Robinson recovering after shooting

Okay!? FS2 will broadcast commercial-free women’s basketball

Speaking of which, wondering what’s on tap for today? Click here.

From Excelle: WATCH: The 10 best moments in women’s sports from 2016

Brava! Times Union Sports Figure of the Year: Shereesha Richards

Q: I remember talking to you during the whole (WNBA) draft process. Were you surprised you didn’t get drafted?

A: Not really. (Laughs.) Like I said before, in my mind, I always thought it was a 50-50 chance. If you got drafted, you got drafted. If you didn’t, well, you know, then it is what it is.

Q: You still believe you can play in the WNBA, don’t you?

A: I still think I can. It’s up to me to get better. Nothing is impossible.

I’m sure you’re wondering, what are The Five Best Arenas in D2 Basketball?

WNBA

Interesting: WNBA BECOMES FIRST PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE TO OFFER APP FOR PLAYER SAFETY OVERSEAS

Ever the optimist: Four reasons why Elena Delle Donne’s free agency news is a great present for Mystics fans

Nice: AP lists Nneka Ogwumike’s WNBA Finals game-winning shot in Top 10 plays of 2016

Aussie! Aussie! Taylor may have called time but is still in the loop

One of the game’s greatest Australian players and the finest product to come out of the Dandenong Basketball Association, Penny Taylor will be returning to Dandenong to be part of the WNBL Jayco Rangers 25 Year Anniversary celebrations on Saturday 14 January 2017.
The recently retired Taylor will be the headline act on this special occasion to mark a significant milestone of Rangers involvement in the elite Women’s National Basketball League with every past player, coach and sponsor being invited to be part of the day.

High School

Bears give back to girls’ basketball players across the world in Uganda

The first thing you notice is the smiles that take up the entire photograph, beaming, laughing expressions of the most perfect joy. The next thing is the uniforms, white with brown numerals and the letters which read, “BEARS.”

The team wearing the jerseys is the Javon Lady Phenoms from Arua, Uganda, an East African country which is one of the poorest in the world.

The donation of the jerseys came from the Stonington High School girls’ basketball team, nearly 7,000 miles away, facilitated by head coach Paulla Solar through one of her former players, Vianna McGugan, who is the president of an organization called “Teammates for Life.”

Congrats!  It’s an historic game for Buena after winning No. 1000

Yea, history! Utah has rich history of basketball as game celebrates 125 years Boo shortchanging the women’s game!

“Women’s basketball was offered at about the same time as men’s basketball in the state, but it wasn’t until 1982 that the modern-day NCAA women’s basketball tournament era began.”

That’s basically it. Guess they couldn’t be bothered with actual research. For instance a google search that would bring up Utah women’s basketball from early 1900’s and 1908 and and 1909 and 1910 and 1911 and 1912 and  1934… you get the idea. (BTW, Hi Nat and Debbie!)

Dave Zirin discusses why was 2016 the year of the “activist athlete“? Check out a discussion with Nick Kapetan.

Brave: First Somali interregional all-girls basketball tournament held despite warning

From the Undefeated’s Tim Bello: Pulse shooting’s youngest victim left teammates with a mission – Basketball team aims for third straight championship to honor Akyra Murray

After the captains met at midcourt, Morgan Kennedy, the lone senior on the girls basketball team at West Catholic Preparatory High School in Philadelphia, was sobbing. She gathered herself together during the pregame prayer before audibly losing it again, head shaking, lips quivering, during the national anthem.

Beautiful Murray-Bey, a sophomore forward, squeezed Kennedy’s shoulder. Zayda Wilson, a sophomore guard, bit her lip and reached for Kennedy’s hand. The Lady Burrs were hosting their first home game of the season last week, but the night’s emotions were over a former teammate who last played on this court more than six months ago.

In the early-morning hours of June 12, Akyra Murray, 18, was celebrating her graduation from West Catholic at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. She was the youngest of the 49 people killed that night in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.

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Coach Tanya Warren (last year’s  2016 Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year) has been building a strong program at the University of Northern Iowa. Want proof? They just toppled newly ranked #24 Kansas, 67-59.

Dressed in ugly Christmas sweaters, fans of Northern Iowa’s women’s basketball team received a surprise gift Thursday night inside the McLeod Center. UNI turned a potential defensive mismatch into a strength while coming through with timely shooting on the perimeter en route to a 67-59 upset over No. 24 Kansas State in a rare test against a Top 25 opponent.

The win marks UNI’s first victory over a ranked team since defeating No. 24 Wichita State by nine points on Feb. 16, 2014. The program hadn’t defeated a Top 25 opponent in non-conference play since a 74-70 victory over No. 24 Illinois on Dec. 2, 2000.

The Plum-inator poured in 29 to drive #9 Washington to a 12 point win in Provo.

Ouch. Georgia loses to Samford (no disrespect intended to the other Bulldogs), 65-59.

“I’m really happy for our team in terms of where we are, where we’re going and what we’ve been through,” Morris said. “We’ve had some close ones and we’ve had some bad performances, but to put it all together like this for a quality win was really good for them.”

It’s not been a stellar season so far for Tulane, but a win over Auburn might help set the ship aright.

As we’ve been saying (and no, I have no idea why I feel the need to use the royal “we” ’cause it’s just me here)… JC Online Byrd, Tolen contributing to IUPUI’s success

As seniors, this is the last opportunity to elevate Parkinson’s program to another level. They believe the non-conference schedule has the Jaguars prepared for the upcoming Summit League race where South Dakota State looms as the favorite.

But Wednesday’s win proved IUPUI is ready to take the next step.

“The last couple of years, the game before break we all checked out and were ready to go home for Christmas,” Byrd said. “Big win, big win on the road. We came to play and we were prepared for them. I think that shows a lot.”

 

From another improving program: Alex Sharp: Set to make an impact at Wake Forest

Five years ago, Alex Sharp was like many other young people in Australia, playing a range of sports with no one focus. However one basketball disappointment at age 14 changed all that. Since then, the Wake Forest commit and #1 Australian recruit has made basketball the major part of her life. She has subsequently reaped the rewards for her dedication, playing for Australia in two under-age FIBA World Championships, and winning five straight Australian Junior Championships.

“I’ve always been a really active person and did a lot of sports up until when I was about 15 and knew that basketball was the game for me,” Sharp explained in speaking with The Pick and Roll.

More Aussies coming over to the States (Need a list, here ’tis!):

Spurning a number of offers from schools on the west coast, Dandenong Rangers WNBL squad member and Under 19 Oceania champion Chloe Bibby has verbally committed to high-flying Mississippi State and will be the only Australian woman playing in the entire state in 2017. 

New Haven Register: Chong’s return provides more depth for UConn women

Saniya Chong was feeling just about every symptom possible.

One recent elbow to the head wreaked havoc with the UConn senior guard’s equilibrium. Chong spared the media many of the gory details after Wednesday’s win over Nebraska, but it was not a pretty sight as Chong worked her way through concussion protocol to return to the court for the Huskies.

Chong didn’t start in the 84-41 victory, but only Kia Nurse and Katie Lou Samuelson played more than the 28 minutes Chong was on the court as the Huskies won their 86th straight game. She had eight points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and no turnovers in her return to the court.

As UConn breezes into break with win streak up to 86, perhaps you’re wondering, “Why haven’t they lost yet?” Jim Clark at WomensHoopsWorld offers Ten reasons

Sue’s Coach’s Chair features Tricia Binford from Montana State University

Your Montana State bio notes the academic success your student athletes have had and the community service they have performed. Why are those two things so important to you, and where did that emphasis come from?

The emphasis on academic success came from my upbringing as the daughter of educators. My dad was superintendent of a school district and my mom was a teacher, and going trough college was a big priority for me, and it was always very clear that higher education was a prestigious calling. I always grew up with the understanding that being disciplined in one area would create that habit in everything we do.

With community service, growing up in my church it was important to give back; that connection was really important. It’s important to me that student athletes understand that their purpose extends beyond the game.

From Graham: Kelsey Plum, Sydney Wiese ready to write more history for Washington, Oregon State

A few hundred miles south of Seattle, Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese knows the feeling. Sort of. If Plum struggles to get people to look past the points, Wiese struggles in their absence to draw due attention beyond the borders of Oregon or at least the Pac-12.

And as the conference season commences Dec. 27, Plum and Wiese are living the reality that making history doesn’t halt its momentum. A season removed from reaching the Final Four, the history that is yet to be written for two programs depends on what comes next. Different though they are in style, Plum and Wiese share that burden.

Stanford coach VanDerveer reflects on Oak Ridge’s own Jennifer Azzi

Philly.com: Dawn Staley recalls the persistent Dave O’Brien

Dawn Staley kept saying no.

In fact, Staley said, she had never given much thought to coaching before Temple athletic director Dave O’Brien reached out to her in 2000 through a mutual friend.

Speaking of Dawn and the Owls: Temple Rally Over Fairfiield Makes Cardoza and Staley Tied for Owls Winningest Coach

Over in 49er land, coach Cara Consuegra looks to continue the tradition Karen Aston started: The learning curve: At the conclusion of non-conference play, a look at the performance of the women’s basketball team

After the Niners dropped two games over Thanksgiving break they bounced back to the tune of five straight wins.

“We improved, our team took great coaching and criticism and we put that in action by winning our last five. It’s a great feat by our team, and we still know that we’re not there yet,” Consuegra said.

Yes, we’ve noticed: Under new basketball coach, Virginia Tech women off to undefeated start

Samantha Hill had been recruited by him to James Madison. Regan Magarity watched video of his Dukes’ teams.

So, when Kenny Brooks took over as Virginia Tech’s women’s basketball coach after last season, those players and the rest of the Hokies were ready to follow his lead.

“He was very successful at JMU,” said Magarity. “I think his style and his system definitely worked there. He’s such an unbelievable coach. We just wanted to bring his style to our play.”

Hello Howard, in the New York Times! Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell Got an Early Start on a Dash to Stardom

Women’s college basketball uses a 30-second shot clock. More often than not, by the time an Ohio State possession ticks down to 29, the junior guard Kelsey Mitchell, a 5-foot-8 flash of distilled hoop skills, will have crossed midcourt.

Reaching destinations fast is not anything new for Mitchell, one of the most highly regarded players in the country.

Her father, Mark, now an Ohio State assistant, remembered the moment he first understood Kelsey was on her way to remarkable achievements on the basketball court. He and his wife, Cheryl, have two sets of twins. The boys are four years older than the girls — Kelsey and her sister, Chelsea, now teammates at Ohio State.

Mel offers up his Top 10 WBB Moments in ACC History

Since there won’t be game coverage for a couple of days after Friday, the Guru will offer odds and ends beginning with this posting revealing his ballot on a panel to identify 10 at-large moments to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The conference will have a top 20 derived from the panel’s submission of 10 picks each from a major list of nominees submitted by each school.

Somewhere to be determined each school submitted its own major nominee.

Mike Siroky says the SEC is Ready for the Meat Grinder

The fun games are over.

By this time next week, the toughest conference in America, the Southeastern, will kick off on the first day of 2017.

Thus the run to April in Dallas at the Final Four is in focus. We have reserved seats there.

The battle to win 20 and gain an NCAA entry ticket – no Southeastern Conference team has ever won 20 and not been in, though Tennessee got a gift entry with 19 last season – is now hampered by the league season.

As mythology has it, if you can win 20 while playing in the SEC . . .

Tragedy for a program that’s already had more than its fair share: SUNY Geneseo women’s basketball player dies in crash

Classy: University of Richmond to induct Ginny Doyle and Natalie Lewis, who perished in balloon accident, into sports hall of fame

espnW Voices by Taja Wilson: How my grandmothers inspired me to love the game

Gymnastics helped me to lay the foundation for my eventual transition to basketball. I grew to be 6 feet tall by the age of 11, had a ridiculous wingspan and was “made” for the game. I often reflect on a conversation I had with my grandmothers prior to playing collegiate basketball, one that still sticks with me. These sprightly, 80-year-old women told me detailed stories about their adolescent hoop dreams. They recounted feelings of frustration while playing half-court basketball when they knew they had so much more to give. They described how they watched the men blissfully display their talents and abilities in a full-court setting.

My grandmothers simply could not wrap their minds around the idea that women were too weak to extend their game to a full 94 feet. While these forward-thinking women may not have been taking off from the free throw line, they still itched to dribble coast-to-coast and defy the odds.

New York Times: PAT SUMMITT – She made her statement about the power of women by relentlessly pursuing every victory.

Summitt’s genius stemmed from her ability to perform multiple jobs at once. She could track 10 players and the clock, recall an entire season’s worth of plays and see patterns evolving. She could watch tape, take notes, make recruiting calls, joke with reporters — media were always welcome; the real goal was promoting women’s sports — and console a player whose grandmother was sick. She could help Tyler, as a youngster, with his homework, do laundry, cook dinner, make recruiting calls (she was always making calls), churn homemade ice cream and shoo raccoons off the porch. She could also drive 120 miles per hour while applying mascara, steering with her knees or talking on the phone.

Her commitment to the Lady Vols was consuming. Summitt continued chatting up one prospect at her home in Pennsylvania well after she, Summitt, went into labor. She enlisted players’ parents as deputies. No, ma’am, you’re staying, she instructed them to tell their daughters when they called home after brutal practices, wanting to quit.

Around the Rim’s  got UCLA Cori Close. REALLY interesting discussion about how the coaches in the Pac-12 came together to grow the conference. Loved her discussion about her responsibility to prepare players for “when the ball goes flat.” Connects to this article: Women Are Missing In Sport Leadership, And It’s Time That Changed. 

My latest research, based on the Sydney Scoreboard Global Index for Women in Sport Leadership, shows that women chaired only 7 percent (5 of 70) of international sport federations in 2016 (see table below). This is the same as in 2012, so no positive change has been achieved in the past four years. Women occupied 19 percent (12 of 64) of chief executive positions in 2016, up from 8 percent in 2012.

So men hold a staggering 93 percent of chair or president roles and 81 percent of chief executive positions. This means the key leadership positions in global sport governance and management remain largely elusive for women.

Speaking of sports leadership, “Congrats, VJ!!” (Was assuming this was going to happen, but you never know) San Antonio Stars Name Vickie Johnson Head Coach. Let’s me share my favorite VJ story:

WB: Did you choose Louisiana Tech because it was one of the best programs, or because it was in Louisiana?

VJ: (Laughs) I never told anyone this…. I was playing with my brothers outside one day, and my mom called me in the house and she said, “VJ, there’re some girls on TV playing basketball.” I think [La Tech] was playing against Cheryl Miller. And I said, “You know what? You see the team in the blue with the stars? That’s the team I wanted to play for – with the stars.” ’Cause I wanted to be a star. (Laughs) That’s why I went to Louisiana Tech. The stars.

Video from SNY: Stefanie Dolson on coming out in the ESPN article. Think for a moment what it will mean to be an out woman in Trump’s Washington and just try to tell me sports aren’t political. Which raises the question, After a year of great victory and great unrest, will athletes continue to rise up in 2017?

In the final months of 2016, which saw the year transform from tumult into crippling clarity, an authoritarian image for an authoritarian time stood out as definitive: the spectacle of sports, particularly every Sunday in the NFL. The veneer of patriotism baked into the sport’s DNA created an appearance of unity and oneness designed to obscure cultural divisions and intimidate dissent.

The truth is that the year could not have been less clean, less unified. When the flags flew, black football players knelt. So did WNBA players, white and black, protesting American racial conditions as a team. So did Megan Rapinoe of the U.S. women’s soccer team, members of which fought their own governing body for improved working conditions and equal pay, for footing commensurate to their win totals.

From Kelsey Bone: The Boy

As I approach my 25th birthday, I realize that I have been blessed with the best brother ever!  He has watched my entire career unfold over the past 15 years the good, bad and ugly, the tears, the failures, and all of the successes.  He was at the gym in his car seat when I was running and doing Miken drills.  He traveled and watched every game that I have played from AAU to USA basketball to the WNBA.  One of my fondest memories was an AAU game in California when he was supposed to just be passing out water during a timeout.  Instead, he came into the huddle and yelled at me to REBOUND! He was five!

Time for some year-end review: 20 Moments of 2016 – May 15: Breanna Stewart’s WNBA Debut

More W from the .com: What They’re Saying: Elena Delle Donne’s Future

Upcoming games to keep an eye on:

Tuesday, 27th

  • #9 Washington v. Washington State. Their win/loss column is not great, but the Cougars are no pushover. 10pm

Wednesday, 28th

  • DePaul v. Georgetown, 2pm. ’cause why not?
  • UCF v. UC Davis, 7pm. Apologize in advance, Golden Knights, if the WHB Jinx comes into effect
  • East Carolina (9-3) v. William & Mary (9-1), 7pm I mean, look at that! W&M has NINE wins!
  • Jacksonville (9-3) v Auburn (9-4), 7pm Can the Dolphins continue their growth?
  • Indiana (10-2) v. Penn State (10-3), 7pm Quietly putting up winning records.
  • Minnesota (9-4) v. #12 Ohio State (10-4), 7pm. Both teams can score and are somewhat allergic to defense. Debbie Antonelli Alert!
  • Xavier (8-3) v. Providence (8-3), 7pm Matchup of rebuilding programs.

Thursday, December 29th

  • Buffalo v. Fordham, 12pm Undefeated v. Feisty.
  • UNC Asheville v Harvard, 2:30. The Crimson’s at 9-1, y’all.
  • #1 UConn v. #4 Maryland, 6pm. Something about a streak?
  • #18 Kentucky v #17 Duke, 7pm. The Blue Devils haven’t really played anyone since their surprise win over South Carolina, so this will be a nice measuring stick.
  • #19 Syracuse v. #8 Louisville, 7pm. How does the Orange bounce back from getting smoked?
  • #7 Florida State v. #11 Miami, 7pm. The Seminoles only loss was (Romero-lesss) to UConn. Miami’s loss was to #18 Kentucky in the first game of the season. Fun in-state battle setting up.
  • #2 Notre Dame v. NC State. The Wolfpack’s moved to 10-3, 8-0 at home. Good test.
  • #24 Kansas State v. #3 Baylor, 8pm. Will the Wildcats regroup and give the Bears a run for their money?
  • Oklahoma State v. Iowa State, 8pm. Would a win over the Cyclones earn the Cowgirls the respect of pollsters?
  • Cal v. Arizona, 9PM. The Bears are still waiting for the win that will get them ranked. Games against ASU and Oregon State follow.

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So, the last time Wyoming beat a ranked team”Do You Remember” was a top-10 song (no, I didn’t remember it either). Who’d they beat?  #22nd-ranked TCU. This time they beat (no longer) undefeated #15 Colorado, 82-75.

“They’re just tough,” Leonard said of the Cowgirls, who beat the Buffs for the second year in a row. “They work really hard and they capitalize on your mistakes.

Billikens win! No, it wasn’t over a ranked team, but it is a non-pushover SEC team: Missouri. Behind junior point guard Jackie Kemph, a Nancy Lieberman Award nominee, St. Louis exploded in the fourth to come away with a signature win for coach Stone’s program, 72-61.

I said there was something weird in College Point. TAMU smooshed #19 Syracuse, 105-84. At least the Orange’s uniforms are getting rave reviews.

#1 UConn over Nebraska by 43.

#6 South Carolina over Savannah State by 40. Check out Tim Nash’s piece on Dawn and the Gamecocks’ rise.

#7 Florida State over Mercer by 43.Check out this piece: FSU guard Romero lines up holiday plans

#8 Louisville’s strong fourth helped them survive Vanderbilt by 12.

#12 Ohio State over Winthrop by 40.

#13 West Virginia (team of the week) over Mount St. Mary‘s by 32.

#14 Stanford over George Washington by 19.

#17 Duke over Villanova by 18.

“I’m really proud of our team in terms of our defensive intensity and focus,” Duke head coach Joanne P. McCallie said. “It wasn’t like anyone lit it up in a crazy fashion tonight for us, but it was steady and it was smart. When you think about the NCAA tournament, that’s how you have to play—you have to play steady and smart.”

#18 Kentucky escaped Washington State by 2.

#20 Oklahoma over Portland State by 14, but it wasn’t as confidence invoking as you’d think.

#21 South Florida over UNLV by 35.

#21 Arizona State over Holy Cross by 30

#23 Virginia Tech over Radford by 19.

Buffalo’s still undefeated. Toledo looms.

After a 86-47 win over St. Bonaventure, UB women’s basketball remains defeated at 9-0 and set a new record for the best start in program history. 

“It’s huge for us. We work so hard every day to provide that and we really wanted to get it last year but that was upset. So to get it this year and be able to bring that to Buffalo, we’re just trying to bring something to this town and make this a destination,” junior guard Stephanie Reid said.

Lynne Roberts’ Utah’s still undefeated. They’ve got #10 UCLA on the 30th.

Yes, I’m a broken record. Remember when IUPUI was a hot mess? They just beat Purdue, 67-62.

As the team has had a habit of doing this season, the IUPUI women’s basketball team (9-3) made history Wednesday (Dec. 21), defeating Purdue (9-5) 67-62 in a furious second-half rally to drop the Boilermakers for the first time in program history.  Head Coach Austin Parkinson defeated his alma mater for the first time in four meetings, as the Jags continue to rewrite the history books.

“It was great to see our kids come out strong in the second half and give ourselves a chance to get back in the game,” Coach Parkinson said of his team’s effort.

Just ’cause it’s fun to say: Elon over Akron.

Even with all the cream puffs on their calendar, Arkansas had some close calls. This one wasn’t really close: Oral Roberts over the shorthanded Razorbacks, 70-60.

Wow – it has been a tough year, but North Dakota pulled it together and beat San Diego (who’ve lost senior Maya Hood to an ACL), 65-61.

 

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Ohio v. Connecticut – So, Mitchell was Mitchell in the first half… and then Connecticut figured out how to shut her down. Didn’t help that the Buckeyes turned it over a lot. UConn is so opportunistic, you cannot be undisciplined on either end of the floor. Huskies are also wise to have such a strong fitness ethic. As the Register notes: UConn women’s basketball starts racking up minutes as well as wins.

From Columbus: Ohio State women’s basketball | Mavunga back to work after UConn loss

Oh, so close. Didn’t help that the Rebels lost point guard Nikki Wheatley in the 3rd when they were up 9: #25 Beavers’ comeback stuns UNLV

Mikayla Pivec came up with a big steal and hit two free throws with 14 seconds left and the No. 25 Oregon State women’s basketball team rallied for a 62-59 win over UNLV in the Play4Kay Shootout at the T-Mobile Arena on Monday night.

“Thankful we could pull that win out,” senior point guard Sydney Wiese said in a radio interview after the game. “Mik came up with a huge play at the end with that steal and to seal the deal. I know how hard she’s been working.”

Yea, I overlooked another one – I know Long Beach has improved a ton, but I ddin’t think they had it in them to take down (no longer) undefeated USF, 73-68.

Virginia took down Georgia (in Athens), 66-43, and Bulldogs’ coach is not happy.

“After we closed the gap, we turned it over too many times in a row, and you just can’t do that against really good teams,” Georgia Coach Joni Taylor said.

Gonzaga’s gotta feel good after beating Northwestern, 67-56.

Through three quarters, Northwestern appeared on the verge of extending its seven-game win streak to eight. It took just one quarter for Gonzaga to flip the narrative.

#2 Notre Dame had a strong first quarter and cruised to an 18pt win over Michigan State.

So, can we rank Cal now? They defeat #20 Oklahoma, 82-74.

Playing against their first ranked opponent of the season, the Bears found themselves up by three with less than three minutes to play against No. 20 Oklahoma (8-3). The Sooners finally had everything going their way, having cut down what was at one point a 25-point lead for Cal. The Bears desperately needed someone to stop the bleeding and protect their small lead and undefeated record.

Star sophomore Kristine Anigwe answered the call on a three-point play to extend the lead to six, and then drained two clutch free throws shortly thereafter to put the game away for good.

So, can we rank Oklahoma State now? They beat Long Beach, who beat South Florida…. Fine, we’ll wait until we see the results of their next game: #25 Oregon State.

Funky times in College Station. Dayton over TAMU, 74-57.

Yes, we see you, UCF (under former Great Daner):

New UCF women’s basketball coach Katie Abrahamson-Henderson promised to dial up the speed.

But no one could have predicted just how quickly – and dramatically – the results would come in year one of the rebuild. The Knights stomped Omaha 81-41 Tuesday afternoon at CFE Arena to amass a 10-2 record marking the program’s best season start in over 30 years.

Hmmm… After losing to Oklahoma 81-69, Xavier then falls to Southern Mississippi, 73-59.

Intrigued by Oregon’s next game: #9 Washington.

Now missing their top scorer, Florida falls to Indiana, 102-88.

Today/tonight:

Don’t want to overlook #23 Virginia Tech v. Radford, 1pm

Bounce back time? # 14 Stanford v. George Washington, 7pm

Vanderbilt v. #8 Louisville

Vanderbilt women’s basketball has a top-50 RPI, a few votes in the Associated Press poll and a top-10 opponent coming to Memorial Gym.

It’s about as good of a situation as coach Stephanie White could imagine six weeks into her debut season. Now her Commodores have a big chance to capitalize on their hot start with a home game versus No. 8 Louisville at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

 No. 1 UConn at Nebraska and UConn women coming to Pinnacle Bank Arena, Grand Island Independent, 9pm

#25 Oregon State v Oklahoma State (man, that’s a lot of orange!) 11pm

General reading: 
Before Jennifer Rizzotti joined Geno Auriemma’s coaching tree, she stood up to him, Washington Post

No surprise: Women’s basketball rankings: Static up top, movement below in AP poll

WNBA

Michelle Smith: Inside The W with Michelle Smith: Lisa Borders Q&A Part I

’cause rumors are fun: WNBA Trade Buzz: McCoughtry, Williams reuniting in Dallas?

If you’re in to footwear: Elena Delle Donne On Getting Her Own Shoe

Congrats, Bridget! Pettis picked for Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame

Still looking for that holiday gift for your basketball loving friend? Check this out: Pioneers of women’s basketball spotlighted in new book, Northeast Arkansas Town Crier

…beginning in 1936, a determined group of women began to break down those gender barriers by proving that women can play basketball at a high level and make money at it at the same time.

Molina interviewed 88 women in his preparation for Barnstorming America–Stories From the Pioneers of Women’s Basketball (Acclaim Press, $34.95). Most of the women featured in the coffee-table book were among the first professional basketball players who played on barnstorming teams in the middle of the 20th century. Also featured are women who were part of the early professional women’s leagues.

Ah, year end reviews. From Yardbarker: 2016 in sports: Where down is up and up is down

ESPN: To The Legends And The Lost – This year, we crowned champions and bid some farewell. Here are a few of the most iconic moments of 2016.

ESPNW: Impact 25:  Women of the Year

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Well, well, well…..

Huge win for Tennessee, as they fought back to defeat #10 Stanford. Comes at a price, though, as it sounds like Diamond will be sidelined until sometime in January.

South Carolina over the Bruins. Let’s go to the Gamecock Hoops report for the blow by blow of South Carolina’s  win over #9 UCLA:

As the NCAAW closes in on conference play, Dawn Staley had one more test for her developing team, a matchup with Pac-12 powerhouse UCLA.

The game started off ugly. The Gamecocks finished the first quarter with only 6 points, the lowest first quarter output all season. The team looked confused on offense, and was surprised by UCLA’s rapid pace to start the game. Early in the 2nd, the best frontline in the nation had to take a rest due to foul trouble. While all of these things did not work in the Gamecocks favor, with a smaller, quicker lineup on the floor they were able to get more defensive stops and play at a quicker pace. With this and a few clutch buckets from silent assassin Allisha Gray, the Gamecocks went into halftime tied up at 26.

Tough first quarter for Toledo v. a Jackie-Young-less #2 Notre Dame. They played even the rest of the game, though. Irish win by 85-68.

The Plum-i-nator continues to break records – this time it was the school 3-point record. #11 Washington over Savannah State by a lot.

A huge third quarter helped #5 Mississippi State hold off USC and stay undefeated.

Hmph. Kentucky handled Radford, but they shot for carp. Final score: 59-36.

What a fun game (Debbie approves) this must have been. Auburn takes #24 Virginia Tech to OT, but Chanette Hicks helps the Hokies eke out the win, 92-87.

Baby – and I mean BABY steps – but under Verdi Verdi Massachusetts has won more games this season than (it feels like) they’ve won in the last five years.

Yes, I still see you, 8-1 William & Mary.

LSU brought the boom to North Carolina, 70-43.

For the first time in forever, Drake defeated Iowa, 81-76.

Take a deep breath, Vandy. Yes, you’re 10-1, but #8 Louisville is next.

Triple overtime and the final score is 67-59? Nevada over Hawai’i.

Wish someone would explore what the heck happened at Nebraska. In the meantime: Despite setbacks, NU’s Havers still impressed by team’s spirit

Speaking of spirit:

http://www.espn.com/core/video/iframe?id=18294507&endcard=false

A little reading on the game no one can watch (CBSSN)

 

 

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SNOW!

So, yes, I admit it took me by surprise. Was at work late, crashed at a decent hour, and woke up to… SNOW!!! Best part? Small hill across the way – sounds like the town pool in summer. :-)

So, now a bit about basketball….

OMIGODELENADELLEDONEWANTSTOLEAVECHICAGOSHESAHORRIBLEPERSONGETSHURTALOTANDCANTBERELIEDONPROBABLYGOTHERCOACHFIREDTHENWHYISSHELEAVINGPLEASEJUSTLEAVEOHNOTDONTGO!

Fascinating meltdowns at the fact that an employee might use their skill set to leverage a better gig. Doesn’t mean I like it – but this is a business and if you’re not happy where you are (or have goals that can’t be met there) then I have to respect your willingness to take a risk an move along. That being said, hear the words for yourself: Elena Delle Donne appeared on the Locked On Women’s Basketball podcast and spoke.

Some analysis from VICE: 

Delle Donne officially becomes a restricted free agent in January, a not-uncommon status for the league’s best players who don’t sign extensions before their rookie contracts end. It’s not really freedom, though: any offer from another team can be matched. WNBA teams seldom even go through this process, since the retention of signature players is generally a given.

But with Delle Donne making it clear that she’s looking for a long-term fit, not only on the court but a place to build her life, the calculations change. Chicago can match an offer, but Delle Donne has the option of sitting out until a deal is worked out.

Washington is kinda droolin’… as would any team. Interesting comment by reporter Sarah Spain

Tremendous bummer to hear that Delle Donne wants to force trade to another team. Fowles all over again (but worse).

Don’t know if it’s just desire to be close to home for EDD, but the Sky need to figure out if they’re doing s.thing to push away top talent.

This headline read differently, now, don’t it (as does that caz mention of EDD during intro): For Chicago Sky’s new head coach, the dream gets real

More WDallas Wings star Skylar Diggins on her passion for community service, balancing her crazy schedule

It’s about friggin’ time! Seattle to host 2017 WNBA All-Star Game. And I agree with Sue Bird on KeyArena: There is something about that building. Ask me one of these days about how my first trip to Key ended me up in Spokane….

Awwwww: Breanna Stewart sends birthday wishes to a young fan from China

WATN: Board hires Nicole (Ohlde) Johnson as 2nd-grade teacher. Hardest-best job you’ll ever have, kid.

Well deserved: Diana Taurasi Named USA Basketball Female Athlete of the Year

.com: Senior Watch: Going Plum Crazy

NCAA.com: Women’s Basketball Players of the Week: Anigwe, Collier among Starting Five

Final exams *shudder* have made games/his sounds like in was unpleasant to experience: Baylor shatters record for biggest rout in a Division I women’s game

Routs are weird – or maybe I’m weird when I look at rout scores. I see South Carolina women’s basketball: Recap, box score from 83-61 win against Clemson and think, “that’s a good score differential for the Clemson program. This headline agrees: Clemson’s strong start livens women’s basketball rivalry game with No. 6 South Carolina

I look at No. 16/17 Texas Women’s Basketball tops UTRGV, 85-61 and I think, “Texas should not be letting them score 61 – though the Vaqueros (shouldn’t it be Vaqueras?) have been improving.” Similar thoughts about UCLA’s game v. the Gauchos: Jordin Canada leads women’s basketball to 71-52 win over UCSB. Santa Barbara followed that game up with a 1pt win over Fresno State, 50-49. Hey, considering recent years, a win is a win, y’all, especially if it’s a buzzer beater.

“Yea!” (NCAA.com: Green Bay named Team of the Week) followed quickly by “WOWZA!” Merrily We Not So Roll Along: Badgers women’s basketball: Suzanne Gilreath scores 17 points as UW stuns UW-Green Bay. A little more on Wisconsin: Badgers women’s basketball: Marsha Howard opening eyes with recent play.

Interesting win for Temple, as the upset #17 DePaul, 84-74. Fabulous First Name candidate Feyonda Fitzgerald scored 25.

“Yea, we’re ranked!” Boink! Ole Miss handily quacked the #25 Ducks, 83-67. I want to be impressed, but they’ve only faced one other ranked team (WV, and lost). They’ll deal with #5 Mississippi State and #6 South Carolina back to back starting 1/16. FWIW, Oregon got stomped by MSU on 11/25.

I confess, I have a soft spot for LSU. Nice to see them at 8-2. North Carolina is tomorrow and, looking ahead, guess who they face on 1/1? Mississippi State!

Kinda under the radar: OSU women’s basketball: Wiese collects triple-double in blowout win. The 9-1 Beavers have a fun stretch coming up: Washington State (12/30), #11 Washington, Cal, #8 Stanford, #9 UCLA…. ah, West Coast basketball… woot!

Talk about “under the radar” South Florida’s at 8-0. No one hugely impressive on their schedule so far, but keep an eye out for Laia Flores, who set a school record with 17 assists in the Bulls’ 91-41 win over FIU.  UConn looms Jan 10th.

At 8-1, USC has one “significant” win (over TAMU). Looking forward to their game against #15 Colorado (12/30) and later against #11 Washington (1/6). I’d also not overlook their game v. Utah (1/1).

LadySwish wonders Signature wins – who has the best so far?

Whoa. I know it’s been a tough season, but…UND’s Johnson, Asuncion leave women’s basketball team

After leaving Penn State, Jenny DeGraaf embraces second chance with UNCW women’s basketball

The transfer from Penn State brings enthusiasm, leadership and experience in a winning situation to a program in need of all three as it tries to rebuild

Encouraging health news: UMaine women’s basketball coach makes Rhode Island trip with team

Upcoming games of note:

LadySwish previews Sunday Showdown (Part 1): Radford at Kentucky. 2pm ESPN3

Toledo fan wanted some attention – lucky them! They’ve got the Irish next! 2pm ESPN3

#9 UCLA v. #5 South Carolina. Looking forward to Ms. O, Canada battle the trees. 2pm why is this not on ESPN(3)!

#10 Stanford v. Tennessee. There’s history in these matchups. What kinda fight do the Vols have in’em? 3pm why is this not on ESPN(3)!

#24 Virginia Tech (10-0) v. Alabama (8-1). Good measuring stick for both teams. 5pm

Monday

In Vegas, it’s #20 Oklahoma v. Xavier (7-1) 5:15pm.

#12 Ohio State at #1 UConn, 7pm. Why is this not on ESPN(3)! Good news for the Buckeyes:  Linnae Harper’s debut finally at hand and Facing UConn was learning experience for Ohio State’s Kelsey Mitchell

Intriguing match up of unrated teams: Virginia (7-2) v. Georgia (7-3)

‘cats v. dogs, as Gonzaga (7-2) hosts Northwestern (10-1), 9pm.

Also in Vegas, UNLV (8-1) v. Oregon State (7-1), 11pm.

Six 0-for teams that you might want to send some winning vibes to: Coppin State, Incarnate Word, Sam Houston State, Alcorn State, Chicago State and Pepperdine.

Bonne chance: Broadcaster LaChina Robinson Is Determined To Change The Status Of Women In Sports

If you have been paying attention to women’s basketball over the past 7 years, you know who LaChina Robinson is. If you haven’t heard of her yet, it’s time to get familiar. In a sports landscape where the skill and knowledge exist in equal measure to the men, but the sponsorships, salaries and media exposure don’t, broadcasters like LaChina are part of an important movement seeking to change the status quo.

Congrats! MICHIGAN’S CAROL HUTCHINS WINS INAUGURAL ESPNW PAT SUMMITT COACHING AWARD

Standing outside the team bus in Oklahoma City last June, Carol Hutchins could only grimace and shake her head. The longtime Michigan softball coach was upset.

But it wasn’t because her team lost a season-ending 1-0 game in the Women’s College World Series to Florida State. It wasn’t because the Wolverines’ search for a second national title skidded to an end. It wasn’t because some key players had a tough weekend at the WCWS.

It was because she wouldn’t get to coach that team again. And because that team wouldn’t get to play for her again.

Up next: I’m doing the all day Christmas bird count tomorrow. I keep saying to myself, “This will be fun.”

SUN

rain

DEC 18

Rain 59°  26°  90% WSW 19 mph

 

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Weekend Wrap Up

So, the games I pointed at were not much to write home about… and there was one match up I totally dismissed. OOOPS!

Arizona Central: Sophie Brunner’s shot lifts ASU women’s basketball over No. 18 Kentucky in OT. ESPN:  ‘We wanted it

Sue was there to witness the not-so-much-a-challenge battle: UCLA players set their own record books on fire in 84-64 rout of Michigan

It was anticipated to be a close game, but No. 9 UCLA turned it into a show.

Jordin Canada blazed down the lanes en route to scoring 16 points and dishing out a career-high 14 assists on just two turnovers. Monique Billings dominated the paint and shut down opponents on defense, to tally 19 points and a career-high 16 rebounds – 12 defensive – when it was all over. Kelli Hayes put up a career-high 16 points for the Bruins, and two others also scored in double figures in their 84-64 win over Michigan.

More coverage (yea!) Daily Bruin: No. 9 UCLA women’s basketball tops Michigan 84-64 and Go Joe Bruin: UCLA Women’s Basketball Completes the Michigan Sweep and Bruins Nation: UCLA vs Michigan, Part Two: Women’s Basketball

Yes, it was Texas Rio Grande Valley, but Oklahoma State’s Wheeler did sink a career-high for 3-pointers in OSU win and move to 8-0. Iowa State looms on the 29th.
Georgetown handed Alabama their first defeat, 70-59.
Welcome to the Wabbit Jungle: George Washington falls to South Dakota State, 60-55, earning coach Johnston his 400th win.
Hello! Lynn Donovan-Milligan’s Rider holds off a furious comeback in the fourth takes down Niki Reid Geckeler’s Towson, 79-75. Off to their best start since 1982, the Broncs shares the #1 in the MAAC with Quinnipiac (they were picked 10th of 11 teams in the MAAC preseason ). They play the Q December 30th, since you were wondering.
It looked like #17 Texas was going to run away with it after the first quarter, but then Tennessee got themselves together, pulled back into contention, then lost the lead and game, 72-67. Dan Fleser has Three observations on Lady Vols basketball

All Tennessee women’s basketball losses aren’t created equal, no matter how much they look alike in the win-loss column.

Strides were made in terms of competitiveness during Sunday’s 72-67 setback at Texas. Redshirt junior guard Diamond DeShields wasn’t overstating the difference in saying: “We haven’t seen this Tennessee team all year. We haven’t been able to come from behind and take the lead in games. We haven’t been able to get shot clock violations. We haven’t been able to come back in the fourth quarter and fight back from a deficit with seconds on the clock.”

Will this team be seen again? Any chance it will start winning games in regular fashion?

Up next for undefeated Virginia Tech: Auburn, Radford (hmmm), Delaware State, North Carolina, Clemson… and then #13 Miami on January 11th.
This girl is on fire: Kristine Anigwe records 6th consecutive double-double
as Cal moves to 9-0. But their schedule! I know – #20 Oklahoma is on the 2oth.
The “largest crowd (12,528) to see a women’s college game this season” (Kentucky begs to differ) saw UConn go into Kansas State and did what it was supposed to do – albeit shorthanded. Despite the loss, Mechelle writes: Facing (and losing to) UConn still has its rewards

If you beat them, of course, you’re the talk of the sport. But it doesn’t take defeating the Huskies to gain something from the matchup. So, if you have the chance to schedule UConn, why not?

That’s the way Kansas State looked at it, and Sunday’s 75-58 UConn victory drew 12,528 fans, which is just the Wildcats’ third sellout in the past decade. The game was nationally televised. And K-State’s players got the chance to face the best of the best, and see how they stack up. That will come in handy for Big 12 play.

Also: UConn’s Gabby Williams is espnW’s player of the week

From ESPN’s Katie Barnes: How this season’s UConn squad looks like 2003 Huskies (I’ve actually been thinking 2000)

Prior to the Nov. 17 matchup with then-No. 2 Baylor, UConn coach Geno Auriemma said: “I’m somewhat realistic about what my expectation level is. I’m realistic about what we can do, and I think the previous couple of years we would sit here and tell you that we were the favorite to win the national championship. That’s not the case this year. I know it, and I think everyone on our team knows it.”

But let’s be realistic: It’s time to talk about the Huskies being the favorites — again.

Kelsey was Plum-tastic as Washington had little trouble with Boise State. Her 44 points (matching her season high) made Plum the Pac-12’s career scoring leaderPac-12’s career scoring leader.

“I’m just glad it’s over,” said the Washington senior who has compiled 2,759 points — more than anyone in the 30-year history of the conference. “We can move on now.”

On the other hand, #8 Louisville got a tussle from Western Kentucky – which doesn’t have a stellar team this year. Wonder how long Michelle Clark-Heard will stay a Hilltopper.

Turtle news: For Terps sisters Brionna and Stephanie Jones, recovery from knee injuries hurts so good

On Monday, the No. 4 Terps (10-0) face Loyola Maryland (4-5) in Baltimore, and perhaps the biggest question mark among the five Joneses in attendance will not be the structural integrity of a knee but the color of a top inside Reitz Arena.

Brionna is coming off a career-high 30-point game. Stephanie is in the team’s rotation as a freshman wing. Jarred, a redshirt senior, is leading the Greyhounds men in scoring — and has been warned that he had “better wear red.”

Syracuse: With nothing given to her, Syracuse women’s basketball prized recruit Desiree Elmorestarts grabbing success

“She had a rough beginning of the season. She’s a kid that has a chance to be great for us. I wasn’t going to just give it to her. I wasn’t going to just let her walk in and start giving minutes to her,” Hillsman said. “She’s really starting to earn her minutes. The better she becomes at that the better off we’ll be as a team.”

More from Sue: Coach’s Chair: Quentin Hillsman, Syracuse University

Yes, this was a good one: Northwestern by 2 over resurgent Milwaukee, 65-63, ’cause Nia Coffey is no joke.

Rollin’ Rockets: They only have one loss – by 2 points to UCLA by 2. Next up? The Irish. Gulp. In the meantime: UT women cruise past Bonnies

“To bounce back after probably one of the most hard-fought games we’ve played all season at Dayton, and then to turn around and play again so quickly was taxing,” UT coach Tricia Cullop said. “I think that is where our depth and our pressure defensively really does pay off. Being able to play as many people as we do wears out other teams, and it helped us rest some of the kids that played so many minutes at Dayton.”

OPA! Eleanna Christinaki quits No. 23 Florida after refusing suspension

Hear ye, hear ye! Bracketology 12/12. Of note: Tennessee, Texas absent

POLLS!

RPI!

From the Female Coaching Network: TAMIKA CATCHINGS SHARES WITH US WHAT PAT SUMMITT MEANT TO HER AND HOW HER LEGACY HAS IMPACTED USA BASKETBALL (VIDEO)

High School

Fun story about legacy from Lori Riley at the Hartford Courant: Canton High Girls Basketball Features A Real Family Affair 

So this spin move Patty Canny has? It’s mean.

“My spin move is killer,” she said.

She and her niece, Emily Briggs, sitting at the island in the Briggs’ kitchen Thursday night, laughed.

“Yeah,” said Briggs, who is a senior guard for the defending Class S champion Canton basketball team. “That was your move.”

“It was my signature move,” Canny said. “Thanks to Grandpa.”

Excited to see that Amherst has suspended future presidential candidates: Amherst men’s cross country suspended over “racist, misogynist and homophobic messages

On that note: Another holiday option for the female athlete in your life? A donation in their name to the Women’s Sports Foundation.

We are making progress. At the same time, we are in the midst of so much change. While we don’t know the extent of changes the new Administration will make, we do know that it can have a direct impact on our work. We are not daunted. Title IX and other gender equity legislation have been under attack before. We are already collaborating with organizations that share our commitment to the social change we seek for girls and women. Fighting for girls’ and women’s rights is what unites us.

The work of the Women’s Sports Foundation has never been more relevant.   We will continue to stand up, speak out, support and lead. We can’t do it alone. Your donation will help protect decades of progress and support our efforts to ensure that equality, respect, and social justice remain the hallmarks of this great nation.

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I know you’ll be keeping an eye on the following:

A clash of blue/purples: K-State preparing for marquee matchup v. UConn, 2pm EST: Preview Capsule: No. 1 UConn At Kansas State and UConn At K-State: Another Road Game, And No. 1 Huskies Once Again The Villian and Kansas State women prepare for huge crowd, huge test against Connecticut

A clash of yellows: Michigan v. #9 UCLA, 2pm EST

A clash of maroons: South Carolina v. Minnesota, 3pm EST

Dawn Staley has said all season that the defense needed work, but it was hard to really get the team to buy into making it better because it was winning. With a loss to reflect on, and no game immediately after to get back to winning, the past week has yielded a heavier burden than the usual exam break. 

Now it’s time to see if it paid off. The Gamecocks (6-1) resume their season against Minnesota (7-3) Sunday to begin a three-game week-long homestand, also featuring its rivalry game and another Top-10 opponent.

A clash of oranges: Tennessee v. #17 Texas, 4:30pm EST

Karen Aston: Texas-Tennessee is a measuring stick for both basketball teams

Lady Vols make it their business to get better

Lady Vols business hasn’t been good lately. An 88-66 loss to Baylor last Sunday knocked them out of the Associated Press and USA Today coaches weekly top 25 polls. The rout, which matched the largest margin of defeat for a home game in program history, highlighted an assortment of issues that have diminished UT’s effectiveness. Among them:

A clash of blues: undefeated Boise State v. #11 Washington, 5pm

Other games of interest

Northwestern (7-1) v. Milwaukee (7-1), 1pm ESPN3

A year removed from a solid 19-13 season, the Panthers’ women’s basketball team has exploded into the new campaign with a 7-1 record thanks to a current six-game winning streak heading into Sunday’s big game against the Big Ten’s NorthwesternWildcats.

Sure, keeping the streak going will be a test, but for these Panthers that may be one they pass again.

“Undefeated” Alabama (1st road game) v. Georgetown (7-2), 2pm

In-city battle: Xavier (6-1) v. Cincinnati (6-2), 2pm.

7-2 Wabbits host 7-2 George Washington, 2pm.

Ohio State: Amping up defense is the top priority. Ya think?

Also, listen in as The Trifecta welcomes Doris Burke. And, as a side note, no, I’m NOT old – even though I remember when Doris’ kids hung around the Garden… and now her daughter is at Villanova law. Yikes!

Not sure what’s with the photo accompanying the article, but… From Doug: Transfers hoping to leave their mark in women’s basketball

The 2013 high school senior class was one of the most talented in recent women’s basketball history.

It had a plethora of talented guards and post players led by Diamond DeShields, Kaela Davis and Taya Reimer. So far, though, the biggest mark the group has left at the collegiate level is the high transfer rate among its top stars.

Six of the top 10 players from that high school class have switched colleges from where they began. DeShields was the test case, leaving North Carolina after a stellar freshman year and heading to Tennessee. Soon after, other top players started transferring.

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How about some basketball goodies!

New:

John Molina’s Barnstorming America Stories from the Pioneers of Women’s Basketball

Joanne Lannin’s Finding a Way to Play

Shawn Fury’s Rise and Fire .

Maria Cornelius’s The Final Season: The Perseverance of Pat Summitt

Some classics: 

Pamela Grundy and Susan Shackelford’s Shattering The Glass: The Remarkable History of Women’s Basketball by

Full Court Quest: The Girls from Fort Shaw Indian School Basketball Champions of the World by Linda Peavy and Ursula Smith.

Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women’s Sports by Susan Cahn. 1998.

The Only Dance In Iowa: A History Of Six-Player Girls’ Basketball by Max McElwain.

Counting Coup : A True Story of Basketball and Honor on the Little Big Horn by Larry Colton.

In These Girls, Hope is a Muscle by Madeleine Blais.

At the Rim: A Celebration of Women’s Collegiate Basketball by Patsy Neal.

Deaf Girls Rule: A Photographic Essay of the 1999 Champion Gallaudet University Women’s Basketball Team by Wendy Tiefenbacher.

Shooting from the Outside by Tara Vanderveer and Joan Ryan.

The Stronger Women Get, the More Men Love Football: Sexism and the American Culture of Sports by Mariah Burton Nelson.

 

 

 

 

 

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Priorities: Battle for life over

battle for the boards. OR, in this case – they’re connected. Cal Bears presents Rebounds for Rama: Support Former Cal WBB Student-Athlete, Rama N’Diaye

Rama N’diaye, a native of Dakar, Senegal, crossed the globe to join the Cal Family in the Fall of 2006. She embarked on a 5 year career for the Golden Bears which saw her teams make 3 consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament, a Sweet 16 appearance, and a WNIT Championship.

In the summer of 2007, she was a member of the Senegalese National Team before sustaining a significant knee injury in March of 2008. That summer, she led her Cal team on an international team trip to Tunisia and Senegal, where she was able to introduce her Bear family to her immediate and extended Senegalese family and friends. Despite not being able to play due to her knee injury, she served as our very own personal tour guide, exposing her teammates, coaches and staff to the amazing traditions and culture of Africa. It was a life changing trip for everyone involved.

As a testament to Rama’s sheer will and determination, she was able to return to the court following her injury and compete in her final season in Berkeley in 2010-2011. Rama then went on to play professional basketball for three seasons in Iran, Spain, and Turkey. Since her retirement in 2014, Rama has been living and working in San Diego. Unfortunately, in July, 2016 she was diagnosed with Stage 2 Breast Cancer at the young age of 29. She is currently undergoing aggressive treatment at The Moore Cancer Center through UC San Diego, where she is proving to be a worthy opponent in the fight against this disease. As a result of the side effects of her treatments, Rama has not been able to consistently work and therefore has sustained significant financial hardship. It is our goal as a Cal Family to help support Rama in her fight against Breast Cancer emotionally, spiritually and financially.

As a result, Rebounds for Rama will allow our extended Cal Family to participate in that end goal, once again proving that our support extends well beyond the hardwood. Donations may be made based on the number of total rebounds that the current Cal team secures over the course of this season or as a flat rate. See donation details below. If you have questions, please contact Jill Culbertson at 510-643-3787.

Your support of Rama as she continues her fight to beat Breast Cancer is truly appreciated. Once a Bear, always a Bear.

Past Season Rebound Totals
2015-16 – 1,230
2014-15 – 1,331
2013-14 – 1,401

 

Speaking of Cal: Kristine Anigwe scores 50 in Cal women’s basketball’s 97-73 win over Sacramento State

Oh, those in-state rivalries: WATCH: Iowa women’s basketball coach Lisa Bluder does the worm after beating Iowa State

Nice tussle between Charlotte Smith’s team and the Blue Devil’s: Duke’s Joanne P. McCallie prevails over daughter as Elon came to Cameron

With a 76-72 win over Dayton, Toledo moves to 7-1.

Green Bay whomped the Wabbits, 67-43.

Told you they were feisty: Fordham over Princeton, 57-55.

Good battle between a solid program (Ohio) and a recovered program (IUPUI). It was the Bobcats over the Jaguars, 71-65.

Hello, Radford. Now at 7-1, they defeat an improved Wake Forest team, 68-60. Next up? Kentucky and Virginia Tech. Wheeee!

Considering their record, the Blue Raiders put up a good fight against #15 Kentucky, 61-48. Now, UK women looking for big things from its biggest players going forward

In a battle of 0-fers, Loyola (Chicago) beat Chicago State, 59-54.
Good choice to no have this game on national tv: Notre Dame’s bounce back v. #18 DePaul at 8pm, Comcast SportsNet Plus.

Sarcastic Shout Out to Sports Editor Matt Daniels of the News Gazette. In response to a question about the missing pregame staff predictions, line up and comment section, he admitted he’d rather cover the recruiting of high school students for a 3-9 football team. Why? Because Bollant’s team is 3-6. He will only provide game recaps and, if you’re lucky, maybe a random profile down the line. What a guy. Thanks, Matt, for your transparency!

WNBA

Chicago’s got a coach: Sky hire Sparks assistant Amber Stocks as head coach

From SportzEdge: Curt Miller busy as both coach, GM for Connecticut Sun

Good question: How do we evaluate WNBA players on overseas teams?

RedEye Chicago: Sky’s Pondexter pushes for title on court, citywide healing off it

WATN? Westfield’s Former WNBA All-Star Tamecka Dixon Named Governor of Union College Board

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*Other programs* DABNABBIT!

Yes, the season is not over by a long shot, but… UConn sure showed it’s not going to roll over and play dead.

The “rebuilding” Huskies trotted into South Bend and showed the Irish – and anyone else who was watching – that they’re not going to just hand over the mantle of “Basketball Capital of the World.” About the game:

NCAA.com: UConn vs. Notre Dame roundup: Huskies get statement win in 1-2 matchup

NY Times: UConn Brushes Aside Notre Dame for 83rd Straight Victory (So, how come they fix an error on a sports story but don’t acknowledge the original error?)

With each jab on Wednesday night, the top-ranked Huskies stood their ground, understanding that big-game moments in deafening opposing arenas were a big reason that they had enrolled at Connecticut in the first place.

Hartford Courant: UConn Extends Streak To 83 With Decisive Win At No. 2 Notre Dame; 5th Win Over Ranked Team

“We definitely let it all out,” sophomore Katie Lou Samuelson said. “We want to continue to be great and try to get to where we want to be at the end of the year.”

New Haven Register: No. 1 UConn tops No. 2 Notre Dame, extends winning streak to 83 games

This was going to be the year of the payback, the season where the dominant UConn women’s basketball team gets a taste of what it feels like to be on the wrong end of the scoreboard.

With a pair of talented transfers and perhaps the best group of incoming freshman, the line, “This is the year to get UConn” has been a popular refrain.

Well, the Huskies have played five ranked teams in the first eight games of the season and are where they usually are at this time of the season — sitting pretty with an unblemished record.

Courant: UConn Women’s Notes: Dailey Gets Samuelson To Emulate Rip Hamilton, And It Works

Swish Appeal: Huskies quiet Fighting Irish, win 83rd in a row – Notre Dame came in with the better numbers, but UConn walked away with the victory.

Excelle: Top-ranked UConn women’s basketball defeats No. 2 Notre Dame

Notre Dame Insider: UConn frustrates Notre Dame women’s basketball in top-two battle

Notre Dame Insider: Lesar: Loss to UConn leaves Notre Dame with plenty of questions

Nine games in, Notre Dame’s women’s basketball season just got re-booted.

Connecticut can do that to even the best teams.

UConn’s 72-61 victory in the mid-season battle for No. 1 Wednesday night scrubbed off the makeup and exposed every pimple in the Irish program.

It wasn’t a pleasant sight for Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw.

Had someone been foolish enough Wednesday night to tell Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw that the sun will still come up in the morning, she might well have reminded them that the wind chill will be in single digits when the sky does lighten in northern Indiana.

There was no bright side to be found.

Mechelle: With a new ‘big three’ leading the way, UConn is once again the team to beat

Walking a tight rope is not an image that comes to mind when thinking about the UConn women’s basketball team. Yet the UConn staff said the Huskies are performing “without a safety net” in regard to players such as Katie Lou Samuelson, Napheesa Collier and Gabby Williams.

If so, they look about as sure-footed as The Flying Wallendas. Remember how UConn lost its “big three” from last season and was probably going to struggle a bit this year trying to replace those amazing players? Yeah, whatever.

St. Louis Dispatch: St. Louisan Collier helps No. 1 UConn stop No. 2 Irish

A month into the season, Connecticut doesn’t look quite as vulnerable as many people thought.

Other teams:

Not a good loss for George Washington against a struggling American team, 66-61.

Yes, Ivies, pay attention to Harvard. The Crimson take down Kansas, 69-59.

Idaho Statesman: Historic and undefeated start for Boise State women’s basketball team not by accident

The reason I’m a generalist – gives me an opportunity to notice trends. For instance, what JR was doing and is now doing: Coach JR Payne has No. 18 Colorado on track and undefeated

Home-cooked meals at her house, featuring all the lasagna the players could eat and a game of hide-and-seek with her kids. A more lighthearted atmosphere at practice, complete with friendly football contests.

In no time, first-year Colorado basketball coach JR Payne has changed the course and culture of the 18th-ranked Buffaloes. At 8-0, they’ve already surpassed their win total (seven) from a season ago.

This amount of success so early is somewhat of a surprise. Payne figured it might take a little bit more time to install her system. But her players instantly bought in and now they’re off and rolling.

Long time readers know I’m a fan of officials, having written several articles on their very misunderstood and demanding profession. Take a moment to consider the Collected Wisdom: NCAA basketball official Dee Kantner

As a top women’s college basketball official and former NBA referee, Dee Kantner’s heard it all.

From 8-year-olds sitting courtside telling her to get back in the kitchen to fans calling her out by first and last name, Kantner has gotten pretty used to the heckling in her nearly four decades of officiating.

She began refereeing church league basketball as a way to make ends meet when she was a college senior in 1982. Since then, she’s made history as one of the first two female officials in the NBA, refereeing in the league from 1997-2002.

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You know this, but GAME TONIGHT!

Fingers crossed it’ll be a great match up: Let’s be real, it’s #1 v. #1, coaches who are friend-enemies, teams who are trying to find their identity and make a statement… I’m saying Irish because of experience and home court. But, honestly, who the heck knows! Lucky us! And read up!

NCAA.com: No. 2 Notre Dame eager to face top-ranked UConn

Notre Dame site: Top Two Teams to Tangle Wednesday

Notre Dame Insider: ND’s McGraw looks past polls, focuses on progress in showdown with UConn

Also from NDI: Freshman Jackie Young flashes potential during Notre Dame rout of Valpo

Swish Appeal: Perfection on the line for No. 1 UConn, No. 2 Notre Dame

Hartford Courant: UConn Vs. Notre Dame: Plenty Of Memorable Games, Moments

ESPN: UConn, Notre Dame renew rivalry in 1-2 showdown

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw still absolutely adores practice, and she always will. It appeals to the puzzle-solving side of her, and how she enjoys the process of finding the right answers.

“I went up to Michigan and spent some time with John Beilein, and it was like Christmas,” McGraw said recently of the Wolverines’ men’s basketball coach. “We had two hours, talking about the 1-3-1. I just love it. I’ll watch YouTube videos about zone offense. I’ll play with the sugar packets at lunch, lining them up. I can’t wait for practice; it’s my favorite part of the day.”

Mechelle: Diggins: McGraw and Auriemma are ‘two of the best basketball minds’

Skylar Diggins knows how much the UConn-Notre Dame game can tell each team about itself. She played in 15 games in the series from 2010-13, and won seven of them with the Fighting Irish.

The rivalry changed, certainly, with Notre Dame going to the ACC and UConn then becoming part of the American Athletic Conference in 2013. But it’s still a measuring-stick game, and Diggins will be courtside at Purcell Pavilion on Wednesday (ESPN2, 7 p.m. ET) to see for herself this No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup.

Of note: 

Ute’s rising:  Utah women’s basketball win eighth consecutive game

Yale’s 7-2 as Defense makes strides in Guth’s second season

Tough times for the Huskers: Nebraska tries to stay upbeat after losing streak hits 5

In-state battle: Green Bay over Marquette, 78-63, as the Eagles never quite got it going. Learning curve…

 

WNBA

WNBA star Maya Moore speaks to Greenville youth

News from abroad, via Excelle Sports: WNBA’s biggest stars face fierce competition in EuroLeauge Women this week

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Yes, maybe Michigan should have gotten some AP votes, but they sure didn’t make their case against Xavier. Instead, the undefeated Musketeers are saying, “Notice us!” with their 61-58 win.

Umm….if anyone has an explanation for this, please email me. SMU withstood a furious fourth quarter comeback by Texas A&M to earn a 54-53 win. Huge moment for new head coach Travis Mays.

Yup, Vandy’s now at 8-1. Gulp – they’ve got Louisville on the 21st.

Hoop Hype! Michelle Video: No. 1 ranking on the line in Notre Dame, UConn rivalry  and New Haven Register: Auriemma eager for UConn women’s basketball game with Notre Dame

Congrats! DeSales women’s basketball coach Fred Richter collects win No. 500

Love your computerSerena Williams, WNBA stars join nonprofit coding campaign

Didja catch this? audioBoom / Locked On Women’s Basketball: Episode 7 with Debbie Antonelli of ESPN, CBS, and so much more

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Wait, what happened?!?!

*Poll voters: Pay. A.tten.tion!*

So, no, I wouldn’t have picked Duke over #3 South Carolina (and you wouldn’t have either!), but I’ll take credit for asking “Are the Blue Devils flying under the radar, or…” But, honestly, REALLY?  74-63 Blue Devils? Her stellar play earned Rebecca Greenwell POW honors. I’m sorry Orin’s not writing about it.

South Carolina knew offense sells tickets. Attendance at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Sunday was 6,036, most of which were wearing garnet and black.

But defense wins championships – which is what Duke felt like it won by upsetting the No. 3 Gamecocks 74-63.

“We were undisciplined. That’s what it’s called,” USC coach Dawn Staley said. “We knew coming into this season that we would take a hit defensively. And sometimes when you’re winning, and you’re beating top-ranked teams, you can’t give that lesson to your players because they just think, ‘Hey, we’re winning! We’re doing it the right way.’

Equally, “What… WHAT?!?!” Oral Roberts – which has, in the past, had some strong teams… in the Summitt. BUT they get an 18-0 run v #12 Oklahoma for the win? This is the ORU team has four losses – Iowa by 20, Northwestern by 9, Kansas by 8, UALR by 6. Guess the law of diminishing margins added up to their 7-point win over the Sooners.

“We’re just really appreciative of Coach Coale allowing us to come down and play,” ORU coach Misti Cussen said. “I think that is the biggest thing, just having that opportunity to come down here and experience women’s basketball here at the University of Oklahoma. To play an in-state team was really exciting for us. Obviously, it was a huge win for us, and a big moment.”

No style points, but #16 West Virginia kept Ole Miss at bay, 66-61.

In the beginning, #14 Texas’ trees and speedy guards gave #2 UConn fits. Then Geno *sorta* gave them a pep talk, Natalie Butler came in and plugged up the middle and Napheesa Collier was unstoppable. Huskies win,  72-54. Same story for Texas:

“I thought they competed better, competed a little longer than we did on possession and were just a little tougher than we were,” Aston said. “We’ve got to fix ourselves in several areas in the next few weeks.”

#18 Miami got more of a tussle from ODU than they expected, I’m guessing. Hurricane escape, 66-56.

“We talked all about toughness,” Meier said about her locker room pep talk.

“Back when Miami was terrible, we got good because we were gritty. Now that’s Old Dominion. They’re at that phase where we were. Every ball matters to them. We came in … yeah, it was a trap game, but it’s so soft to say that. To give that excuse. We just didn’t feel like being tough until the start of the second half.”

Unfortunately, not totally unexpected. Baylor pulled the foot off the gas in the fourth or it might have been worse – #4 Bears 88, #22 Vols 66.

“Maybe I think we’re more talented than we are,” [Warlick] said. “Talented or not, you have to play hard. It has nothing to do with talent. It’s respecting the game and right now, we are not respecting the game. It’s not about Lady Vol basketball; it’s about the game. This game is meant to be played as hard as you can. You have to be mentally tough and you have to compete. If you don’t do that, then you’re going to get beat by whatever we got beat by.”

#5 Maryland is still undefeated, and will have to make sure it doesn’t look too far ahead (to UConn, Dec 29th.)

Sixth time’s the charm: Louisville finally took down Kentucky, though it took overtime, 69-67.

Dayum, one point in the fourth, Cincy? Does this mean we have to say #9 Ohio State knows how to play defense?

In the battle of the undefeateds, #6 Mississippi State needed OT to defeat Iowa State. Might I suggest to both programs that they beef up their schedule a bit?

*No jinx, no jinx, no jinx*

Clemson‘s undefeated.
South Florida‘s undefeated.
Ohio‘s undefeated.
Oklahoma State stayed undefeated courtesy of their win over Georgia, 71-51.
Buffalo’s undefeated. It’s their best start to a season since 2000-01 when UB started out 8-0 and was receiving votes in the top-25 polls.
Cal is undefeated.
Boise is undefeated – and they beat Washington State to stay so.

I think Matt Daniel’s Marshall may be a program to keep an eye on. They took Penn State down to the wire at the Bryce –  but the Lions escaped, 82-80.

So the Hatters have moved to 6-1. Not sure what competition they’ve really faced, (Chattanooga tonight) but they do get USF on the 30th.

Yes, it was wicked ugly – but for William & Mary a win is a win, thankyouverymuch.

It WAS a good oneFormer player falls to former coach, but there may be some writing on the wall. UNC 78, Elon 73.

In the battle of the purples, it was LSU over TCU, 67-61.

Remember when IUPUI was a hot, hot mess? They tamed Missouri, 73-45. The victory marks the first time in program history that the Jaguars have defeated an SEC opponent.

Well, hello. Patty Coyle hasn’t had much to cheer about at St. Peter’s, but a win over Marist (whatever is happening to them this season) is always nice.

#1 Notre Dame got their groove on v. Valpo, 114-54. They sit in wait for the UConn team.

BTW: San Francisco, Loyola-Chicago, Nebraska and UNC are stories that all deserve follow ups by sports journalists.

Re: Jeff Walz’s rant. Honestly, I call bullish*t. Point fingers at players you recruited, demand new arenas and sweet gear, talk about the good old days, pretend that “the real world” isn’t full of folks who should be fired, kvetch about AAU but then get pissed when the kid you’ve made an appearance for only has one game ’cause they lost, then make sweeping generalizations about young people? Whatever it takes to motivate your team, I guess, but you don’t get any “truth teller” points from me.

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DOWN goes…

#12 Oklahoma falls with enthusiasm to #17 Kentucky, 82-68.

After the No. 17 Cats upended her No. 12 Sooners 82-68 on Thursday night, Coale was asked if there was anything different about this Kentucky team.

“These guys are a little bit more purposeful,” she said simply.

Minus Stephanie Mavunga, #9 Ohio State almost escaped #18 Miami when Calhoun’s three pushed the game into overtime, but the Hurricanes prevailed, 94-89.

Hello, still perfect Kansas State! Yes, #23 Auburn hasn’t played a tough schedule, but they were ranked.

It was tight, but eventually #5 Maryland maintained their unblemished record, toppling Louisville, 78-72.

What doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger, but oof and the ranked teams, Longhorns! #14 Texas put up a fight, but South Carolina’s Wilson came to the rescue with 31pts to seal the win for the Gamecocks.

Sorry dad. A strong second quarter made sure that Stanford beat the Roadrunners, 77-56.

They may have started slowly, but #4 Baylor just wore out Abilene Christian, 79-34.

#13 Washington climbed all over Grand Canyon.

I’m sure Doug’s thinking, “thanks, Geno, for lighting a fire under their butt…” #2 UConn blitzed #15 DePaul, 91-46.

Pay some attention to Felisha Legette-Jack’s 6-0 Buffalo team.

And pay attention to Michigan, who knocks off previously undefeated Georgia Tech, 92-52.

“Definitely didn’t expect it,” said Michigan coach Kim Barnes Arico regarding the blowout. “We came out of the gate and jumped on them right away. We never really looked back. We kicked their butt and I didn’t think we were going to do that coming into someone’s home court, especially a team that was 6-0 and had some real quality wins.”

Hmmmm…. after a win over Temple, it may be that Harvard is looking to make some noise in the Ivy.

VaTech came back to beat a struggling Nebraska, 76-67. In other Hokie news: Genesis Parker will transfer.

Fordham’s looking mighty feisty in the A-10, taking down conference rival Duquesne, 64-51.

They’re not world beaters yet, but William & Mary is doing so. much. better.

By the way, Boise is still undefeated.

Towson is not any longer, having been dealt a defeat by Georgetown, 75-59.

Bummer: Maine women’s basketball team undaunted after theft of belongings

WNBA

Totes sucks: Chiney Ogwumike Undergoes Achilles Surgery

Newsday: Swin Cash finds a positive early in her retirement

W.T.F. Charles Barkley does not want Warriors’ ‘girl basketball’ style to catch on

Weekend Watch List:

Tonight: San Diego v. Washington State, 10pm EST

Saturday:
Marshall v. Penn State – an interesting measure of two teams in interesting places. 1pm EST

Battle of the undefeateds: Mississippi State v. Iowa State, 2:30pm EST

Go, in-state rivalries: Utah State (6-1) v. Utah (6-0)

Big12/SEC Challenge: Georgia (5-2) v Oklahoma State (6-0)

Sunday

#4 Baylor v. #22 Tennessee – big challenge for the Vols. 2pm EST

TCU v. LSU – nice match up between unranked teams looking towards the future (what kind of future to be decided). 2pm EST

#3 South Carolina v. Duke. Are the Blue Devils flying under the radar, or……

Oooooo, in state rivalry!!! #17 Kentucky v. #7 Louisville, 2pm EST

What’s the dealio, Ole Miss? Ole Miss (6-1) v. #16 West Virginia (8-0), 4pm EST

I’ll be in the house! #14 Texas v. #2 UConn, 4pm EST.

Boise State v. Washington State, 5pm EST

Color me intrigued: Elon v North Carolina, 5:30pm EST. AND they’re giving away a Charlotte Smith Bobblehead!

 

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