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