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Archive for February, 2017

Where to begin?

Ya go on vacation, and all sorts of interesting things happen. Before we can talk about the games on the court, let’s talk about the games off it….

So, about Ms. Wiggins’ comments …and lack of further comment.(Amid backlash, Wiggins stands by her controversial comments)

Wiggins described what she said was a “very, very harmful” culture in the WNBA – one in which she contends she was bullied throughout her eight-year career. 

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“Me being heterosexual and straight, and being vocal in my identity as a straight woman was huge,” Wiggins said. “I would say 98 percent of the women in the WNBA are gay women. It was a conformist type of place. There was a whole different set of rules they (the other players) could apply.

Wiggins said she was disheartened by a culture in the WNBA that encouraged women to look and act like men in the NBA.

As many have said below, one is hard pressed to deny someone’s emotions or feelings. So let’s talk a little bit about bullying. As someone who uses theater as a teaching tool, primarily in schools, it’s not surprising that bullying is a topic that we’ve addressed. Per the stopbullying.gov site:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

For instance, when we created a curriculum for early childhood students it included a character whose bullying actions escalated across a four-day residency.

  • First, they mocked another character’s name (Yuki became Yucky, Mucky, Yuki)
  • Then they mocked that character’s ability and moved to exclude him. (You can’t dance, you can’t even drum, really-you shouldn’t participate at all)
  • Finally, they physically intimidated the character, mocking their fear

Because the bullied character often feels helpless, speaking up in their own defense is a huge hurdle. Our work looked an engaging the bystanders (the students in the classrooms) to 1) recognize the behavior of the bullies and the impact on the bullied and 2) move from a community of bystanders to a community of active protectors/defenders.

Bullying is not exclusive to the school environment. Some readers may be able to identify a bully in your workplace. Per the WBI, Workplace Bullying is repeated, health-harming mistreatment of one or more persons (the targets) by one or more perpetrators. It is abusive conduct that is :

So, when Wiggins says she was bullied, it means that

  • She felt disempowered
  • She encountered aggressive behavior from multiple players and coaches across the league, including the staff of the teams she played for: Lynx, Shock (’13), Sparks (’14), Liberty (’15)
  • She endured verbal threats and/or attacks
  • She was excluded from groups
  • Her work on the court was undermined
  • She didn’t feel she could go to Human Resources to address her issues
  • No one who witnessed what she was experiencing came to her aid

Again, I won’t deny what she says she experienced, but (even though this makes me sound like a denier) I’ve got to admit that when this story first broke my gut reaction was “what league was she talking about?”

If you’ve followed the WNBA since it’s inception, you’ll remember a huge initial support from the gay community. You’ll also remember huge frustration from the gay community about the league being unwilling to acknowledge/celebrate/recognize that support. There were plenty of discussions around who the league promoted and why. Simply put, it was straight women. And if they had kids? Even better. The consequences of the league’s “blind eye” was that many gay fans felt ignored and disrespected. The result? “You want my money but ignore who I am? Fine, I’ll give up my season tickets.”

As someone who semi-stalked the Liberty players during those early years, it was clear there were gay and straight women on the team. It also seemed clear, as far as I could tell, that the team was tight knit. There was also some “self-policing” when it came to public demonstrations of affection. I don’t know if this applied to the straight folks, but I do recall it becoming a bone of contention with one of the players and her partner in that she felt she was being silenced. Others on the team said it was not about “gay” or “straight,” it was about professional comportment.

When I was fortunate enough to be able to cover the Liberty (and, occasionally, other teams), if players weren’t talking about the game on the court they were talking about being role models – both to the fans and to the up-and-coming players. Early on in the league’s existence, it seemed players themselves were reluctant to speak about their sexuality. No doubt, some of that was connected to league pressure (real or perceived). Some of that had to do with place and time – “what does who I love have to do with my missed free throw?” Some of it had to do with not wanting to expose themselves to scrutiny and its possible repercussions.

Over the years, both society and the league have moved into a more open and inclusive stance. It seems like the younger players are more comfortable not only publicly acknowledging who they love, but actively engage the public in challenging discussions. Perhaps the dominant norm makes people uncomfortable – or jealous that attention is being given to someone else? Who knows….

But when Wiggins says “the WNBA that encouraged women to look and act like men in the NBA” I was flummoxed. Was she talking about on-court attitude and aggressiveness. But wasn’t that something she was known for?  Perhaps it was clothing off court? So I thought I’d do some unscientific research focused on draft days since she entered the league – ’cause that’s the time the W would likely bring the most pressure to bear. I’ve put up the links, you decide if the league is encouraging the players to “look and act like men.”

2016 draft.
2015 draft.
2014 draft.
2013 draft.
2012 draft.
2011 draft.
2010 draft.
2009 draft.
2008 draft included Candace Parker, Sylvia Fowles and Candice Wiggins.

While we’re waiting for Candice to answer questions about her statements, below are some reactions:

Tara: Tara VanDerveer defends WNBA from Candice Wiggins’ allegations

“I don’t know why someone would take the shots,” VanDerveer said. “The WNBA is a young league. It’s doing really well. It’s what we’ve experienced in women’s sports. … Women’s basketball is growing, but we still have a ways to go. We know this. It’s still a great game.”

Referring to Wiggins’ contention that 98 percent of WNBA players are gay, she said, “I don’t know that math was ever Candice’s strength. That to me sounds homophobic and negative.”

Geno: Geno Doesn’t See Same Women’s Game Candice Wiggins Complains About

“Since 1996 when this league was founded, I’ve never in 20 years ever heard a player ever, ever, ever say anything remotely resembling what has been said by Candice Wiggins,” Auriemma said.

Mike T and Co. in the Washington Post: Mystics rebuke Candice Wiggins comments on bullying and sexuality in WNBA

“I thought it was irresponsible and inaccurate on her part, and I only see self-serving in it,” said Thibault, the winningest coach in league history. “She played long enough that if she had issues, those are things to bring to somebody’s attention. Number two, she talks about being called names, and I think if you go back and look at her writing, there is a reason for some of that.”

“She degraded and criticized a league that has always supported her and even gave her a platform on topics that directly affected her life, such as HIV,” [Natasha] Cloud wrote in an email from Australia, where she is playing during the WNBA offseason. “She disrespected and demeaned a certain group of women to whom sexual preferences are different than hers, backing every simple-minded stereotype out there about women’s sports.”

Imani Boyette: Sky’s Imani Boyette ‘disappointed’ in Candice Wiggins’ ‘gay’ comment and Dear Candice

First, I was sad because that was your reality. I’m sorry you were bullied and felt that way during your career. Bullying is serious and no one deserves it. I hope you know that says more about the people who chose to mistreat you than you yourself. I hope one day your love for this sport returns, even if only as a spectator. I don’t know you personally nor was I there so I can’t deny your experiences nor would I try to. But I will defend a league I grew up with and am now a part of. Have you or did you ever reach out to the union? Did you confront these women?

Candice, I’m disappointed in you. We should be careful of who we allow to share our stories. We must be sure they not only respect the other parties but do their due diligence and only print facts. You stated that, “98% of the women in the league are gay” – that’s not only false but it’s unfair. You retired last year, have you met all 144 of us and been privy to our private lives? In your “research” did you really find only 3 women were straight? Do you know that orientation is not binary? Do you understand what you’ve done?  You’ve reinforced unfair stereotypes. A person’s orientation is their own and their business. Now, because of your article, it is no longer out of bounds to ask WNBA players about their sexuality. Do they ask any male stars in the NBA about their sexuality? Is it even a conversation?

Monique Currie: Perception is Real: Candice Wiggins’ Truth

I can say in my eleven seasons in the WNBA I’ve never witnessed the kind of bullying Wiggins describes in her interview. This does not mean it did not happen but I’m proud to be apart of a league that supports inclusion and celebrates all players regardless of their race, religion or sexuality. We are a family made up of players that love and respect the game of basketball. We are dedicated to growing the game and our league through integrity, honesty and hardwork. I feel awful that Candice had these experiences while playing in the WNBA but I encourage her to not only speak out about the negative aspects of her career but also shed light on how we can prevent this from ever happening again.

Kayte Christensen: Why I Disagree With Candice Wiggins

Wiggins said that many players were jealous of her because she is “heterosexual and straight, and [is] vocal in [her] identity as a straight woman”. That perception of course looks to have severely shaped her experience in the WNBA.

Well, I’m also a straight woman who was in a serious relationship throughout the course of my 6-year career (which would qualify as being “vocal in my identity as a straight woman”) and never ONCE was there an issue with that. Never once was there any form of jealousy or bullying. My boyfriend and I were not only welcomed with open arms but we both spent significant time with my teammates off the court.

Is it possible that I was the exception? Hardly.

 

Breanna Stewart

“…I am not denying Candice her experience. I am truly sorry for any pain she has endured, but my time in the W has been very different,” Stewart tweeted. “I have found the WNBA to be one of the most affirming places you can be. Our league has been a leader on inclusion + progressive action… Let’s worry less about if 98% is “accurate” and ask why: Why does anybody care? Even if it was 100%, WHY DOES IT MATTER???”

espnW: WNBA has no comment, but many players dispute Candice Wiggins’ allegations of bullying culture

DeLisha Milton-Jones, who won two WNBA titles and appeared in more games than any player in league history, said she was baffled by Wiggins’ remarks. “I know Candice as a sweet, intelligent young lady,” said Milton-Jones, who now is an assistant coach at Pepperdine. “I don’t want to take anything from her experiences while in the league, so I can only speak for what I experienced firsthand. And it’s in complete contradiction of what’s been stated by Candice.

“The WNBA has allowed many of us to live a dream. I pray that Candice does find peace with her life and is able to move forward without devaluing or diminishing what’s been priceless to so many others in the league.”

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“I don’t want to discredit (Wiggins’) experience, if indeed she felt that,” Penicheiro said, per ESPN. “But ‘nobody cares about the WNBA’ and ’98 percent of the league is gay’ are completely false statements. So it’s harder for me to give her personal experience credibility when those things are completely false.”

Houston Chronicle: WNBA players see a different league than one described by Candice Wiggins: Wiggins’ derogatory remarks spur support for organization

The 31-year-old WNBA veteran was surprised to see the notifications on her phone last week. Something had happened to former WNBA player Candice Wiggins. She got her son settled in his high chair with cereal and apple juice and opened her laptop. The story was everywhere.

Wiggins told a newspaper in San Diego she had been bullied for being a straight woman in the WNBA, adding that the league was a “toxic” environment for her.

The veteran read the story twice, then three times.

“It was strange,” said the veteran, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I wanted to reach out and see how I could help. I felt terrible she went through that. But I was also a little mad. I played in the WNBA five seasons. I always felt supported. I always felt proud of what we were doing and what we stood for.”

The Prez: W.N.B.A. President Says She Was ‘Stunned and Disappointed’ by Candice Wiggins’s Comments

Of course, it concerns me if any of our players do not have a positive experience and I hope that anyone who feels uncomfortable would reach out to me or others in the league office.”

She added: “In my time with the league and my capacity as a fan before that, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a group of highly competitive women who are driven to succeed at the highest level on the court and constantly striving to help create opportunity for all members of their communities. In keeping with that, I’ve found our players to be earnest, heartfelt and eloquent in their responses to Candice’s comments and, as always, clear in their commitment to our league’s core values of diversity, inclusion and respect.”

Mechelle: Bullying And Stereotypes In The WNBA

…the other thing about this is that it – I just have to say, this sort of demonizes LGBT people. Again, the idea that they were in this league as sort of predators and people who were mean to straight people and, you know, had formed their own kind of culture – I think those are really damaging stereotypes. And there’s been nothing that I’ve seen in covering the league since it started that would corroborate those.

Nneka: WNBA MVP talks former player’s accusations: ‘It’s nothing new to us’

“It’s nothing new to us. I guess in my experience with the WNBA, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before as far as the stigma,” Ogwumike said. “But when it comes to someone else’s experience, you can never speak to someone’s experience. I think as newly appointed president it’s definitely my job to represent the inclusiveness that we stand for.”

She said it hurt to hear someone had that type of experience — but thinks Wiggins could have expressed her concerns in a more constructive way “so that those who might have been the perpetrators or those that might be able to help can help in that situation.”

My second “What the hell” moment was when Baylor coach Kim Mulkey spouted off.

WATCH: Baylor’s Kim Mulkey sounds off concerning school’s reputation
Kim Mulkey blasts Baylor critics, defends university
Kim Mulkey gives awful post-game speech about Baylor scandal
‘Knock them … in the face’, Baylor coach says of parents afraid to enroll daughters
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey ‘tired of hearing’ about scandal scrutiny
Baylor coach Kim Mulkey defends school amid sexual assault scandal
Baylor’s Kim Mulkey: Knock Parents Concerned About Sexual Assault Scandal “Right In The Face”
Kim Mulkey offers defense of Baylor amid sex assault scandal by encouraging assault

Backlash:


What? Baylor Women’s Hoops Coach tells fans to Punch Baylor Critics??
Baylor Coach Under Fire For Controversial Comments About Bears’ Scandal
Kim Mulkey comments put Baylor’s reputation ahead of sexual-assault concerns
Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey so wrong to tell fans to attack BU critics
Kim Mulkey’s remarks knock Baylor one step back
OU women’s basketball: Oklahoma’s Coale ‘disappointed’ in Kim Mulkey’s comments
Baylor’s Kim Mulkey was out of line with her comments on Saturday
Kim Mulkey should be ashamed of herself for post-game speech about Baylor scandal
Rape victims advocate: Baylor coach Kim Mulkey ‘like Art Briles in a woman’s body’ after comments
After Baylor Is Hit With Lawsuit Alleging 52 Rapes by Football Team, Basketball Coach Leaves Parents Fuming

Then:

Baylor coach Kim Mulkey walks back her message about sexual-assault scandal
Baylor’s Mulkey apologizes, clarifies remarks in ESPNW column
Kim Mulkey regrets ‘knock them right in the face’ statement but stands by defense of Baylor
Mulkey clarifies her Saturday remarks

I call bullsh*t. You put your University over your students. You want me to believe differently? Get your azz on the front lines and advocate for a clear, transparent vetting of your athletic department. 

“I think [the BU regents’] silence speaks volumes about their disdain and disregard for the concerns of the Baylor family and the greater Waco community,” Trotter said. “If they came down from their ivory tower, they might realize the level of mistrust they’ve created among all of us.”

Strong comments from two strong-willed women, each making some valid points. And if Mulkey accurately sums up the exasperation many feel in wanting to move on, perhaps she can use her considerable influence in the Baylor family and among leadership to prompt the answers that faithful alumni such as Trotter say are overdue. Mulkey may be “in the know,” but many are not. Nor are many likely to move on so long as doubt about Baylor’s past dogs its future.

Okay. Now that we got that off my chest, let’s get back to celebrating the game on the court.

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Dunno who’s more upset…

#6 Texas, # 8 Stanford or me having to come home from Bonaire. The last of SCUBA:

I do know the boys are waiting….

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Almost done with…SCUBA

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Yes, basketball, but….SCUBA!

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Red Hind

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Stoplight Parrot Fish

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French Angel Fish

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Blue Striped Grunt

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Smooth Trunk Fish

 

 

 

 

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SCUBA!

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I’m (almost) ready to go!”

Yup, February Board of Ed Break in NY means it’s time for my annual SCUBA trip. Off on Saturday and back on Saturday. Please don’t start the impeachment hearings until I get back.

Before I go, some things to keep you busy:

Listen Up! Lachina: Rebecca Lobo chats about UCONN’s 100th consecutive win, being a part of the Huskies family, Geno Auriemma’s coaching legacy.

Listen Up! Howard (dang, it’s hard to keep up!):

Breanna Stewart talks about her journey to China, how offseason changes alter her role on the Seattle Storm, and what she plans to do for an encore in the year ahead.

Harvard coach Kathy Delaney-Smith, the winningest head coach in Ivy League history, talks about fighting Title IX battles in the 1970s, her career arc, how the Ivy League has developed, her young, talented 2016-17 team, and where the game goes from here.

Listen Up! Richard: Kim Barnes-Arico taking Michigan to new heights

Listen Up! College Sports Now and Rebecca Lobo.

Games: 

Did I not mention they were wobbly? Huge win for Coach Abe as her UCF Knights knocked off #22 South Florida, 66-62. How huge?  Just the first win over ranked team in school history

Rider continues it’s nice run in the MAAC, defeating Marist, 65-46.

Don’t want to ignore the #2 Terps, even if they’re whomping Wisconsin. Ohio State looms.

Welcome to #24 Kansas State’s season – they get back into the poll, they get whacked. This time, it was a stumbling West Virginia doing the honors, 66-59.

With Maine and Albany having “transitional” seasons, New Hampshire is stepping into the void. They’re at 12-1 in the Am. East, and my Durham friends have noticed!

Belmont has moved to 14-0 in the OVC.

Say who? Western Illinois defeated South Dakota State. In his fifth year, coach JD Gravina’s team now sits atop the Summit.

Colorado State repelled Mountain West challenger Wyoming, 61-54. A tougher loss for the Cowgirls: Junior guard Liv Robert out with an ACL.

Sure, Notre Dame was “dealing with a short bench,” but the fact they only beat Clemson by four tells you a ton about what Coach Smith has been doing with the Tiger program (did I not tell you?)

Yes, Tennessee lost to Alabama, but let’s not bury the lede: Diamond took a whack to the head/neck and was taken off the court on a board. Sounds like she may be okay, but head-neck injuries are no joke.

Another significant injury: Shakayla Thomas’s shoulder put her in a sling. Wheels fell off #4 Florida State wagon and Virginia’s up and down season had an up(set). Cavaliers over the Seminoles, 60-51.

Hmmm… what’s up with #3 Mississippi State, looking ahead to the conference tournament? They’re lucky Georgia ran out of gas in the fourth – Bulldogs win, 58-49.

JINX! (Sorry Kim). #2o Michigan falls to Indiana, 72-61.

#23 TAMU continues to confound. They lose to LSU, 67-63.

The WWC continues to try and keep it interesting: Loyola Marymount over Saint Mary’s with authority, 72-57 (Remember – LMU beat BYU) and USF beat Gonzaga.

Wright State and Green Bay are heading to a showdown Feb 24th. That likely will be for Conference Tourney seeding – and some “wanna go to the NCAA tourney” mojo.

Speaking of showdowns, Western Kentucky got the season sweep over Middle Tennessee. C-USA tourney ought to be fun….

Ouch – Montana State (11-3) loses to Portland State (5-8).

“Hello, it’s…Drake:” Drake takes over top spot in espnW mid-major poll

You might have heard that Connecticut is still unbeaten in conference play — and every other kind of play. Maryland and Texas are similarly making runs at conference perfection in the Big Ten and Big 12, respectively.

But those three giants aren’t alone in their excellence. With only a handful of games remaining, Belmont (Ohio Valley), Drake (Missouri Valley), New Mexico State (WAC) and Penn (Ivy) are also close to wrapping up unbeaten conference seasons.

Three of the four appear below. Spoiler alert: sorry, Aggies.

Michelle Smith: Postseason resume assessment of Pac-12 teams as Hard work keeps Beavers at top of standings

Damnit: USM’s women’s basketball Joye Lee-McNeliscoach battling cancer

Step by Step: As Michigan women’s hoops soars, Barnes Arico trying to ease pressure

The biggest problem for Kim Barnes Arico these days: Everything may be going a little too smoothly.

Her Michigan women’s basketball team is 21-5 overall, the best start in program history.

The No. 20 Wolverines are 10-2 in the conference with four games remaining and can clinch the No. 3 seed or higher in the Big Ten tournament with a win at Thursday at Indiana.

Only twice in program history has U-M finished the conference season in third place or higher.

So what’s she worried about?

Interesting: USC coach Dawn Staley to critics: ‘Be fans, don’t be coaches’

Staley’s crew has heard from the online critics who panned what the team didn’t do at UConn. 

“We do got a lot of coaches out there that want to coach our basketball team,” she quipped. “But you can’t just coach on game days. Got to get in here, got to coach on waking up, losing to a team and then getting them back, psychologically. 

“Be fans, don’t be coaches, because there’s a lot that goes into coaching. It’s just not X’s and O’s.”

It involves stressing to the team that a championship can still be won without putting undue pressure on it.

Congrats: Texas named NCAA Team of the Week.

WNBA

Mini Mi! Phoenix Suns Sign Olympian Leilani Mitchell

Ciao (Thank you for the memories Bria Hartley! and welcome (An Elena Delle Donne and Emma Meesseman frontcourt will open up the Mystics’ playbook this season) from Bullets Forever.

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Talk about a Super Monday!

#10 Texas and #4 Florida State started off the night in style, as the Longhorns battled back from a deficit, got the lead only to see a clutch three from Leticia Romero send the game into overtime. Two extra periods later (and far too many missed free throws, kids!), the Longhorns earned the 92-88 victory.

“To be on the road in this type of environment and have the adversity — we had a lot of people in foul trouble — I thought our team showed a lot of toughness and resiliency,” Texas coach Karen Aston said.

Burnt Orange Nation says it’s Time to pay attention to Texas women’s basketball after double-OT W

The Texas Lady Longhorns traveled all the way to Tallahassee on short rest, played a 50-minute, double-overtime game last night, and came out 92-88 winners over the No. 4 Florida State Seminoles.

Did you watch? I admit I meant to and forgot. So today I’m committing, for the next few weeks, to relegate the men’s squad to second-affection status and hop on the Lady Longhorn bandwagon.

Next up, South Carolina pushed UConn on a night the Huskies should have been vulnerable. Nurse was hampered by a bad ankle, Samuelson was shooting blanks, and Collier was garnering fouls, and yet… Gabby Williams. Somehow, some way, the Huskies scratched out the 66-55 win and upped their record to 100 in a row.

Joe Ward, NY Times: UConn’s 100-Game Winning Streak, One Blowout at a Time

Harvey Araton, NY Times: With 100th Straight Win, Connecticut Women’s Team Redefines Dominance

Graham Hays, ESPN: UConn once again defies expectations in winning 100 consecutive games

Both teams missed shots they might make other nights, but it was South Carolina that made the mistakes — committed the turnovers and gave up the rebounds that decided the outcome. Connecticut didn’t beat itself. And no one else has proved capable of it.

“Our defense was not bad,” South Carolina coach Dawn Staley said. “I thought we did a really good job with that. It’s just we let our guard down, and when you let your guard down, a team like UConn is going to make you pay every time.”

She paused for a beat, then almost whispered the final two words again. Every time.

One hundred times in a row, for those counting.

David Cloninger, The State: No, UCan’t: No. 1 Huskies get past Gamecocks

It was working. The system was working.

But Connecticut disrupted a lot of systems in winning 99 consecutive games, and did it again in defeating No. 6 South Carolina for its 100th.

The Huskies (25-0) beat the Gamecocks 66-55 on Monday to extend their record for consecutive victories and let USC know that stopping them is a temporary solution.

Sports Illustrated: Athletes react to UConn’s 100th straight win

Friend of the sport, Richard Deitsch, Sports Illustrated: Geno Auriemma has UConn women living in 100-win fantasy land

Three weeks before the start of this year’s women’s college basketball season, UConn coach Geno Auriemma sat in his office contemplating the prospect of finishing this year without a loss. He considered the suggestion laughable, preposterous, pick your own adjective to describe such crazy.

“To think we will go undefeated this year, we would be setting ourselves up for failure,” Auriemma said. “Stewie [Breanna Stewart], Moriah Jefferson and [Morgan] Tuck were 151-5 in their career. That’s not the real world. How long do you think you can live that world? I don’t know when it is going to happen. It might happen early, it might happen late, but it’s going to happen. And I’m okay with it because we will coach them through it and they will see that’s the real world, and the world everyone lives in.”

Four months later, UConn remains in Fantasy Land.

Also from Richard: UConn’s 100th-Consecutive Win is Highest-Rated College Basketball Game on ESPN2 This Season UConn-South Carolina women’s hoops drew an 0.9 overnight rating, highest-rated CBB game on ESPN2 this season among men’s & women’s B-ball.

Ryan Cooper, NCAA.com: UConn women’s basketball wins 100th straight game, beats South Carolina 66-55

USA Today: No. 1 UConn tops South Carolina to extend record to 100 wins in a row

NBC: UConn Women’s Basketball Gets 100th Straight Win Against South Carolina

NPR: UConn Women Win Historic 100th Game In A Row

UConn Blog: UConn Women’s Basketball Overpowers South Carolina for #100, 66-55

Paul Doyle, Hartford Courant: UConn Wins No. 100 Just Like The Rest — With A Comfortable Margin Of Victory

“We’re one injury, couple fouls away from just being average at best,” Auriemma said.

So on a night when the UConn women’s basketball team stood under the bright lights with a celebrated milestone in front of it, Auriemma saw it unfold. One of his starters was hampered by an injury, a few of his core players picked up some untimely fouls, and his best scorer was simply not scoring.

Jim Fuller, New Haven Register: UConn women win 100th straight game, take down South Carolina

Just in case the stat line of Gabby Williams wasn’t impressive enough during the UConn women’s basketball program’s date with destiny, her Hall of Fame coach bestowed the compliments to end all compliments on the junior forward.

Not long after his team became the first NCAA basketball team to win 100 games in a row with a hard-earned 66-55 victory over No. 6 South Carolina before a sellout crowd of 10,167 at Gampel Pavilion on Monday night, UConn women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma compared Williams’ majestic performance to the most offensively-talented player to suit up for him.

“You can’t explain Gabby Williams ever having any expectations of ever being Maya Moore and (having) a Maya Moore performance tonight exactly when she needed it, exactly when it needed to be done,” Auriemma said.

SB Nation: UConn women’s basketball wins its 100th straight game

Newsday: UConn women get tested early, beat South Carolina for 100th win in a row

UConn Today: 100 Facts About the Historic 100th Win by Women’s Basketball

Beth Maiman, NCAA.com: UConn women’s basketball: What was happening in the world the last time the Huskies lost?

Bleacher Report: UConn Women’s Basketball Team Records 100th Straight Win with Victory vs. USC

A 100-game winning streak is not supposed to happen in any sport at any time.

After all, there are salary caps, scholarship limits and parity-inducing draft orders in place to check such power, and that’s not even accounting for random factors such as luck and poor performances on any given day.

That’s what makes the Connecticut Huskies’ 100th straight win—which they notched Monday with a 66-55 victory over South Carolina—downright incredible. Injuries, strong opponents and even the graduation of superstar Breanna Stewart have not slowed them down, and a fifth straight national title seems like an inevitable conclusion to this ride.

Hartford Courant: Huskies Take Streak To Triple Digits Surrounded By Legends and UConn Women: The Past And Present Come Together For 100th Win In A Row

Journal Inquirer: Alum Stewart proud to still be part of it all at UConn

Swish Appeal: HUSKIES’ SPECTACULAR STREAK CONTINUES and History Made: What UConn’s 100th straight win means

Rhode Island Public Radio: UConn Women’s Basketball: New England’s Other Dynasty

SEC Country: Recap, box score from 66-55 loss at No. 1 UConn

South Carolina women’s basketball largely played the game it needed for the first 18 minutes Monday night against UConn.

But the rest of the game served as a reminder of why No. 1 UConn was playing for the first 100-game winning streak in Division 1 basketball history — and why the Huskies got the job done in a 66-55 win against No. 6 South Carolina (21-3, 11-1).

Greenville News: College basketball does regular season right

The University of South Carolina women’s basketball team will be a footnote in the history books. The Gamecocks suffered a 66-55 loss Monday night at the University of Connecticut. It was UConn’s 100th consecutive victory, the longest streak in NCAA history in any sport.

South Carolina may find no solace in the undesirable distinction of being UConn’s 100th victim. Yet, the Gamecocks are a fitting foe for the milestone.

South Carolina is ranked No. 6 in the USA Today Sports coaches poll. Even amid the conference schedule, both teams eagerly relished this enticing encounter. UConn has never cowered to protect its streak.

Good Men Project: Who Runs the (Basketball) World? U Conn.

Yahoo Sports: One hundred straight wins only hints at UConn’s dominance

Pulse/Business Insider: The 3 plays in sports everybody will be talking about today

ESPN: UConn prez: Huskies one of greatest success stories in American athletics

To get more specific, I think a lot of times people look at UConn women’s basketball and are not interested in particular players and their stories. These are really fabulous women who are going to rule the world someday. They are great students, leaders, and are excellent citizens of the community. I’d like to see a lot more emphasis on individual players and their achievements in addition to the team.

UConn Report: UConn Women’s Basketball Postgame – South Carolina

Silliness from Philly: Smallwood: Just give the trophy to UConn already

Philly.com: Geno Auriemma, UConn’s winning women’s basketball coach, got his start in Philly

NJ.com: UConn wins 100th straight | Rutgers’ C. Vivian Stringer weighs in on historic feat

.com: WNBA CONNections to The Streak

In other news: 

Follow up on an earlier story:  Golden Bears rally for Rama N’diaye after cancer diagnosis

At first, Rama N’diaye kept a secret from her loved ones and entire support system last summer: She had breast cancer.

Privacy is the cultural norm back home in Senegal, yet N’diaye quickly realized she would need everybody cheering her fight. She gathered the courage and reached out to former California basketball staff member Sarah Holsinger, now at Virginia working as associate athletic director of basketball administration for Joanne Boyle, the coach who recruited N’diaye to Berkeley more than a decade ago before leaving for Charlottesville.

“I was so amazed,” N’diaye said Sunday. “They came and they were there for me.”

Congrats: Texas’ Holmes named espnW National Player of the Week

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Road Trip!!!

I had a lovely time, thanks for asking. Zipped up to Northampton to listen to the fabulous Patty Larkin, got to hang with my college friends, eat breakfast waffles, head to Boston and visit with my mom, the crawl my way through the snow back. Then I… what? You were asking about South Carolina’s road trip? Where are they going? :-)

So, yah, it’s kind of a big deal. I’m feeling like it’s more of a big deal for the Gamecocks. They need to know they can beat UConn. They’ve got the talent – can they play with the offensive and defensive discipline needed to conquer the Huskies? We shall see.

As for UConn, a nice round 100 would be lovely, of course, but what they really want is a shot at National Championship #12. We all know they’re playing on a razor’s edge – and injury, foul trouble, an off night or a team that’s supper hot and bob’s you uncle, your waiting for next season.

Pop some popcorn and pull up a chair…Until them, indulge in some work-time procrastination:

In Pursuit Of 100: UConn Ready For South Carolina On National Stage, Courant
History Drives UConn To Great Heights, Courant
Preview Capsule: No. 6 South Carolina At No. 1 UConn, Courant
Auriemma puts win streak in perspective before taking on South Carolina, Daily Campus
UConn women’s basketball leaving legacy on and off the court, Daily Campus
South Carolina a unique challenge as UConn women look for 100th straight win, Register
Women’s basketball gameday capsule: No. 6 South Carolina at No. 1 UConn, Register
UConn’s winning streak: By the numbers, ESPN
ESPN Plans Full Coverage of Monday Night’s Game, ESPN
A streak like no other: UConn plays USC trying for 100th consecutive win, The State
UConn women’s basketball: 5 keys to beating Huskies as they go for win No. 100, NCAA.com
UConn recruits have same goals, Ft. Wayne Journal Gazette
No. 6 South Carolina looks to spoil UConn’s run to 100 wins, USA Today
South Carolina women’s basketball heading into historic meeting with UConn, SECcountry
Gamecock women’s basketball preps for No. 1 UConn, WYFF Greenville
The Feed Pail: South Carolina vs. UConn the big draw this Monday night, Garnet and Black Attack
Gamecocks stand as final hurdle between UConn and 100 — and maybe much more, Charleston Post Courier
Michaux: South Carolina women out to stop UConn’s bid for 100th consecutive win, Augusta Chronicle
USC Stands In The Way Of UConn’s Historic Streak, WLTX
Gamecocks feel confident going to UConn, The State
USC between UConn and 100th straight win, The T and D
UConn Women’s Basketball to Go for 100th Straight Win, NBC CT
USC women will try to snap UConn’s 99-game win streak, Spartanburg Herald
Auriemma to Say Good Morning to America Monday as UConn Goes for 100 in a Row

Meanwhile, on the west coast, someone with the initials S.R. is bucking for Coach of the Year honors…Or should those initials be M.N.?

Midwest news: Drake women’s basketball makes MVC history

The Drake women’s basketball team cruised to a 98-46 victory over Bradley on Sunday afternoon at the Knapp Center in front of 3,219 fans. The victory improved Drake’s record to 13-0 in Missouri Valley Conference play to set the best-ever start to league play in MVC history.

And the mystery continues in Knoxville: A&M women’s basketball earns first victory in Knoxville in crucial SEC matchup

Speaking of the SEC: Nell Yes: Women’s basketball stars – Nell Fortner analyzes standout performances from Dominique Dillingham, Caliya Robinson and Katie Frerking.

Other interesting results:

Ooofta – Missing leading scorer Jenna Burdette, Dayton came crashing down, losing to A-10 challenger George Washington, 52-39.

Rider is having themselves a nice season in the MAAC (13-3).

James Madison takes down Elon. You’re gonna have to pry that CAA title out of the Dukes’ hands.

Speaking of prying titles out of hands… Ohio upsets Ball State, 72-68.

See above: Middle Tennessee (11-2) had Charlotte’s (9-4) number, 83-81.

Keeping your focus is hard. Little Rock is dealt their first Sun Belt loss by Texas State (8-4)… and it wasn’t even close: 64-47.

Speaking of which, the IUPUI Jaguars (9-4) caught the Wabbits (10-3), 64-59.

Nice to see Hampton v. Howard games have their groove back. Bison over Pirates, 67-62.

New Mexico State is rollin’ in the WAC. Now at 10-0.

Your record has nothing to do with your fight. Upstate and North Florida went three overtimes to decide their game. Ospreys win, 77-74.

Chicago State could really use a win.

Congrats to the inductees! Sheryl Swoopes Headlines 2017 Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame

Stay put: Two-Time WNBA MVP Candace Parker Extends Contract With Los Angeles Sparks

You stay put, too: Alana Beard Re-Signs With Los Angeles Sparks

.com: EDD Adjusting To Life As A DC Sports Star

What to do with your free time: Broadcasting helps Hughes fill void

 

 

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SNOW DAY!!!

Gonna brave the streets later on to catch the NY Historical’s Society event The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America, but until then….

Listen up! LaChina chats with Terps Shatori Walker-Kimbrough and Brionna Jones  (and Charlie Creme and Doris Burke)

Also: Maryland Women’s Basketball Coach Brenda Frese Talks Winning & Recruits

There’s a new top scorer (2,774): Missouri State commit Elle Ruffridge sets Iowa high school girls basketball career scoring recordMissouri State commit Elle Ruffridge sets Iowa high school girls basketball career scoring record

They may not be winning, but Wisconsin is getting a lot of press:

Ruff! Drake Bulldogs earn team of the week honors

No “just ranked whap” for #21 Michigan, 72-62 over Purdue. 

Yes, they won by 10 (thanks to Laksa’s 34), but something’s wobbly in the land of #22 USF.

Central Michigan tightens up the MAC race with a win over Northern Illinois, 109-94.

Whoops – another stumble by the Rams. Colorado State loses to (6-6) Utah State, 55-48.

Strong win for Fresno State, taking down Wyoming, 52-47.

From the NY Times: Her Team Is 0-22, but She Might Deserve Coach of the Year Honors

When the coach, Angela Jackson, phones a potential recruit, the response is surprise. Is there still a women’s basketball team at Chicago State? Is there still a Chicago State?

“The first question is, ‘I thought y’all were closed,’” Jackson said.

It is a stinging query for this university, a vital institution that is on the eve of its 150th birthday, and that has served as a lifeline to low-income, mostly African-American students on Chicago’s far South Side.

SO there’s this game on Monday….

WNBA

Perth Lynx’s Whitcomb signs with WNBA team Seattle Storm

Expectations: Ex-Terp Kristi Toliver focused on bringing Mystics a WNBA title, and adding: Thomas signs with WNBA’s Washington Mystics for 2017 season

Stay put: Essence Carson Re-Signs With Los Angeles Sparks

Also stay put: New York Liberty re-sign Sugar Rodgers, Rebecca Allen

Dallas News: Dallas Wings star Skylar Diggins talks music, community involvement, rivalry with Kevin Hart

Building: WNBA’s Seattle Storm Boosts Ticket Sales by Teaming Up With Marketo

She’s back: Brea Edwards’ new shot with MTSU basketball

When former MTSU guard/forward Brea Edwards stepped onto the Murphy Center court last year, she was in tears as she waved goodbye to a place she considered home.

Little did the former 3-point ace know that she’d return to her home court a year later to help this year’s group of Lady Raiders.

Makers Profile: Tamika Catchings

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Nevertheless, she persisted.”

Smith College, 1902

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Fort Shaw Indian Girls Basketball Team, World Champions, 1904

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Women’s Basket Ball Team Normal School No. 2, Washington D.C., 1911

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Philly Tribunes (Ora Mae Washington) 1930’s

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AAU All American Babe Didrickson and the Golden Cyclones, 19300705-title9-babezaharias2-630.jpg

L.O. Payne’s All Female Basketball Team, 1935

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Women’s Basketball Team, Fayetteville State University, 1939-40Seabk00301000WomenBasketBallTeam-1939-1940-P2-A.jpg

Women’s Basketball Team, Storer College, West Virginia, 1947

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Missouri Arledge,All-American. First black woman to play in a national Amateur Athletic Union tournament, 1952-54 

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USA: Winners of first FIBA World Championship, 1953Unknown.jpeg

Wayland Baptist Flying Queens, 1956-57, winners of 131 straight AAU games (streak ended March, 1958).

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Nera White and Joan Crawford, Nashville Business College: 11-time AAU Champions, including 8-straight, 1962-69.

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Interesting piece of information found while googling: Jane Christoffer Rubel (audio interview)  of Ruthven Consolidated High School v. Iowa Girl’s Athletic High School Union, 1971

Might Macs, 1973.  Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Champions 1972-74

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Delta State University, 1975. Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Champions, 1975-77

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1976 USA Olympic Team

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Annie Meyers, 1979

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Louisiana Tech Techsters, winners of first NCAA Championship for Women, 1982450px-1982_Louisiana_Tech_women's_basketball_team.jpg

Cheryl Miller, USC, 1982-86

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Lynette Woodard, Harlem Globetrotters, 1985

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USA Olympic Team, 1996

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ABL, 1996

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WNBA, 1997

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Houston Comets’ 4th WNBA championship, August 26, 2000

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Jackie Stiles of Missouri State scores her 3,393rd point March 30th, 2001.

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Pat Summitt’s 1,098th win, March 24, 2012

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Brittney Griner, 2013 WNBA number one draft pick.

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UConn women’s basketball, 4th consecutive NCAA championship, April 5, 2016 (and 97 straight wins)

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WNBA’s 21st season starts May 13, 2017lynx-lose-to-sparks003.jpg

#Persist #Resist

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Bears Horned

RUN, little one, RUN! That was the strategy #11 Texas employed against #2 Baylor, and it worked like a charm. And then, the fourth quarter happened and the Longhorns started their Atlanta-esque-swoon. Fortunately, they pulled out of it just in time to secure a huge win for the program. How significant? Check out the streaks broken. Big 12’s on notice.

Publicly, Texas coach Karen Aston downplayed the significance of Monday’s nationally televised upset. “We haven’t won anything yet,” she told roughly 20 reporters in her post-game news conference.

That was the coach’s way of telling her players they cannot rest on one milestone. What good is beating Baylor if they lose to Kansas or Iowa State?

Unimpressed by the confetti still floating from the ceiling, #15 UCLA UCLA bounced back from a loss to prevent #8 Stanford from snagging win 1001 for Tara. Bruins win at Maples for the first time since 1999, 85-76.

#7 Notre Dame looked really good, as they handled a short-handed #7 Louisville, 85-66.

#5 Florida State pulled away from #16 Miami in the fourth to secure the 9-point win. BTW, that #5 spot is the highest in Seminoles history.

Bethune-Cookman is laying claim to the MEAC title.

Albany says “not so fast with the America East title New Hampshire.” Great Danes over Wildcats, 64-55.

Fallout: New law prevents Cal women’s basketball from playing home-and-home with Kansas

Welcome! Women’s basketball rankings: Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas State join AP Top 25

The UVa Cavalier Daily asks: Where does women’s basketball go from here?

No Virginia team has had more of an up-and-down season than women’s basketball. Last week the Cavaliers looked unstoppable, dismantling an impressive Virginia Tech squad via a 49-point shellacking. Three days later, they gave up 82 points in a losing effort against Notre Dame.

The seesaw trend continued over the past four days. Virginia won an overtime thriller against Georgia Tech Thursday only to get blown out by No. 15 Duke over the weekend.

And now, for our daily dose of sticktosportsIwouldifpoliticswouldstopinterferingwithlife: From Julie DiCaro: Confirmation Of Betsy DeVos Could Lead To More Baylors

The lower standard of proof, coupled with a reiteration of a school’s requirements under Title IX, marked a critical effort by OCR and the Obama administration to make the process of reporting a sexual assault on campus easier for victims. However, three years later in 2014,  91 percent of colleges reported zero incidents of rape on their campus that year. That lack of reporting flew in the face of findings by the U.S. Department of Justice that one in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. Clearly, it’s important for Title IX to do much more to make college students feel safe in reporting rape.

Which brings us to DeVos, Donald Trump’s nominee for Secretary of Education.

In 2012 and 2013, DeVos donated a total of $10,000 to the group Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), which has filed its own lawsuit against OCR, alleging the lower standard of proof backed by the Obama administration is unfair to those accused of sexual assault. DeVos steadfastly refused to answer specific questions on the subject during her confirmation hearing. Here’s part of her exchange with Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-Pa):

Casey: “I ask you, would you uphold that 2011 Title IX guidance as it relates to sexual assault on campus?”

DeVos: “Senator, I know that there’s a lot of conflicting ideas and opinions around that guidance, and if confirmed I would look forward to working with you and your colleagues and understand the range of opinions and understand the issues from the higher ed institutions that are charged with resolving these and addressing them. And I would look forward to working together to find some resolutions.”

DeVos’ answers were cold comfort to those who work with campus rape victims.

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Ok. Not so snoozy.

Memphis got a lead over #20 USF, and then held on for dear life getting the win, 62-57.

It took an extra game and double OT, but Tennessee’s Jekyll and Hyde season continued. Playing at Georgia, they fall.

Colorado was not a gracious host, pushing #10 Washington until late into the fourth. Plum-i-na-tor’s 28 helped secure the 79-75 Huskies’ win.

Vanderbilt kept it interesting, but #24 Kentucky was inexorable. Wildcats win, 71-63.

Coach Barnes is doing a lot with who she inherited. They’re not getting the wins (65-57 loss to #11 Oregon State), but they are putting teams on notice for the future.

Speaking of putting teams on notice – the Ducks made Arizona State rescue a win in the fourth.

Hello, Clemson, getting its second ACC win in forever. This time it was over UNC, 78-67.

And the ouch continues, as Georgia Tech defeats Virginia Tech, 87-81.

Utah has got to be disappointed in their season, and Washington State should be proud: Cougars over Utes, 61-55.

Squeak! With a two point win over Iowa, Michigan moves to 7-2 in the Big 10 – good enough for third place in the conference.

Whoops! Mama said there would be days like this (unless, of course, you’re UConn): (11-11, 5-6) Southern Illinois surprises MVC queen, Northern Iowa, 64-59.

Yup, the A-10 is tight! St. Louis loses to St. Joe’s, 66-63.

#1 UConn, #3 Maryland, #4 South Carolina, #5 Mississippi State, #15 Duke, #17 DePaul, and #24 Syracuse rolled.

Looking forward to tonight’s games – how about you?

BTW: Women’s basketball: stats increase powering women’s basketball

Headline-grabbing events in Division I women’s basketball abound this season: UConn’s NCAA-record winning streak nearing 100 games, Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer closing in on 1,000 career coaching victories, and Washington’s Kelsey Plum averaging over 30 points per game as she nears the all-time NCAA career scoring mark.

However, a season-long story that has gone largely untold has been the significant uptick in Division I women’s basketball statistics nationally this season, with 16 of the 19 major statistical categories showing increases.

WNBA

Tell me more~ Amid Sky chaos, Fever star Catchings talks loyalty

Stay/visit: Mystics re-sign Tierra Ruffin-Pratt, make offer sheet to Krystal Thomas

Welcome! Washington Mystics sign Kristi Toliver

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Amazing story: Chinwe Okorie’s journey from Nigeria full of sacrifice

Ephraim’s life is the inspiration behind why Okorie ended up at Mississippi State in 2013. She is now enjoying her best season as the starting center of the No. 5 Bulldogs (20-1, 6-1 SEC) despite not seeing her family since she left Nigeria on Feb. 11, 2012. Ephraim had been deceased for less than a year when Okorie decided to leave.

“It was the hardest decision of my life,” she said.

To understand why Okorie left home, it is important to know her father’s past. Ephraim was the son of a fisherman. He earned an academic scholarship to a school in Hungary and, similar to Okorie, he left Nigeria at 15 to pursue a dream. He returned to Nigeria 14 years later as an economist.

 Denver Post: Love, basketball and family a way of life for Colorado women’s basketball coaches

The balance of love, basketball and family has been a way of life the last 20 years for Payne and Towns, who are in their first season leading the women’s basketball program at the University of Colorado. They met in a training room, sitting on separate tables and having their ankles taped, while they were student-athletes at Saint Mary’s University in California. After graduating, Towns became a volunteer assistant for the Saint Mary’s team during Payne’s senior season. He would scrimmage against the player who would later become his wife.

“Basketball was always a great unifier for us,” Towns said. “I had always enjoyed watching her play basketball. We had a bond through sport. When you can share the rigors of being a student-athlete, I think it’s something that is unique. When you can find somebody who has the same competitive passions as you, that was special as well.”

A fine mess you’ve gotten us into, Ollie….Wichita Eagle: Linda Hargrove eases the transition for Wichita State’s women’s team

Linda Hargrove hasn’t coached in 15 years, but she couldn’t mistake the melancholy mood the first time she met with the Wichita State women’s basketball team.
“Some of them were confused, some of them were sad, but they were all stressed,” Hargrove said. “It’s been a very stressful situation for everyone involved. I don’t think anybody won in that situation.”
Hargrove, who coached WSU from 1989-98, has always prided herself on her ability to tap into what motivates a team and its individuals, but this might be her most difficult venture yet. She went from watching the Shockers in the stands one game to coaching them the next, being chosen by athletic director Darron Boatright to finish out the season after Wichita State and former coach Jody Adams-Birch agreed to part ways on Jan. 22.
“I don’t know if our team’s athleticism is under-appreciated,” said Collier, whose best block of the season is still the one that came against Florida State’s Shakayla Thomas in the final seconds of the Nov. 14 game that preserved a one-point lead. “I haven’t heard anyone say that. Clearly, we are athletic. It shows how we can play when we want to. We can be a good defensive team. We can get out in transition.”
UConn (21-0 overall, 9-0 AAC) has made a living this season with its transition offense and turning turnovers into points. Its defense, expected to be a question mark at the start of the year, has been reliable most nights.Add it together, and it’s easy to see while its NCAA record winning streak now stands at 96.

You want comparisons, maybe go to the longer-running Broadway hits – Cats in its day or Wicked, go back to A Chorus Line. Just put the name on the marquee – UConn women – and people know what they’re walking in to see. 

Wednesday night, the name was on a North Broad Street marquee.

This is one of those seasons when Connecticut’s stars had moved on, like Broadway stars going on to movies or television and the understudies have taken over. The reviews are in, the show has gone on.

There’s a temptation is to look at the Dukes’ record – 14-6, 7-2 in the Colonial Athletic Association – shrug and say, “typical JMU.” In fact, what’s unfolded in Harrisonburg is actually an expert rebuilding job cleverly disguised as typical JMU.

It’s close enough now that South Carolina can almost see the blue and white of the uniforms. But the fourth-ranked Gamecocks still have business to attend to in conference before they can focus on the greatest women’s basketball program of all time.

USC’s showdown against No. 1 Connecticut looms one week from Monday, when the 11-time national champion Huskies will almost certainly be trying to extend their record winning streak to an even 100 games. But the Gamecocks have two SEC contests remaining before then, beginning Sunday afternoon at Arkansas

Let’s make this perfectly clear.

Notre Dame women’s basketball coach Muffet McGraw absolutely abhors losing games.

So don’t even begin to think she has any intention of endorsing any of the three losses her Irish (21-3) have endured so far in 2016-17.

Pac 12: Washington’s Kelsey Plum focused on team success, puts personal accomplishments aside

American:

Wondering who are  The most deadly 3-point shooters in the nation?

Sunday’s ranked games seem a snoozy… unless teams underestimate their opponent…

  • If whack-a-newly-ranked-team is still in effect, #24 Syracuse should watch out for Boston College.
  • #15 Duke should keep an eye on random-upsetter Virginia.
  • #5 Mississippi State is hosting up-and-down Missouri. Let’s see which Tiger team shows up.
  • Yes, Vandy has only one SEC win. But how much faith do you have in this year’s #25 Kentucky Wildcats?
  • #10 Washington v. Colorado. The Plum-i-na-tor is playing, what other reason to watch do you need?
  • #23 Arizona State’s a little unsteady on their pins, and the Ducks are finding theirs….

Other games to keep an eye on:

  • USC v. Cal. Two teams who’ve had frustrating Pac 12 seasons look to take it out on each other.
  • St. John’s v. Marquette. Hello Big East battles.
  • Tulane v. Temple. Both teams have six wins in the American.
  • Tennessee v. Georgia. Can the Vols keep their groove going?
  • A-10 battle: St. Joes (7-3) v. St. Louis (8-2)

Monday games:

  • MEAC match-up: Howard v. Bethune-Cookman. 5:39PM. Not 40, so don’t be late.
  • Magarity has New Hampshire undefeated in the America East. They visit the Great Danes, 7pm.
  • In-state rematch: #6 Florida State v #16 Miami, 7pm
  • Teams trying to get their mojo back: #7 Notre Dame v. #9 Louisville, 7pm ESPN2.
  • Super in-state rematch: #2 Baylor v. #12 Texas, 8pm FS1.
  • And, keeping with the theme: #13 UCLA v.#1001? #8 Stanford,

PUBLIC NOTICE: If ambivalent fans want to donate to after Pats TDs and FGs, the NAACP is matching donations!

Also, don’t forget to Grab Your Wallet.

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1.0.0.0.

That’s a ton of wins. Perhaps fitting to earn the 1000th v. a coach who has a ton of WNBA championships. Michelle Smith: Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer joins history

As the minutes ticked down to tip-off, Tara VanDerveer sat on the Stanford bench, hands folded in her lap, quietly chatting with associate head coach (and former point guard) Kate Paye.
 
Maples Pavilion was filling with fans, dignitaries, fellow coaches, former players and even a few Olympians to watch some history. The place was buzzing with anticipation.
 
VanDerveer, the Cardinal’s understated, but relentlessly driven head coach, became the second coach in women’s college basketball history to win 1,000 games Friday night with Stanford’s 58-42 win over USC at Maples Pavilion, sparking a celebration that has been a long time coming.

More Michelle:

Brooke Smith and Krista Rappahahn Birnie sat courtside Friday night, directly across the floor from the woman who recruited them and then shaped them as basketball players and young women, getting a little emotional.

“We were getting teary together, hearing the band playing and the people cheering,” said Rappahahn Birnie, one of the best 3-point shooters in Stanford women’s basketball history. “It’s special to be a part of a night like this, because Tara so deserves it.”

Stanford’s Tara VanDerveer talks about 1,000 victories, career

But a Hall of Fame coach who has 32 postseason appearances in 38 years seems uncomfortable with the fanfare over her latest achievement. 

“I’m an in the moment person,” said VanDerveer, who began the journey in 1978 at the University of Idaho.

The coach recently sat down with Mercury News sports columnist Mark Purdy and reporter Elliott Almond to reflect on her career.

Mechelle: From career’s early days to her 1,000th victory, Tara VanDerveer has been a coaching pioneer

 It’s really hard to picture Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer — now of 1,000 career victories — hanging out in her parents’ basement, on the verge of the country’s Bicentennial year, not sure what she was going to do next with her life.

But that’s pretty much where she was in the winter of 1975-76. She’d graduated from Indiana, was running out of money and was sleeping in late, by her recollection. She needed something to motivate her.

Her dad suggested she go help out younger sister Marie’s high school basketball team, which didn’t have a real coach.

“They had just lost the night before 99-11,” VanDerveer said. “I said, ‘No.'”

Heavy.com: Tara VanderVeer: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Tara with LaChina on Around the Rim.

In anticipation: Sounding off on Tara VanDerveer approaching win No. 1000

NCAA: Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer earns 1000th career win

As I have said often, I cannot recommend Tara’s “Shooting from the Outside” enough. You know the phrase, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” This book is like that. AND it provides amazing insight into the 1996 Olympic team and USA Basketball. Read. It.

Pac-12 continues to be interesting: No. 11 Oregon State holds off No. 23 Arizona State women’s basketball

Cal regathers itself and takes down #13 UCLA, 80-77.

Beaver Flashback: Loss to Arizona State in 2014 helped fuel Oregon State’s rise

…a gut-wrenching evening in Tempe, Arizona, nearly three years ago to the day was perhaps equally important to the program’s evolution. That was when the young Beavers surrendered a seven-point lead to No. 15 Arizona State in the final 90 seconds after then-freshman point guard Sydney Wiese fouled out. In the aftermath of the loss, leading scorer Jamie Weisner punched a wall and broke her hand. Then, the Beavers responded with 11 consecutive victories to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1996.

Oregon Ducks women’s basketball breaks losing streak by beating Arizona Wildcats

Welp: WBH Jinx in action: Down 21, Maryland Eastern Shore (3-5 MEAC) came back to upset Hampton (7-1), 68-65.

As I said, Jinx! This time there was no comeback or OT. American (7-3) over Bucknell (9-1), 59-47.

Again, as I said: Harvard falls to Penn, 63-43. Quakers give the Crimson their first league loss.

MAC is tight: Central Michigan (7-2) toppled Ohio (7-3), 64-59.

Anyone notice UCSB is up to 6-2 in the Big West?

Buzzer beater! #19 NC State keeps up the pressure on ranked ACC teams, taking down #9 Louisville in OT, 72-70.

Wowza! Oakland (6-5) (remember their mess? Remember we’ve been watching how they were cleaning up their mess?) upsets #21 Green Bay (10-1), 74-71.

More upsets: Fairfield surprises the Q (10-3), 65-52.

Gonzaga getting some separation in the WCC, after smothering BYU, 87-52.

No surprise: Plum’s pursuit of record highlights Starting Five

Oklahoma State’s: Kaylee Jensen’s star born from small-town roots

Asked to describe her hometown in one word, Kaylee Jensen took a moment to think.

The junior Oklahoma State center is typically quick on her feet as the Big 12’s leading scorer (19.1) and rebounder (10.4) entering the home tilt for Bedlam at noon Saturday, but then again, the task of painting a mental image of Genoa, Neb., requires perspective.

“Um,” Jensen said. “More cows than people. That’s probably where I would start.”

Middies: Condie setting fine example for Navy women’s basketball

Navy women’s basketball captain Sarita Condie has a pretty good grasp on her future with the Navy. She will be serving her surface warfare assignment on the brand new destroyer, the U.S.S. Rafael Peralta, placing her among the first crew members on the ship, which is stationed in sunny San Diego, not far from her home state of Nevada.

“It is one of the newest ships in the Navy and it hasn’t even been commissioned yet. I am really looking forward to it,” said Condie, an English major who has made quite a name for herself around the academy for her basketball skills as well.

With her post-graduation assignment determined, Condie can now concentrate on her team’s mission as it attempts to earn its first NCAA trip since 2012-2013.

Bad for women’s basketball? UConn Women Make Impressive TV Ratings Inroads In New York

NCAA has their High Five: Top DI Female Dynasties Also: UConn women’s basketball: The Huskies’ record 96-game win streak (and counting) by the numbers

Ooops: Use of improper basketballs to affect CAA tourney seeding

WNBA

Syracuse women’s basketball stars project as high picks in 2017 WNBA mock draft

Kiesel keeps WNBA ‘Dream’ alive

“The WNBA is the best league out,” Kiesel said in a phone interview from Hungary. “There’s a lot of great players and I’m blessed to play in it. It was unfortunate I got waived, but it’s a business. I didn’t worry about it too much.”

News of the Dream’s leading scorer Angel McCoughtry sitting out the 2017 season for rest sent Atlanta shopping for guards. Kiesel was signed one day after re-signing Layshia Clarendon to the backcourt.

Stars Re-Sign Kayla Alexander

WNBA’s Tamera Young spends off season playing in China

Dream smartly re-sign Layshia Clarendon

Mystics launch into WNBA title race after trading for Delle Donne

Tiffany Bias Signs With WNBA’s Dallas Wings

UConn Women’s Insider: Rehabbing Breanna Stewart Mixing It Up In Political Arena

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