Archive for November, 2017

Lots of scoreboard-watching as ranked teams got surprising resistance from unranked teams.

By 1: In a battle of the unbeaten between Iowa and #13 Florida, the Seminoles escaped by the hair of their chinny-chin-chin thanks to a furious fourth quarter comeback.

By 1: The lead flipped back and forth between #15 Maryland and Virginia until the Terps’ Kaila Charles scored the last three points to secure the win.

By 3: #25 Villanova avoided the “we’re back in the rankings!” jinx, escaping the Princeton Tigers, 62-59.

By 6: Showing they’re no longer a pushover, the Rice Owls battled Texas A&M to the end. Aggies emerged victorious, 82-76.

Not so much an issue:

#16 Stanford by 20 over San Francisco.

#3 Notre Dame by 20 over #22 Michigan.

#6 Mississippi State by 57 over Louisiana. Of note: Ameshya Williams is no longer with the Bulldogs.

Keeping an eye on…

Sitting at 6-1, William & Mary’s program is still growing.

Ditto with IUPUI, who’s got a  5-1 record.

North Carolina gave Minnesota its first loss, 88-83.

Good win for Temple over a strong St. Joseph’s, 69-66.

Hello! Ball State (6-0) is still undefeated.

Ball State has overcome its first six opponents to start the season 6-0 for the first time ever.

“It was important to put this group on the road with a lot of games thrown at them early just to see how we would respond and see how some of the new kids would play under the lights,” head coach Brady Sallee said. “Clearly we have passed all those test pretty well and we have had some different kids step up.”

Interesting: San Diego State tops San Diego by 2, 77-76. Also, FWIW: SDSU women’s hoops arrived at compromise over anthem protests

Less than three weeks before the Aztecs were to open their season Nov. 3 with an exhibition against Cal State Los Angeles, a group of players, inspired by the demonstrations of other athletes, decided they wanted to kneel for the national anthem.

A number of their teammates, some of whom have family members serving in the military, were adamant about not doing so.

Sirens of anxiety went off in the school’s athletic department.

Few players in the college realm, and none at SDSU, had performed protests. There was a legitimate fear that the young women would face an angry backlash, especially in a city stridently devoted to the military.

That’s the juicy, headline-grabbing part of the story. The inspiration comes in how the players eventually came to decide upon a display that apparently has been embraced by all while bringing the teammates closer together.

“It has turned into something bigger than I could have expected,” Aztecs head coach Stacie Terry said.

The State: ‘Something that our team needed’: USC is set to rebound from its first loss, Dawn Staley says

The Gazette: Iowa State women’s basketball seeks second scoring option

Listen up! Around the Rim with McGraw, Collen Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw and Atlanta Dream coach Nicki Collen discuss their hopes for the season, transfers and relocation on LaChina Robinson’s latest podcast.

In case you were wondering, The Mercury News’s Elliot Almond explains: Why Stanford and Cal women have tough starts to season

AP: Rutgers star thriving after missing year to fix heart defect

Tyler Scaife went for a routine physical a few years ago that turned out to be anything but normal.

This was after her sophomore year and doctors detected a heart murmur. After further testing, it was discovered Rutgers’ star guard had a congenital heart defect. Scaife was shocked at the diagnosis.

“I said ‘I play basketball I can’t have a heart murmur,’” she recalled Wednesday after practice. “Then they did a lot of tests and it came back that I did.”

Press of Atlantic City: Hard work at Fordham paying off for Lower grad Holden

50? NCAA.com: Women’s basketball: 50 named to Naismith Trophy watch list


O! O! O! *crosses fingers* AP Doug: WNBA President expects Liberty to stay in New York

WNBA President Lisa Borders expects the Liberty to stay in New York.

“We understand there is a significant interest in the team,” Borders told The Associated Press in a phone interview Wednesday.

Update: WNBA Overseas: Stewart Impressing, Sims And McBride Productive

CONGRATS! Minnesota Lynx Star Maya Moore Wins Sports Illustrated’s Performer of the Year Award

Listen Up!  “Maya Moore Talks Mass Incarceration.” The WNBA legend speaks to us about prosecutorial misconduct, why she advocates for the voiceless, why leadership is so important, and much more.

Got a few bucks hanging around? Minnesota Lynx to host garage sale

Gonna need a bigger business card: Pokey Chatman assumes Fever GM role; Krauskopf remains team president

Congrats! With North championship, Tamara Moore ‘finally out of the shadow of the boys’ (and in the University of Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame next September).

Who woulda thunk it: Susie Shelton has built a dynasty for girls’ basketball at Mountain Heritage

Shelton wasn’t just a standout in high school but went on to have a Hall of Fame career at Mars Hill University. She was the South Atlantic Conference Player of the Year in 1996 and averaged 19.1 points per game, which was the best in school’s history when she graduated.

After a year away from college, she attended an open tryout for the WNBA’s Charlotte Sting. Out of more than 300 players, she was one of two players to receive a spot on the developmental team.

She eventually was moved up to the active roster and played spot minutes her one season on the team.

“It was neat to do. I don’t really talk about it a lot,” she said. “These kids don’t realize it has been so long ago. I can say I was there and i did it.

International: Q&A with Paul Nilsen: Team USA’s and Belgium’s outlooks for the FIBA Women’s World Cup

And, ’cause it’s important to remember, from Richard Deitsch: Revisiting Sexual Harassment of Female Sports Reporters and Media Members

In August 2015, I wrote a piece that chronicled sexual harassment toward female sports reporters, hoping to provide some insight as to how often this happens to women in sports media. This week I decided this week to re-run the piece (with additional reporting below) given the nationwide conversation about sexual harassment and assault, as well as the near-daily stories about alleged and confirmed sexual predation.

From the female sports reporter above who works for a major East Coast outlet:

“The only thing I wanted to add is that despite everything that is happening right now, women in sports are staying silent (so far). Why is this? What does it say about our industry and the pervasive fear of speaking out? I’m not sure any other field is so thoroughly dominated by men, from the athletes we cover to the people in power of hiring and firing. While a number of us have shared stories on social media and under the #MeToo movement, sports and sports media are unscathed by this scandal. In my opinion that’s not because harassment doesn’t exist, it’s because women who work in this business are terrified to talk. It doesn’t help that ESPN is about to layoff a number of people again. If you talk with both men and women in sports journalism, most of us feel lucky to have a job. No one wants to jeopardize their employment.”

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’cause ESPN didn’t carry it. Sure, you could have shelled out some not insignificant (relatively) bucks to watch the stream….but do we really trust streams? And shouldn’t a game between #3 and #6 have been on some ESPN platform? Or mebbe SnappyTV? I made do with the Notre Dame radio feed, and it sounded like a great game. After staking South Carolina to a bit of a lead, the Irish roared back, seeming to have the game in hand until those last few minutes. Ah, the stuff of a coaches nightmares. BUT, they held on for the win.

Jackie Young and Notre Dame sent a clear message Sunday night. The Irish are a force yet again.

Arike Ogunbowale scored 23 points, Young added 22 on her way to tournament MVP honors and No. 6 Notre Dame beat No. 3 South Carolina 92-85 on Sunday night to take the Gulf Coast Showcase championship and snap the defending national champion Gamecocks’ 17-game winning streak.

More on new coach Powell: Pride standout takes helm of GCU women’s basketball. Wins are hard to come by, though.

Congrats to coach for win #300, coach Fisher.Turnovers Do In UCSB Women in 71-58 Basketball Loss to San Diego

From Sue: Coach’s Chair: Matthew Mitchell, University of Kentucky and Coach’s Chair: Charlotte Smith, Elon University – Women’s Hoops World

Brave: Calling the shots: Alumna prepares for career as NBA/WBNA referee

Welcome back: Women’s basketball rankings: UConn stays atop AP Top 25, Villanova ranked for first time since ’04

USC cruisin’: Women’s basketball enjoys 3-0 weekend

Not an insignificant win for Texas State: Women’s basketball wins first home game of the season against Fresno State

From Graham: Jen Wellnitz looks to quarterback Green Bay to another winning season

Jen Wellnitz remembers the first touchdown, an end around that saw her race nearly the length of the field to score. She also remembers with no small amount of satisfaction the looks on the faces of the opposing team’s players when they realized a girl had done it.

She remembers, too, the time she took off on another run around the end of the line, a designed run for the quarterback, only to be blindsided by a tackler on the hardest hit she ever absorbed.

What isn’t entirely clear from talking to her is which memory she thinks of more fondly.

Listen up: UConn Women’s Insider Podcast: Katie Lou Samuelson’s Injury, West Coast Dominance And More

About tonight: UConn’s Gabby Williams excited for her homecoming day and Wolf Pack women brace for its toughest test ever – hosting No. 1 UConn

Hey, ESPN. Not only is your wbb scoreboard an embarrassment, what is with your wbb homepage’s NOW section leading with a 9-day-old tweet from Graham. Not a good look for you. If you’re a fan of the game, feel free to send along your comments: @ESPN_WomenHoop @espnW @ESPNStatsInfo @espn @CStiffESPN

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All Eyes On…

the battle of the undefeateds in the Gulf Coast Showcase: #3 South Carolina v. #6 Notre Dame, 7:30pm. Interested to see how McGraw’s patched-together team matches up against Staley’s replace-what-we-lost team. FWIW, the Irish have played two ranked teams (#18 Oregon State and #17 USF), the Gamecocks one (#15 Maryland).

Mitchell for threeeeeee (and the NCAA record).

As far as NCAA record-setting goes, this one was pretty quiet. Kelsey Mitchell’s game is anything but.

Thanks to a highly efficient and dominant game Friday, Ohio State’s Mitchell is now the NCAA’s all-time leader in made 3-point field goals. The 5-foot-8 senior guard hit seven 3-pointers and now has 402 for her career.

And only about 150 people were there to see it.

Checking on the highlights of the holiday games:

Games Thursday: 

  • 1:30 #7 Mississippi State v. @24 Arizona State.  Bulldogs, 65-57, thanks to McCown. 
  • 3:30: DePaul v FGCU. Could be a barnburner. ’twas, w/the Eagles as OT winners, 89-84.
  • 4:00: 4-0 Oklahoma State v. South Dakota. Good game, with Cowgirls coming out on top, 76-68.
  • 6:30: #20 Marquette v. #12 Tennessee. Whassup, teams? Lots of points, with the Vols winning in OT, 101-99.
  • Gonzaga v. Belmont (3-1). Established strong program v. growing program. And Belmont continues to grow, topping the Bulldogs, 71-63.


  • 1:30 #3 South Carolina v. 4-0 Rutgers. Whatcha got, Scarlet Knights? A lot, but not enough, as A’ja scored 33 and the Gamecocks came away with a 78-68 win.
  • 1:30: Green Bay v. #24 Arizona State. How strong are the Phoenix? How much has ASU grown? Strong enough to thump the Sun Devils, 61-48.
  • 2:00: Creighton v Washington. Solid v. struggling? Tight game, as a Blue Jays comeback in the fourth fell just short. Huskies win, 67-64.
  • 2:30: NC State (5-0) v. South Dakota Sate (3-1). Nice test for both teams. Wabbits win! 75-67.
  • 3:00: UT Arlington v. Fresno State. UTA is 4-0. And they’re now 5-0. Mavericks win, 67-54.
  • 3:30. Drexel v. #11 West Virginia. The Mountaineers barely escaped Butler. How will that do against the Dragons? Hush, Helen, we’ve got this. But sure as heck ESPN’s tech folks do not. What is UP with the dang scoreboard! It says WVA didn’t score in the fourth.
  • 3:30. 4-0 Syracuse v. 0-4 Vanderbilt. Two programs, two different directions. Stay the course or make a change? Nice battle, with the Orange coming out the winners, 84-78.
  • 4:15: #5 UCLA v. Kansas State (4-0). Hangover? Mebbe a smidge? (or should we take K-State seriously?) Bruins win behind Billings’ double-double, 64-55.
  • 5:00: Elon (5-0) v Alabama (4-0). Keep an eye on Charlotte Smith’s team (again). ’cause they’re now 5-0.
  • 6pm: 3-1 Mercer v. 1-3 Western Kentucky. Hilltoppers have fought hard, but don’t have the wins. What happens now? They get a win, 67-62.
  • 6:30: #6 Notre Dame v. East Tennessee State, who sits at 4-1. Thump. Irish by 31.
  • 8pm: USC v. Purdue. Trakh has the Trojans at 4-0. And now has them at 5-0 after a 58-46 win.
  • Not on my radar: LSU scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to catch #2 Texas. Longhorns win, 75-66.
  • Also not on my radar: Rice is 5-0.
  • Yes, I see LaTech taking down Penn State, 71-59.


  • 11am: Green Bay v. #7 Mississippi State. The Horizon’s best up for an early morning test? Not so much. Bulldogs by 21.
  • 2pm: #25 Michigan v. Ohio. Bobcats are 3-0. Michigan outscores Ohio by 10 in the fourth for a 13-point win.
  • 3pm: #1 UConn v. Michigan State (4-0). Thump.
  • 3pm: #18 Oregon State v. #16 Duke. Bounce-back time for both teams. Blue Devils bounce higher, winning by 7.
  • 3:15: Battle of two undefeateds: North Dakota State v. Navy. The Mids used a strong first half to earn a 13-point win. 
  • 4:00: Georgia v. BYU. Early season temperature test. Georgia passes with flying colors.
  • 5pm: Indiana v. St. Mary’s. Gaels win, 88-82.
  • 5pm: Iowa v. Elon. Established v. Up-and-coming coach. Not yet, Phoenix. Hawkeyes explode in the fourth to seal the win.
  • 5:30: Oklahoma v. #10 Oregon. What’s up with the Sooners this season? Another loss, as the Ducks were clicking on all cylinders.  
  • 6pm: Virginia Tech v. #11 West Virginia. Neighbor v. Neighbor. Mountaineers say, “Not so close, friends!” with an 18-point win.
  • 6:30: #5 UCLA v. Creighton. The game-after-the-game game. We got this – Bruins by 9.
  • Hello! The rematch was a doozy, showing how much Stanford has grown. Ran out of gas in OT, though, as Ohio State pulled off the 94-82 win.
  • ’cause that’s now THREE wins. St. Peter’s Peacock’s over Delaware Blue Hens in double-overtime, 90-87.
  • Ahem: That’s Belmont over FGCU, 75-65.
  • Ahem, ahem: Central Michigan earns the Junkanoo Jam title with a 81-61 win over Iowa State.


Daily Herald: BYU Women’s Hoops: Judkins developing youth during preseason schedule

Anyone win the lottery? Warriors looking into a WNBA team once the Chase Center is complete

Damnit: Georgia high school girls basketball coach charged with sexual assault

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Counting your blessings…

Ann Killion: Book details Tierra Rogers’ comeback from tragedy, troubles (Was JUST thinking about Tierra – probably because it’s near what used to be Maggie Dixon Classic at the Garden time… and Tierra won the Maggie Dixon Courage award in 2011.)

There are not many people who have a story worthy of a book after just 25 years of life.

Tierra Rogers is one.

There are even fewer people who would, alone and with no experience, write and publish that book.

Rogers did.

“I have something to say,” Rogers said this week at a coffee shop not far from her San Francisco home. “There was something deeper driving me to do it.”


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Turkey Tip-offs and Tidbits

As you squeeze in family friends, a little basketball distraction for those down/quiet times. Be safe. Give hugs. Share laughter. are plans…speakingbof which: Maybe one of these years convince your clan to travel to one of the Thanksgiving tournaments. So. Much. Fun.

Games today: 

  • 1:30 #7 Mississippi State v. @24 Arizona State.
  • 3:30: DePaul v FGCU. Could be a barnburner.
  • 4:00: 4-0 Oklahoma State v. South Dakota.
  • 6:30: #20 Marquette v. #12 Tennessee. Whassup, teams?
  • Gonzaga v. Belmont (3-1). Established strong program v. growing program.


  • 1:30 #3 South Carolina v. 4-0 Rutgers. Whatcha got, Scarlet Knights?
  • 1:30: Green Bay v. #24 Arizona State. How strong are the Phoenix? How much has ASU grown?
  • 2:00: Creighton v Washington. Solid v. struggling?
  • 2:30: NC State (5-0) v. South Dakota Sate (3-1). Nice test for both teams.
  • 3:00: UT Arlington v. Fresno State. UTA is 4-0.
  • 3:30. Drexel v. #11 West Virginia. The Mountaineers barely escaped Butler. How will that do against the Dragons?
  • 3:30. 4-0 Syracuse v. 0-4 Vanderbilt. Two programs, two different directions. Stay the course or make a change?
  • 4:15: #5 UCLA v. Kansas State (4-0). Hangover?
  • 5:00: Elon (5-0) v Alabama (4-0). Keep an eye on Charlotte Smith’s team (again).
  • 6pm: 3-1 Mercer v. 1-3 Western Kentucky. Hilltoppers have fought hard, but don’t have the wins. What happens now?
  • 6:30: #6 Notre Dame v. East Tennessee State, who sits at 4-1.
  • 8pm: USC v. Purdue. Trakh has the Trojans at 4-0.


  • 11am: Green Bay v. #7 Mississippi State. The Horizon’s best up fro an early morning test.
  • 2pm: #25 Michigan v. Ohio. Bobcats are 3-0.
  • 3pm: #1 UConn v. Michigan State (4-0)
  • 3pm: #18 Oregon State v. #16 Duke. Bounce-back time for both teams.
  • 3:15: Battle of two undefeateds: North Dakota State v. Navy.
  • 4:00: Georgia v. BYU. Early season temperature test.
  • 5pm: Indiana v. St. Mary’s
  • 5pm: Iowa v. Elon. Established v. Up-and-coming coach.
  • 5:30: Oklahoma v. #10 Oregon. What’s up with the Sooners this season?
  • 6pm: Virginia Tech v. #11 West Virginia. Neighbor v. Neighbor.
  • 6:30: #5 UCLA v. Creighton. The game-after-the-game game.

Jeff Eisenberg, Yaho sports: How Avery Marz overcame a devastating stroke to achieve her dream of playing college basketball

“Think of the most uncoordinated human you’ve ever seen jogging, and that was me,” Marz said. “I remember watching that video with a knot in my stomach because of how bad it looked. I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know if I can do this. I can barely run from one line to the other. How am I going to be able to move well enough to compete with Division I athletes again?’”

NCAA.com: Tennessee’s Nared, Russell intend for leadership to go a long way

Jaime Nared put time, effort and travel into preparing for her role as a leader of Tennessee’s women’s basketball this season. Hard to understate the travel part.

NCAA.com: Six-foot-7 Teaira McCowan tops the Starting Five

Michelle Smith: Kristine Anigwe ready to help return Cal to national prominence

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State defense suffers when offense goes cold

Ohio State coach Kevin McGuff has noticed a trend with his team.

When the Buckeyes are making shots, McGuff said, their defense is locked in. But when the shots aren’t falling, he said, the defense dips.

“I think right now our defense is being driven on how well we do on offense, and that’s a really, really dangerous way to play the game,” McGuff said after an underwhelming 85-76 win over Washington on Sunday.

More Moore in USAToday: Op-ed: WNBA star Maya Moore pushing for change to criminal justice system

The West Australian: Lynx star Courtney Williams honours late friend in Perth stint

Fate and a burning desire to honour her best friend’s memory are driving Perth Lynx star Courtney Williams this season.

The WNBA star, and member of America’s national squad, is Perth’s boom recruit and she’s inspired by her best friend, Coco.

Williams played in Turkey at the end of the 2016 WNBA season and Coco joined her overseas.

The pair returned to America for the mid-season break and were set to fly back to Turkey in the first week of March this year. Then, tragedy struck as Coco drove home from getting her nails done.

A drunk driver veered onto the wrong side of the road, crashed head-on into Coco’s car and killed both the 23-year-old and her passenger Jaqhayla.

Williams’ world caved in. The pair had been inseparable since primary school.

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LA Times: Out of their league: UConn reminds No. 5 UCLA who’s No. 1

That was fun while it lasted — which was about, what, seven minutes?

Three days after a euphoric victory described by the coach as a “monumental step forward” for the program, UCLA was visited by an opponent who placed that moment of glory in its proper context.

Tuesday night at Pauley Pavilion, Connecticut reminded the Bruins that in the world of women’s basketball, there’s UConn and there’s everyone else.

Daily Bruin: Women’s basketball unable to get past Connecticut in 78-60 loss

Senior Jordin Canada shot just 5-of-16 from the field and had four turnovers, and the point guard placed a lot of the blame on her own shoulders.

“It starts with me,” Canada said. “I didn’t do a good job of setting the tone in the second half, and (the) whole game for that matter, and it definitely showed tonight.”

Connecticut handed UCLA its first loss of the season, snapping the Bruins’ 32-game winning streak at home. This was the second-longest active home winning streak in the nation behind the Huskies’ streak of 67.

Daily News: UCLA women hope to learn from loss to No. 1 UConn

Mechelle: For UConn, everything falls into place at historic Pauley Pavilion

“With Pheesa, for whatever reason, she’s been tentative,” Auriemma said. “Now, some of it is she hurt her foot when we were in Italy (during the summer) and I think it’s still bothering her a little. The other part was I spent the first month of practice yelling at her all the time about, ‘You stink; you can’t play defense. You have to get more involved in everything else other than just scoring.’ “

Auriemma said perhaps that dented Collier’s confidence on offense, too. But Tuesday, she looked back to her usual self.

Summit: Takeaways: UConn Beats UCLA 78-60

Powered by a swarming defense, UConn handily beat UCLA 78-60 at historic Pauley Pavilion Tuesday night.  Both teams started out tentative, but it was the Huskies that got comfortable  while the Bruins seemed to be under duress most of the game. 

Swish Appeal: After UConn rout, what went terribly wrong for No. 5 UCLA?

Pac-12:  No. 5 UCLA women’s basketball hangs tough but falls to No. 1 UConn

Hartford Courant: Napheesa Collier Scores 23 Points To Lead UConn Over UCLA, 78-60

The atmosphere was energetic and the crowd hostile as No. 5 UCLA nipped at the heels of No. 1 UConn Tuesday night. Under all of those title banners, the Bruins were keeping pace and the crowd was hopeful.

But as one UConn team after another has done over the years, the Huskies seized the game and didn’t let go. An 11-point halftime lead turned into a third-quarter blowout, sucking the air out of the building and silencing the crowd.

New Haven Register: No. 1 UConn women rout No. 5 UCLA

“They had a great crowd, and we have a tendency to draw big crowds in big games, and we grew up as a team today, we really did,” Auriemma said after UConn extended its NCAA women’s Division I record road winning streak to 39 games. “If we had come in here, there was 1,000 or 2,000 people, the place was dead and it would be just another game, you wouldn’t really know that much, but we came in, and the way the game played, the environment, the team that we played, how good they are, we created a little bit of identity for us. Tonight was a big night for us, really big.”

Other games of note:

Always tough Troy roared back in the fourth quarter, but came up three points short of an upset of Ole Miss.

Nice win for the Waves, as Pepperdine rides a strong third quarter to give Idaho State their first loss of the season, 80-74.

Virginia escapes Hampton, 66-62.

It took double overtime, but Creighton outlasted UNI, 80-79.

Hello, Eli! Yale defeats TCU, 82-72.

Hello, Western Illinois! They take down Illinois courtesy of 14 3-pointers.

Wyoming moves to 4-0 with a win over Drake.

Loyola Marymount is also 4-0, courtesy of a win over Arizona, 84-70.

“I’m so proud of our team tonight,” LMU head coach Charity Elliott said. “We fought and clawed back and finished with such composure. Cierra Belvin’s defense in the second half got us going and we got some good looks in transition. I’m very proud of this team and how they competed tonight.”

Check out the Weekly Louisville Women’s Hoops Notebook

Check out Mike’s SEC Report: A Select Six For Now

The Southeastern Conference of women’s basketball  – those ranked by the Associated Press – grew to six after one week of the season, with Kentucky sliding in at No. 25.
For the week, five remained unbeaten with one losing to a higher-ranked team.


Las Vegas Review-Journal: Documents show WNBA files to name team ‘Las Vegas Stars’

.com: Inside The W with Michelle Smith: Eyes on April’s WNBA Draft

Listen up: President & COO of the drops gems on what being a is all about on  .

“Stick to Sports? Nawwwww” continued:

Repeat/amplify: Minnesota Public Radio: Maya Moore tackles prosecutorial reform

NCAA.com: An Uncommon Conversation

They come together, even though they are so far apart.

An advocate from a lesbian rights group. A leader in a Christian sports ministry. The chief diversity officer from the largest university in the country. An athletics director from an evangelical Christian college. A transgender swimmer. And nearly 45 others.

Their paths converge, if only for a couple of days, on the campus of Houghton College, a small Christian school located in the rolling countryside of western New York. It is an unlikely setting for an unlikely undertaking.

“I believe this conversation is one of the most important conversations going on in our country today,” Houghton President Shirley Mullen says, welcoming the group to the third iteration of an NCAA program called Common Ground. “That is a big claim, I know. But let me explain.”

From Deadspin: Bree Horrocks Is Ready To Play Her Game

Panel discussions like the one that Bree Horrocks took part in at Purdue University in spring of 2015 tend not to make national news; they may not even make the school paper. For Horrocks, it was a different story. By participating in the Purdue LGBTQ Center’s panel on inclusion in sports, Horrocks accidentally thrust herself into the spotlight by becoming not only the first openly gay athlete in a revenue sport at Purdue University history, but also the first openly gay female athlete among the Power Five conference schools. 


“One reporter turned to me and said, ‘So how does it feel to be the first out gay women’s athlete in college?’” Horrocks remembered. “And I thought, what are you talking about? I knew other people who were out. Why was this title falling on me?”

The label landed heavily.

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Pauley Pavilion will be Poppin’

and if you don’t have a seat... Hurry! It’s almost too late! If you can’t be there, tune in: 10:30EST, ESPNU

LA Times: UConn women visit UCLA, but for once it’s the Bruins who are looking to extend a winning streak

Hartford Courant: Everything You Need To Know About No. 1 UConn vs. No. 5 UCLA

Go Joe Bruin: UCLA Basketball: The women can make a statement against UCONN

The fact that UCLA is a part of this contest is no surprise. Head coach Cori Close has been the architect, contractor, engineer and landscaper that has made this Bruins squad the #3 team in the nation.

Close has been quietly putting together a team that has championship potential, on the conference and on the national level.

New Haven Register: UConn’s Dangerfield, UCLA’s Canada highlight Top 5 showdown

“I have tried to figure out a way that when she turns her little screen on in the plane in front of her, a picture of (UCLA guard) Jordin Canada pops up and it stays there the entire flight,” Auriemma said before the team left for its week and a half road trip featuring games in California, Oregon and Nevada. “I am sure Crystal will be up for it, she will be excited about it. They are similar in some ways, so Pauley Pavilion, two great guards going at it, it is going to be pretty exciting.”

Hartford Courant: UConn, Geno Auriemma Prepare To Visit John Wooden’s Home

The UCLA women’s program is on the rise and there’s a link to Wooden. Coach Cori Close began her career as an assistant at UCLA in the mid-1990s, when Wooden was still a visible presence at the school. Close approached Wooden and asked for advice, forming a friendship with the Wizard of Westwood.

Close, in fact, is somewhat of a link between Wooden and Auriemma. While she considers Wooden a mentor and she carries his spirit with her program, she is also an unabashed fan of Auriemma and five years ago she brought her entire UCLA staff to Storrs to watch UConn practice.

Hartford Courant: Injury Keeps Katie Lou Samuelson’s Hometown Fans From Seeing Her Play

“I know that this is an important trip for her and it’s great to play in front of family and friends, and all the people who love her,” Mater Dei High coach Kevin Kiernan said. “But I also know that she knows the big picture, that UConn is playing for big stakes and it’s a long season and it’s better to be safe and get completely healthy.”

Orange County Register: Miller: Katie Lou Samuelson and No. 1 UConn bring more hoops history to Pauley Pavilion

The position was an awkward one, this UConn women’s basketball player doing something that rarely has happened over the past three decades.

She disappointed one of the team’s fans.

With her mere presence at a grocery store near campus last week, Katie Lou Samuelson left the poor guy crestfallen.

He was there without his young daughters, meaning a moment begging to be captured in a picture instead would vanish faster than the Huskies typically put away their opponents.

“He was so bummed,” Samuelson said. “I actually felt bad about that one.”

In other news: “Stick to Sports? Naaaw” Maya steps up with First Step

Welcome to First Step, a video series featuring athletes engaging the communities most affected by today’s social issues, from healthcare access and gender equality, to childhood obesity and mental health. Former NBA all-star Jerry Stackhouse travels around the country and meets with athletes to discuss issues that are important to them. 

In this episode, Stackhouse speaks with Minnesota Lynx Forward Maya Moore on her work to push for prosecutorial reform in the American justice system. Moore discusses her personal connection with individuals who have been wrongly convicted, the need to fight for and spread awareness about the most vulnerable people in the criminal justice system, and the consequences that follow their sentence for the larger community.

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