Archive for December, 2017

Take your eye off the ball,

and someone will steal it from ya…and the Horizon just got more interesting.

Perhaps a little “just got a big win” played into it, but don’t take away from Northern Kentucky’s accomplishment, as they upset #19 Green Bay, 62-54. It was the first victory for the Norse over a ranked opponent since transitioning to Division I in 2012.

This got my attention: UCF stomped Temple, 76-46.

Ditto: Pepperdine topping San Diego, 66-62. The Waves start the WCC season 2-0 for the first time since 2012, making coach DeLisha Milton-Jones the only Pepperdine coach to win both her season-opener and WCC-opener in her first season.

Down the way, San Diego State stormed back in the fourth, but Utah State held on for the 62-58 (I’m calling it an) upset.

Mercer not messing around, as they dismantle Charlotte, 90-74. And why, ESPN sad-excuse-for-a-scoreboard, is their Conference not identified?

Belmont had to rally in the fourth to overtake Tennessee-Martin, 65-63.

Hmmmm…. Weber State over Idaho State, 76-70. Interesting news for the Big Sky. Check this video on point guard Jaiamoni Welch-Coleman.

Doink! Cross Ball State off the undefeated list as Central Michigan gets a big win in their MAC opener. 69-65.

Note the growth: Norfolk State cruises past Longwood

Sunday: 2017 goes out with a Bang!

Upset-sy-Daisy: Miami made sure #14 Duke’s year ended on a sour note, 51-48.

Tennessee did the same for Kentucky, 69-43. Two programs going in different directions his season.

Texas A&M tried to do the same for #4 South Carolina, but Wilson (again) said, “No. You. Don’t.

Nittany Lions gave it all they had, but the Terps squeaked out the 69-65 win.

It wasn’t pretty (especially that first quarter by NC State), but #3 Louisville will take the 55-47 win. With its 16th consecutive victory,  the Cardinals tied the 2013-14 team for the longest winning streak in program history.

#8 Texas looked at undefeated #9 West Virginia and said, “have a loss on us.”

#11 UCLA got their groove back…with a vengeance. They beat #20 Cal by 36.

#23 Iowa takes down #21 Michigan, 82-71, behind Gustafson’s 14th double-double.

Look at Virginia, not being sure what kind of team they want to be, beating Syracuse, 68-63.68-63.

Soooooo, about this Ionescu kid….With her eighth career triple-double, Ionescu passes Suzie McConnell and Louella Tomlinson. She is only a sophomore. The did it on 125+ games. It’s taken her 89. Oh, and Oregon won, 94-83. And got coach Graves his 500th win.

All right folks, start sending positive thoughts out to these teams starting 2018 winless: Detroit Mercy, Air Force, Mississippi Valley State, Chicago State and Iona.

In other news

Forbes: Stephen Curry Would Hate To Be Paid Like Women In Professional Basketball

Also, not to pick at old news, but I’d still love to know the story behind Jen leaving San Francisco and Sheryl leaving Chicago-Loyola (especially now that Swoopes is back at work)


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Stanford: Hold my beer.

Ah, nothing like getting some healthy players back into your lineup. Brittany McPhee returned and scored 12 of her 26 points in the fourth to lead the Cardinal over #11 UCLA, 76-65. With the win, Stanford avoided its first three-game home losing streak since 1985-86, VanDerveer’s first year on The Farm.

UCLA head coach Cori Close gave praise to her counterpart for the unfavorable outcome:

“Tara [VanDerveer] deserves the credit, and Stanford deserves the credit. They played with more focus. They executed their game plan better than we executed ours. They were the tougher team tonight, and they played with more focus and passion.”

Told ya: 9-16, 5-9 from 3, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals, 25 pts. Ducks over Cougars, 89-56.

Congrats! Coach Charli Thorne wins her 450th game.

Congrats! Coach Joanne P. McCallie wins her 600th game.

Congrats! Coach Blair wins his 750th.

7 in a row for #20 Cal.

Told ya: FGCU over SDSU, 87-78.

Still no word: A key Gamecock will miss USC’s conference opener as her eligibility remains uncertain

Benjamin Hochman, St. Louis-Post Dispatch: Juggling basketball, law school is quite a feat

Even Wonder Woman wonders how she does it.

Lauren Aldridge is the starting point guard for Mizzou’s women’s basketball team.

Lauren Aldridge is a first-year student at Mizzou’s law school.

It’s mind-boggling to think she has the energy to do both of these, considering people push themselves to unfathomable limits to succeed at just one of them. But there’s a superhuman in Columbia, practicing on the court and for court, while showing young people that when someone says “follow your dreams,” it really can be plural.

MSR (aka Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder) Online: Plenty of good storylines filled our sports columns in 2017

2017 was not a bucket list sports year, but in so many ways it wasn’t any less memorable for that reason. Both “Another View” and “Sports Odds and Ends,” the two columns I am responsible for filing each week, once again stayed true to our overall mission to avoid game stories in favor of other sports-related news and information.

Our first “View” of 2017 featured Rachel Banham as only the second Black female basketball player at Minnesota to have her jersey put in the Williams Arena rafters. “That’s something I can tell my kids,” she told us.

A Dime Back: Some Not-Awful Moments in 2017

Awful Announcing: Debbie Antonelli thrilled, humbled to be tabbed for NCAA Tournament analysis

“I tried to stay on the road, because I was so excited to think that I was in that conversation.”

Listen up! Becoming a Pro Sports Executive – Work in Sports Podcast (gotta scroll down, but…)

Attitude and enthusiasm are the final barrier to entry into the sports world. It’s sports people!

You need to be enthusiastic and excited – or as this weeks guest Amber Cox Vice President of the Connecticut Sun and the New England Black Wolves says – you have to have sparkle.

This interview with Amber is awesome – she is a no BS sports executive, having been CMO of the MLS’s Houston Dynamo, Associate Commissioner of Women’s Basketball in the Big East Conference and President and COO of the Phoenix Mercury, but she is also extremely charismatic, excitable, enthusiastic and passionate.

Case in point: SportsChanel8: Time To Give Debbie Her Due

Out in the West Texas town of El Paso,
I fell in love with a Gibsonville girl
When she arrived the athletics were floundering
She turned the department into a pearl…..

As NC State’s football team prepares to face (and, likely, beat) Arizona State in the Sun Bowl, it might be a good time to take a minute and fully appreciate the job Debbie Yow has done in her time as NC State’s Athletics Director.

From  @NCAAResearch: Many former NCAA women’s basketball players also compete as professionals outside the USA. Top destinations: Germany, Turkey, Spain, Australia, Israel.

Listen up! If you haven’t had a chance to check out Burn It All Down yet, a great place to start is their year-in-review podcast.

This week, the gang talks about our favorite sports stories from this year, we share three of our favorite segments that we recorded in 2017, and then we cap it off with each of us choosing our own favorite Burn Pile from the first 33 episodes of this podcasting adventure. To help support the podcast, please consider becoming a patron: https://www.patreon.com/burnitalldown

Just want to bring this back from Breanna Stewart:

I’ll never forgive him.

But I’m not ashamed.

Every time I tell someone, I feel a little more unburdened. I wish it was as simple as saying that it’s just something that happened to me. Part of it is just that simple — it literally is something that happened. But I don’t know why it happened. I don’t know why this happens. Or why sexual abuse keepshappening.

I do know that I’m doing something completely outside of myself by writing this. In fact, this is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done and will ever do. But I was recently reading McKayla Maroney’s personal account of sexual abuse — one of many powerful stories the #metoo campaign has inspired — and I felt … less alone.

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Don’t say I didn’t warn ya: Mercer takes down North Carolina, 97-86. Bears overcome 15-point deficit to win by 11. Huge game by senior Kahlia Lawrence: career-highs in points (39), rebounds (13) and 3s (6-9). Their first win over the Tar Heels, puts Susie Gardner‘s team 12-2 for the first time since 1979-80.

No longer undefeated: Creighton coach Flanery earns his 300th victory AND the program’s first win over a ranked team: Blue Jays over #18 Villanova, 69-54.

Soooo close to an important win for coach Joseph’s program… but Asia Durr wasn’t going to let Georgia Tech upset her Cardinals. #3 Louisville wins, 74-71.

Georgia Tech relied on Francesca Pan, the reigning ACC Freshman of the Year, for 10 points in the opening quarter, but it wasn’t long before Louisville’s own star guard took over.

Durr poured in 20 points in the second quarter to single-handedly lift the Cards out of an early hole. By halftime, she accounted for 27 of Louisville’s 46 points. The junior finished with four 3-pointers and was 15 of 25 from the field. 

It was a battle, but a strong fourth helped #19 Green Bay fight off Wright State, 58-51.

Good battle between the Irish and the Orange as Notre Dame pulled away in the fourth to seal the 87-72 win.

A tale of two halves: Kentucky was up 32-20. The Blue Raiders got it together, roared out of the gate in the 3rd. Their effort continued through the fourth to earn a 62-57 win.

Rick Insell spent almost the entirety of the first half of Thursday night’s game with his hands on his hips, pacing and yelling more than anyone should have to during the placid week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

But by the end of the third quarter, the MTSU coach was applauding his Lady Raiders. By the end of the fourth, he could finally breathe: Somehow, MTSU pulled off a 62-57 comeback win against Kentucky at Murphy Center.

It was MTSU’s first win over Kentucky since 2011. 

The Horned Frogs gave the Mountaineers everything they could handle. #9 West Virginia had to stage a mini-comeback to secure the 87-82 win over TCU.

Pardee, plagued by early foul trouble, scored 15 of her 17 points in the final period when West Virginia outscored the Frogs 34-26.

“We’re just really short-handed because of injuries,” Carey said. “I’m really proud of the girls. They really sucked it up and did a good job there at the end.

Nebraska surged in the fourth to make is a more respectable score, but the Buckeyes were never really threatened. (Surprisingly?) Defense helps Ohio State overcome foul trouble in win over Nebraska

Hello, Katelynn Flaherty! A school record 10 3-pointers powered #21 Michigan to a 20-point win over Penn State.

So, Rutgers was back to being Rutgers in their win over Purdue. But, that didn’t stop NJ.com’s Ryan Dunleavy from writing: Meet surging Rutgers women’s basketball team: 13-2 start, 8-game win streak and a revenge tour

Somewhere between dashing through the snow in sleighs and forgetting old acquaintance, i.e. the holiday season, mid-major basketball goes through metamorphosis. Teams that during the season’s opening months chased Goliath around the country in search of signature wins now encounter familiar faces hoping to test their own slingshots in conference play. December’s plucky underdogs are January’s merciless despots.

Which teams have the biggest targets on their backs? Glad you asked. Let’s get to the rankings.

Need some New Year’s Resolutions? Michelle’s here to help!

The calendar is about to turn to 2018, putting us just a handful of months away from tip-off of the 22nd WNBA season. While many players are overseas, it’s far from a quiet time for the teams who are preparing in earnest for summer.

Since it is time to begin anew in the new year, it seemed only appropriate to take some educated guesses as to what resolutions each of the WNBA teams will be writing for 2018.

Minnesota. The defending champions have stability on lockdown after securing head coach Cheryl Reeve with a multi-year contract extension this week while giving her general manager duties, as well. Maya Moore and Sylvia Fowles aren’t going anywhere, either. It’s tough to imagine that Rebekkah Brunson (an unrestricted free agent) would want to be anywhere else at this point in her career. Minnesota’s resolution for 2018 has to be grooming the franchise’s next great point guard.

Las Vegas Weekly: On a comeback of its own, the WNBA is a great fit for Mandalay Bay

WATN? Former WNBA Jennifer Gillom star returns to coach Xavier Prep basketball team

Interesting games on tap… Honestly, it’s kinda a “Meh” Friday.

  • Never miss a chance to see Sabrina play: #10 Oregon v. Washington State, 6pm.
  • Oooooo! Wabbits v. Eagles: South Dakota State v. Florida Gulf Coast, 7:30pm.
  • Never miss a chance to see Jordin play: #11 UCLA v. Stanford, 8:30pm.
  • Trakh has another chance to take the measure of the PAC-12: USC v #20 California, 9pm.


  • Dartmouth v. Albany, 2pm
  • Central Michigan v. unbeaten Ball State, 2pm
  • Whoa – Iona is STILL winless? They face Niagara, 3pm.


  • This could get ugly: #7 Tennessee v. Kentucky, 12pm.
  • How’s Duke handling injuries? Blue Devils v. Hurricanes, 12:30pm.
  • Don’t expect an upset, but it’s worth noting Wake Forest’s improvement these last few years. They face the Irish at 1pm.
  • #22 Texas A&M travels to face #4 South Carolina, 2pm.
  • ’cause in-state rivalries rule! #11 UCLA v. #20 California, 2pm.
  • Their records are similar, but I’m expecting Georgia Tech to not have a loss-letdown as they face Clemson (10-3). But, think about that – Clemson has 10 wins!
  • #3 Louisville gets to shake off their close win – not. They face NC State, 2:30pm.
  • Good Big 10 battle: #21 Michigan v. #23 Iowa, 4pm.
  • Another good battle: Michigan State (11-3) v Rutgers (13-2), 4pm.
  • ’cause the Pac-12 is always interesting: USC v. Stanford, 4pm.
  • Good measure of #9 West Virginia’s mettle. They travel to Austin and put their undefeated record to the test against #8 Texas, 4:30pm.
  • Hope this one is fun: #5 Mississippi State (14-0) v. Georgia (12-1), 6pm.

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Fire up the popcorn!

Games to keep an eye on.

Yes, UNC got Sylvia her 1000th win, but their schedule has been…doughy. Dunno if the 11-2 Mercer Bears can put a scare into ’em, but we shall see. 2pm.

Both teams are unranked, and both sit at 11-2. NC State v. Virginia Tech ought to be fun. 2:30pm.

More often than not, the Horizon belongs to Green Bay. An opening conference game against Wright State will see if that supremacy will be challenged this season. 4:30pm

My COY candidate McGraw has her team at 11-1. Considering the injuries, that’s pretty amazing. #2 Irish host the 12-1 Syracuse Orange. 7pm.

The #3 Cardinal have been soaring while the Ramblin’ Wreck has been chugging along. Louisville (14-0) will see what an 11-2 record means for Georgia Tech, as Asia Durr leads Louisville on, off the court.7pm.

On tiny little cat feet, West Virginia has crept to 12-0. Can TCU (9-2) put a dent in that record? 7pm.

Mike Carey will need just one look at the TCU women’s basketball team to see something his Mountaineers are not.

“They’re very deep,” Carey said.

If Kentucky wants to break their losing streak, they sure picked a tough test: MTSU, IN Murfreesboro. 7:30pm. (btw: streamed through GoBlueRaiders.com)

Nebraska is surprising me. Dunno if they can surprise #12 Ohio State, but they are the hosts. 8pm.

At this time a year ago, the Nebraska women’s basketball team was heading into Big Ten play with a 4-8 record. Hannah Whitish, then a freshman, was just working her way into the starting lineup.

By the end of the year, the Huskers had only won three more games, but it was a valuable opportunity for Whitish, who started 17 games the rest of the way. She finished the year averaging nine points, 2.5 rebounds and almost three assists per game.

A year later, Nebraska enters Big Ten play with a 9-4 record, and Whitish, a sophomore from Barneveld, Wisconsin, has played a lot more college basketball.

Stuff to read  as you wait for the games to start:

Howard at the Summit: Some WNBA thoughts on Jordin Canada

Last season, Canada was just a junior, unlike those Peterson or Fitzgerald. So where has her game gone so far this year?

That’s right: she’s gotten even better. Entering Pac-12 play, Canada’s assist percentage is at 36.9 percent. But that’s happened within the context of her mistakes falling even further. Her 11.5 turnover percentage isn’t just down from last year, it is the lowest among any of the top 125 players in the country in assist percentage.

Spokesman.com: At Gonzaga, Emma Moon guides student-athletes toward their highest potential

The student-athletes at Gonzaga University are a self-driven bunch, or they wouldn’t be there in the first place.

But what happens when the cheering stops and the only voice they hear is full of self-doubt?

Sometimes, they turn that voice to the support of others.

Intercollegiate athletics is 1 percent glory and 99 percent guts, and that intestinal fortitude is tested every day, in season and out. Student-athletes must juggle books and balls and boyfriends, and hope nothing drops.

However, even self-starters need a reboot from time to time. That’s where Emma Moon steps in.

After tough upbringing, Louisville’s Sam Fuehring plays with unapologetic emotion

She was told to take only the important things, so Sam Fuehring crammed a few trash bags full of clothes and grabbed her stuffed bear, Sammy. 

She sobbed as her five cats were taken away in an animal control vehicle after she and her family were thrown out of the home Fuehring lived in for the first 12 years of her life. 

It was the second time Fuehring had been evicted, and it wouldn’t be the last. 

WNBA Diehards give us a list of free agents.

Need to kill some time? Scroll through the .com’s Top Plays of 2017.

Flashing back to hanging with Doris and her kids pre-Liberty games. She’s good people. For Doris Burke, Having Game Is All That Matters

Late last month, Doris Burke was sitting in her living room watching Ben Simmons miss a dozen free throws in the fourth quarter. Every time the Wizards intentionally fouled the Sixers rookie, sending him to the stripe for another adventure, Burke winced: “I’m dying for the guy and going, I’ve been there, buddy.”

In the early 1980s she was Doris Sable, point guard for the Manasquan Warriors and one of the top players in southern New Jersey. Great handle, great mind for the game, not-so-great shot. Opponents didn’t employ the Deck-a-Doris or the Disable-a-Sable, but her performance at the line was erratic, to say the least. (The Asbury Park Press noted in the opening sentence of one game story, “The first [free throw] that Doris Sable took was a sky ball,” which, apparently, was early ’80s Jersey Shore speak for air ball.) Burke hasn’t shaken the reputation; a few Christmases back, her ESPN colleague and longtime friend Jeff Van Gundy told her, on-air, that she was “the only white point guard who can’t shoot the ball.”

Jokes aside, the fact that Burke can relate to Simmons is what has allowed her to become, this season, the first woman to be a network analyst for NBA games.

Swin gettin’ a lot of love: Swin Cash’s Humble Beginnings Have Helped Make Her A Champion In Life

Easiest decision ever: Lynx Sign Head Coach Cheryl Reeve to Multi-Year Contract Extension (and GM-ship?)

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Aaaaand we’re back!

Welllll… almost. Until then:

Well done! Western Illinois’ Emily Clemens named espnW player of the week

At the very least, Western Illinois can forevermore call itself the Harvard of the Summit League. The folks in the admissions office in Macomb, Illinois, can thank Emily Clemens for that.

Pac 12

Michelle Smith feature: Team-by-team preview as Conference play begins

We have arrived at the start of the Pac-12 season.

After an impressive non-conference in which all but two teams posted winning records and eight teams collected at least nine victories, the time for head-to-head competition in the nation’s toughest conference has come.

Here is a team-by-team look at the Pac-12:

Pac-12 Women’s Basketball begins league play this week

Washington State: Pac-12 Play Begins for Women’s Basketball at No. 10/10 Oregon Friday

Register-Guard: Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins have emerged as Pac-12 Conference women’s basketball favorites

Building the Dam: Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Pre-Conference Power Rankings and Early Superlatives

NCAA.com: Women’s basketball: Stanford’s 17 year-run in AP women’s hoops poll ends and Stanford women’s basketball gets unwanted Christmas surprise

Big 10

Big Ten Women’s Basketball Weekly Central

Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State women’s basketball | Work with brother helped Stephanie Mavunga raise her game

Mechelle: Nancy Fahey has risen to the top level and is out to help Illinois to do the same

Illinois’ Nancy Fahey was used to seeing some of the bigger names in women’s basketball coaching while she was watching television. Now that she’s coaching against them — such as Maryland’s Brenda Frese in the teams’ Big Ten opener Thursday — Fahey jokes, “I almost feel like I should go ask them for an autograph.”

Or maybe it should be the other way around. Fahey, after all, is in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame and has won more national championships (five) than anyone in the Big Ten. Those came during her 31 years at Division III Washington University in St. Louis, where she was 737-133.

Fahey, who turned 59 in November, is in her first season in Division I. She was hired in March to replace Matt Bollant, and her task is a tall one: try to make Illinois a competitive program again.


No. 3 Louisville Opens ACC Play at Georgia Tech on Thursday

Big East

Anonymous Eagle: 2017-18 Marquette Women’s Basketball: A Mid-Season Overview as Marquette Women’s Basketball Hangs In The Associated Press Polling With One 25th Place Vote

We know they’re feisty. Got a chance to really show it: Creighton Looks to Upend #18 Villanova on Thursday

Big 12

Ames tribune: Women’s Basketball: Wise inspires confidence as Cyclones turn to Big 12 play

Iowa State Daily: Kristin Scott: The new age center

Iowa State women’s basketball coach Bill Fennelly has seen the game change over the course of his coaching career.

As Fennelly said before, everybody wants to be like the Golden State Warriors. Every player wants to shoot threes instead of taking it to the bucket or play position-less basketball. And no position has been affected the most than the center spot.

It hasn’t taken long for the most decorated high school basketball player to ever come out of Salem to establish herself at the highest level of women’s college basketball. Evina Westbrook, a 6-foot freshman from South Salem High School, is the starting point guard for nationally-ranked Tennessee.

I’m betting coaches are following this process quite carefully: Gamecocks file waiver to NCAA on behalf of Te’a Cooper

Als, from the Post and Courier: • NEWSMAKER OF THE YEAR • Dawn Staley’s drive to succeed had its beginnings in a tough, proud Philadelphia neighborhood

There was a basketball court in the shadow of the apartment towers that loomed over her childhood, but it was where the older kids played. The little kids had to get creative.

So Dawn Staley and her brothers cut the bottom out of a crate to use as a makeshift rim, found a piece of plywood to fashion as a backboard, and nailed it all to an electrical pole down the street from the row house where they lived.

Many years later she would use a ladder to ascend to another rim, this one orange and affixed to an official glass backboard, where she would clip the net after leading South Carolina to its first national championship in women’s basketball.


Bakersfield Californian: CSUB women’s basketball’s scoring woes aren’t due to its new offense


Sue with a Coach’s Chair: Freddie Murray, Grambling State University

Freddie Murray is in his third season at Grambling State University, after arriving in 2015 to serve as an assistant coach to Nadine Domond. When Domond left the program the following year, Murray was named interim head coach. The Tigers’ 10-game Southwestern Athletic Conference winning streak that season helped them win a share of the regular season title, and propelled them into the tournament Championship game for the first time in 17 years. Last spring Murray was named permanent head coach.


Sue with another Coach’s Chair: Courtney Banghart, Princeton University

You’ve also been a bit unorthodox in that you’ve coached at the DI level only in Ivy League schools. Take us into the Ivy League athletics world. How is it different from the non-Ivy League experience? How is it the same?

The Ivy League is the same competitive, DI high-level ball that we all know. I feel like I’m coaching in a high-major program in a mid-major environment. We’re at the highest academic level in the world, in a mid-major environment. We’re non-scholarship with an academic curriculum where you have to show your academic merit in order to be admitted. I get to recruit the whole country instead of a region. You get the best of the best.

In other news

Swish Appeal offers up Jaw-dropping developments in women’s basketball

Hartford Courant: UConn Notebook: Swin Cash Adjusts To Life Off The Court

From WKYT: Former UK women’s basketball player gets a second chance at life

She’d fallen a long way from her days at UK: team captain of the 1981-82 Lady Kats… as the women’s basketball team was known back then. Prison humbled her, and she vowed to help the “least of these”…addicts in recovery, the homeless, and people getting out of prison.

Fogle says, “The difficulties I went thru, serving out a 10-year prison sentence, I get to give back freely. What God has truly given to me…”

She’s is making up for lost time at warp speed. “The least of the least of these, those with crimes that will not allow them housing, nor employment, so a program called Destined 4 Destiny, for men and now for women.”

Tallahassee.com: Miracle fan: John Pride doesn’t miss an FSU women’s basketball home game despite stroke

There isn’t much that can stop John Pride from attending a Florida State’s women’s basketball team home game. There’s sentimental value there. His first date with Alesia, his wife of eight years, was at a women’s basketball game when the team was still playing in Tully Gymnasium.

Sending out good thoughts: Melanie Balcomb resigns from Texas Tech coaching staff

“At this time,” Balcomb said in a statement, “I need to focus on dealing with a family medical issue that won’t allow me to commit my full energies to coaching. I’d like to thank Texas Tech for the opportunity to be a Lady Raider and wish them success as they enter league play.”

Add on: McCallie Adds Jim Corrigan as Special Assistant


Congrats: Outsports Female Athlete of the Year: Seimone Augustus

Also congrats: Star Tribune Sportsperson of the Year: Cheryl Reeve

Welcome: Atlanta Dream Round Out Coaching Staff with Darius Taylor

.com: Senior Watch: Season of Giving

Over the next month we will take a look at specific positions here at the Senior Watch. In the spirit of the holiday, we begin with a look at some of the top playmakers at the point guard position. These seven players are some of the best at gifting their teammates buckets on a nightly basis


Dawn Staley looking forward to next step in Team USA selection

Paul offers up his 10 Top Moments of 2017

It is always hard to reflect on every year which is always packed with so many memorable moments, but here are my own top 10 that struck me most.

That night in Udine was special as a mediocre tournament ended with a game for the ages – an All-Time classic in fact. Russia won the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 86-82 against USA who had been gunning for a seventh straight crown. MVP Maria Vadeeva was just phenomenal – as was Raisa Musina.

WATN? From Bleacher Report: ‘YOU CAN BE A PIONEER’

Officially, [Becky] Bonner is the Magic’s director of player development and quality control—tasked with everything from player appearances and facilities upgrades to scouting and player evaluation. Unofficially, she’s training to become a general manager—perhaps the first female GM in league history.

On this night, Bonner is shepherding Magic players through Walmart. Tomorrow, she’ll be filing reports on a batch of draft prospects, then watching the Magic-Clippers game from the executive suite, alongside Magic president Jeff Weltman and GM John Hammond.

High School

SOL Continental Exception in HS Basketball Gender Equity Issue: The SOL Continental Conference – with five women coaches – is an exception to the rule in District One where only 29 percent are female coaches.

When you open the binder, and look right in the inside pocket you learn about some of what’s important to her. Potash is after all, a basketball nut, someone who says things like, “Can we agree that Pat Summitt’s last book was her best?” and gushes about Brenda Frese of Maryland and Gregg Popovich. Because of this, inside the binder is an article about the Spurs head coach and another a mentor sent her from her first game coaching at the varsity level.

Her favorite quotes from these articles are highlighted. Potash likes highlighting. Towards the bottom is one from a Sports Illustrated article, something Becky Hammon, former WNBA star and current assistant under Popovich, said. Potash looks at it all the time.

“Character is genderless. Leadership is genderless. If you’re a great leader, you’re a great leader. Patience, service, the ability to listen—either you have it or you don’t.”

Hammon’s right. Those traits are not exclusive to one biological sex.

But what if only one constitutes the majority representation on the sideline? What message is being sent about those characteristics, then?

BTW, if you’ve got a few extra dollars you’d like to use to support coverage of women’s sports, consider send it here: Burn It All Down is creating the feminist sports podcast you need


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the night….*all sing* Oh, what a night!

The bus pulled up to 25th and Diamond streets and the defending NCAA women’s basketball champions all piled out. The South Carolina Gamecocks arrived Wednesday straight from practice over at Temple, where they’ll play Thursday night. Their coach, Dawn Staley, got too busy hugging people on the sidewalk, starting with her older brother, to notice the plastic wrapping over the street sign at the corner.

That team bus, coincidently, had the words Champion Coach on its side.

Staley, who has Made in North Philly as the screensaver on her phone, had grown up two blocks over. This was her recreation center, now named for the late legend Hank Gathers, who had told some leery neighborhood regulars more than three decades ago how they had to let this little girl Dawn play ball with them.

From Doug: Dawn Staley has Philadelphia homecoming to remember

The women’s basketball coach at South Carolina returned to Philadelphia this week with her defending NCAA champion Gamecocks to play Temple. It wasn’t her first time back in the city where she grew up since winning the national title in April. But this was a special trip for the Hall of Famer. She was going to her old stomping grounds, where she honed her skills as a player, to donate a replica NCAA championship trophy to the Hank Gathers Recreation Center.

Her hometown had a surprise for one of its favorites, too. The city proclaimed Wednesday Dawn Staley Day and renamed a street right where she grew up as Dawn Staley Lane.

“You don’t dream of streets being named after you,” Staley said after her fourth-ranked team routed Temple 87-60 on Thursday night. “You dream about gold medals, winning national championships. That stuff hits you like a body blow you’re not prepared for when it comes from people who genuinely care for you. It makes it truly special.”

Swish Appeal: Candice Dupree’s powerful words about South Carolina’s Dawn Staley

Unbeaten Tennessee wins at Stanford, drops Cardinal to .500

No one who has watched this rivalry over most of the past three decades would have mistaken this game for the heavyweight battles of years past. Neither program is in that vaunted place at this moment in time.

But for the first time since most of the current Tennessee players were in elementary school, the Lady Vols walked out of Maples Pavilion with a win.

It was immediately apparent how much the Stanford women’s basketball team missed its star senior guard Brittany McPhee. She scored 15 of the Cardinal’s first 26 points and finished with a season-high 27.

It wasn’t enough to save No. 18 Stanford from losing to No. 7 Tennessee, 83-71, on Thursday, sending the Cardinal (6-6) into the Pac-12 Conference with its worst start after 12 games opening the 1998-99 season 4-8, when it finished 18-12 and got beat in the first round of the NCAA tournament.

*all sing* The first loss is the deepest… #5 Mississippi State did the honors, as the stopped the Orange, 76-65.

#9 West Virginia stayed undefeated, but they got a good tussle from Morehead State, 66-56.

“(It was a) sloppy game,” coach Mike Carey said. “I’m just glad this nonconference is over. I’m glad to start playing Big 12 games. We need to move forward.”
It was also a tussle for #13 Florida State, who had to fighthad to fight a stubborn Creighton to earn a 92-82 win.

#10 Oregon exploded in the first quarter or 34, then pulled away to secure a confident victory over #19 Texas A&M, 84-62.

Good win for Michigan State as the upset #22 South Florida, 83-73.

#24 Cal’s victory meant it’s a four-loss streak for Kentucky (first time in 15yrs).

Delaware: Enabosi sets school record with eighth straight double-double as Blue Hens lash Loyola

More than four hours before tip-off, Nicole Enabosi had the Carpenter Center basketball court to herself as she stood in front of one basket and practiced her shooting early Friday morning.

“Practice makes perfect so that’s what I’m trying to do,” she said later.

When afternoon came, Enabosi was easy to single out again.

Cranky after their loss to Wright State, Belmont punishes Vanderbilt, 111-74. (The last time the Belmont women beat Vanderbilt was in 1981.)

Upset: Norfolk State went to OT to defeat William & Mary, 80-74.

Kayla Roberts’ perfect overtime Thursday night helped the Norfolk State women win their fourth in a row and guaranteed the Spartans at least a .500 record in nonconference play for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Wicked ugly, but a win is a win from Powell and Grand Canyon.

Good win for Quinnipiac over Central Michigan, 84-70.

Still undefeated: Ball State withstands a fourth quarter surged from Western Kentucky to move to 11-0.

Stubborn Northern Iowa isn’t having a great season so far, but they did beat Kantate, 72-71.

Woof! In the battle of very similar-looking mascots, Gonzaga mauled Western Illinois (perhaps a little upset hangover?), 80-65. You think I’m kidding? Look! Cousins!





Upcoming games I have my eye on: Oh, right. We’ve hit that serious lull…sigh.


Overseas: Fowles, Griner Continuing Dominance

Thank you for your leadership: Minnesota Lynx coach and VP come out publicly as married couple

Sweet! Spurs’ Hammon named candidate for Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018

Note to reporters: Umm…. any word on who’s buying the Lib? (Hello, Rosie? Beyonce? Leslie?)


US Army: Love for basketball leads Soldiers to All-Army Women’s Basketball team

The air in the gym is thick and the only sounds are the air conditioning vents blowing from the ceiling, shining down like outsized opaque crystal balls.

Suddenly, the echoes of basketballs bouncing off the wood floor rumble through the bleachers. Whoosh, goes a ball through the net.

The All-Army Women’s Basketball Team has come to play.

Congrats! JMU putting 1981-82 basketball team into its athletics hall of fame

Oh, Canada! Huskies star guard Nurse says ‘hometown game’ was a complete surprise

From Lois (And thank you, Amsterdam Times, for consistently giving space to women’s basketball): Hofstra performs valiantly in the face of injuries

It has been a rough opening to the 2017-18 season for Hofstra University women’s basketball. The Pride has been beset by injuries—at times only suiting up seven people for a game—and finals break couldn’t come fast enough for coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey.

Listen Up! Around the Rim:

 LaChina Robinson celebrates the 1,000 win milestones of UConn’s Geno & UNC’s Sylvia Hatchell by chatting with Coach Hatchell herself, plus we hear from the coaches’ former players: Sue Bird, Swin Cash, Ivory Latta, and Sylvia Crawley.

Speaking of “Listen Up!” Congrats: The is one of our staff faves for 2017! “A feminist podcast that’s a must-listen for anyone who likes sports and politics,” notes

Oh, Duck: Oregon will contest allegations by NCAA against men’s and women’s basketball, track and field programs (upon reading the article, doesn’t to seem to be a huge mess for wbb.)

Nice piece on Mel by Mike Jensen: Mel Greenberg is still the women’s hoops guru after almost 50 years in journalism

There he was, the Guru, as he doesn’t mind being called, across from Temple’s bench at McGonigle Hall, usual spot, rumply presence as ordinary as a pregame layup line. This was early on a Sunday afternoon. For this man, early might mean late. What time was it for him?

“Still yesterday,” said a man now into his fifth decade of covering women’s college basketball.

From the Atlantic: The #MeToo movement comes to sports, a reckoning long overdue

A year ago this month seven of us sat around a table and raised our glasses. We were a formidable lot — two sports columnists, a sports editor, a sports writer, a preeminent baseball reporter, a former sports executive, a legendary sports journalist who now advises teams — and we had plenty to toast.

We toasted fond memories of remarkable games we had covered, athletes we admired, the Olympics where we met, that World Series we’d never forget. And, above all, we toasted the survivors. We toasted our kick-ass selves.

There’s a famous line every female inevitably learns when she enters the world of sports: Check your dignity at the door. From a young age girls are told to not make trouble, and if those girls yearn for a career in sports they might as well write that adage on the back of their hand.

Really? Chris Brown’s Movie About Women’s Basketball Is Already Facing Backlash

On December 19, Variety reported that Nick Cannon would be directing, writing, producing, and starring in She Ball, a movie about women’s street basketball. The official plot, according to Variety, reads: “She Ball follows the love of the game through the struggles of Avery Watts, played by Cannon, who enlists the baddest women’s streetball league in the city to help him save the embattled Inglewood Community Center, which he manages, all while trying to raise his seven-year-old daughter.” So yes, it appears that a film about women that should, in theory, star women, is somehow being re-centered to focus on a man. But that isn’t the only red flag that has been raised.


REALLY? Brawl at Women’s Basketball Game

I’m not crying, YOU’RE crying: Women’s Basketball Team Surprises Manager With Special Gift

A loss: Urbana mourns loss of veteran girls basketball coach Bill Moss

He also helped groom former Urbana standouts Beth Ostendorf, Jannon Roland and most recently Trischa Lacy. Roland starred on the two state title teams, was the D-II player of the year and also was the Big Ten player of the year at Purdue University. She played in the WNBA.

“Bill was an innovator and pioneer in this sport,” said Jim Dabbelt of the Dabbelt Report, which focuses mostly on area girls basketball.

“Back when AAU was in the early stages, he ran the Urbana AAU program and it was the standard-setter for girls AAU in Ohio. They made several trips to the nationals and that was back when the nationals really meant something.”

It’s that time of year: From Mechelle: Top 10 moments in women’s basketball in 2017

With 2018 just around the corner, what were the biggest stories in women’s basketball this year?

These 10 moments moved the needle in 2017, both in the college game and the WNBA.

Whaddayamean you didn’t get your favorite wbball fan a gift! Check out the WHB library to find the perfect book for them.

Have a lovely holiday, all. Hug the ones you love, cheer the teams you support, and click through the links you see…


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The Shortest Day

by Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died
And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world
Came people singing, dancing,
To drive the dark away.
They lighted candles in the winter trees;
They hung their homes with evergreen;
They burned beseeching fires all night long
To keep the year alive.
And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake
They shouted, revelling.
Through all the frosty ages you can hear them
Echoing behind us – listen!
All the long echoes, sing the same delight,
This Shortest Day,
As promise wakens in the sleeping land:
They carol, feast, give thanks,
And dearly love their friends,
And hope for peace.
And now so do we, here, now,
This year and every year.
Welcome Yule!
*all shout*

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will win 1000 thousand games.”

Tuesday was doubly grand as two coaches hit the 1000 win mark.

First, it was Sylvia Hatchell, who has battled through health issues and the shadow of scandal to stick it out and UNC and reach the stunning accomplishment of 1000 wins.


Hatchell reached the milestone Tuesday after her North Carolina Tar Heels beat Grambling State 79-63. She is 1,000-376 during a 43-year career that started with 11 seasons at Francis Marion.

“As far as the 1,000 wins, gosh, I just can’t believe I’ve coached that many games,” said Hatchell, who has battled leukemia and was declared cancer-free in 2014.

Sylvia Hatchell joins the prestigious 1000-win club, The Daily Tar Heel 

The progression of Hatchell’s coaching career has been remarkable after first taking that Francis Marion head coaching job in a town she had never heard of: Florence, S.C. Hatchell joked that besides the little help she could find, she was essentially on her own, driving the bus, washing the uniforms and sweeping the floor.

In those 11 seasons Hatchell won 272 games and two national championships: one at the NAIA level and another at the AIAW level.

UNC’s Sylvia Hatchell now in the 1K wins club, News & Observer

With Hatchell’s 1,000th win in hand, UNC continues to focus on getting back to postseason, Mechelle

“Ultracompetitive” is the term that’s used frequently to describe North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell, who won her 1,000th game Tuesday.

But two other words always come to mind: resilient and relentless. You could say that all three generally go together in high achievers, but the latter two are so much a part of Hatchell’s story.

Herald Sun: UNC’s Sylvia Hatchell now in the 1,000 wins club

Not all wins are the same but North Carolina women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell will always remember Tuesday’s 79-63 win over Grambling State at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.

It was her 1,000th win as a coach during a career that spans two schools and 43 seasons.

“It means a lot,” Hatchell said. “But numbers don’t mean that much to me. I just want to win the next game. But lately, I’ve been hearing from so many former players, many of them from Francis Marion and UNC were here today. They all brought back so many memories and flashbacks.”

“We’re not finished. There’s so many more things I want to do. Like I said, winning more championships, getting this team back to what we’re used to, the top ten in the country,” says Hatchell. 

Video: Take a look back at some of the best moments in Sylvia Hatchell’s career as she hits 1,000 wins.

More video: Hatchell’s milestone win a wonderful moment. Mechelle Voepel and Deb Antonelli reflect on North Carolina coach Sylvia Hatchell’s path to 1,000 victories.

Later on in the evening, it was Geno and CD hitting 1K.

Video: UConn’s Geno Auriemma Becomes Fastest Ever To 1000 Career Wins, Sports Illustrated

Katie Barnes, ESPN: As always, Chris Dailey was right by Geno Auriemma’s side as coach won his 1,000th game

Fake money falling from the sky is not a new celebration for the Connecticut women’s basketball team. After defeating South Carolina in February, $100 bills featuring Geno Auriemma’s face fell from the ceiling in appreciation of the team’s 100th consecutive victory.

Naturally, Auriemma’s 1,000th victory — clinched in Tuesday’s 88-64 win over Oklahoma — warranted the same treatment. Only this time, the face of UConn associate head coach Chris Dailey was on the bill, too, along with her signature.

UConn’s Geno Auriemma, UNC’s Sylvia Hatchell hit 1000-wins mark, ESPN
UConn’s Geno Auriemma, UNC’s Sylvia Hatchell earn 1,000th victory on same day, CBSSports

Auriemma and Hatchell Join College Basketball’s 1,000-Win Club, NY Times

From college basketball’s beginnings until 2009, no coach reached 1,000 victories.

“It’s a hard number to even comprehend,” Pat Summitt, the longtime Tennessee coach, told reporters after she became the first coach to achieve the milestone.

On Tuesday, less than a decade after Summitt reached the mark, two more coaches joined her in a matter of hours: Sylvia Hatchell of North Carolina and Geno Auriemma of Connecticut.

espnW: 10 things that are more likely than Geno Auriemma and Sylvia Hatchell winning their 1,000th games on the same day

Larry Brown Sports: Sports world congratulates Geno Auriemma, Sylvia Hatchell on 1000 wins

NY Daily News: History was made in college basketball on Tuesday, but where was the fanfare? 

December 19, 2017, is a day that should be forever branded into the memories of every college basketball fan.

But unfortunately, most of the people who love the sport are probably clueless as to what took place earlier this week.

And to be honest, I was almost one of them.

If it wasn’t for a late-night viewing of “SportsCenter” before bed, I would have missed out too, and certainly not have written this column.

The day before NCCA2K a fellow coach who has hit and passed 1000 earned a stunning loss, as the #18 Cardinal were upset by the Leathernecks. It’s the first time that Western Illinois has beaten a ranked team and no, even with their appearance in the NCAA last year, you cannot tell me you saw that coming – even with all of Stanford’s struggles this season.

“I am so proud of the team,” said head coach JD Gravina. “The story of this game could have been if we weren’t cold in the second quarter, we might have won or might have been in the game. We talked about that as a team and working on that, but we really did a good job coming back. I said if you’re open, you have to shoot it. To beat them and only make five threes, including a quarter where we scored only three points, is amazing. We also had 47 rebounds. I told the team if we could get 17 rebounds, we would have a chance.”

Hello, wake up and smell the coffee! Portland State beat Ole Miss, 94-79.

Yes, I see you, still undefeated Ball State.

After yet another Ball State women’s basketball win Monday afternoon, it’s time for some perspective.

The Cardinals, who dominated Austin Peay 89-57, are one game away from tying the longest winning streak in program history. They’ll get a chance for that Thursday against a strong Western Kentucky team that is actually ranked one spot higher in RPI.

Whoopsie! Niagara (2-8) upset Buffalo (8-2), 75-62.

Hmmm… Wonder if Wright State can put a scare into Green Bay. The took down Belmont, 91-81.

A “defense be damned” fourth quarter saw NC State come out ahead of Vanderbilt, 83-72.

In case you were wondering: Here’s the point: Players at basketball’s most important position need specific skills

“Point guard is the most important position on the floor,” said Arizona women’s coach Adia Barnes, whose team will face Southern Utah at 7 p.m. Wednesday. “She is the coach’s voice and responsible for the organization of the offense. She knows her position and everyone else’s and where they should be.

“People think, ‘Why doesn’t she look for her shot?’ But she is looking for the best shot for the team. The other night, (point guard) Lucia (Alonso) kept hitting her shot — that’s because it was the best for the team. She is the playmaker and knows what it looks like.

“She has to know that moving to the right might not be the right matchup for JaLea (Bennett). She has to think two steps ahead.”

Listen up! AROUND THE RIM: Before a profile with Mississippi State’s Morgan William, LaChina Robinson recaps the week’s top matchups with sports analyst Angel Gray. Plus, head coach and President of Basketball Operations of the newly named Las Vegas Aces Bill Laimbeer stops by!

WNBA: You stay put” news from Pat Borzi: Per owner Glen Taylor: Two-year contract extension for Coach Cheryl Reeve, thru 2019 season. Well-deserved following fourth title in 7 years.

After seeing the video, I hoped for something like this: Dearica Hamby suspension cut from three months to 4 games

Congrats: NBA/WNBA Champs Help Launch Junior Basketball Program

Wade and Los Angeles Sparks forward Candace Parker are serving as lead global ambassadors for the Jr. NBA World Championship, “a great initiative that will connect U.S. and international youth in a meaningful way,” according to Parker.

“As a global ambassador, I’m looking forward to making a positive impact on the participants, both on and off the court,” said Parker, a WNBA Champion, Finals MVP and AP Female Athlete of the Year.

International: Perth Lynx star Sami Whitcomb set to become an Opal at 2018 Commonwealth Games

A little history (and I agree with Mechelle about the title): The Most Important Basketball Player You’ve Never Hear Of

For just a minute, conjure up the song “Sweet Georgia Brown” in your head. Now think about the Harlem Globetrotters and their magic circle warm up routine. That’s where we’re going to start this story.

The Globetrotters have always been innovators. But perhaps the greatest innovation was in 1985 when they signed a woman, the first woman to ever play professionally with men. That woman was from Kansas, and she would not only change the game but become a hero to female athletes, to be sure, and probably many other young women. 

Some bad news:  Signs Off — Thank you to all of our fans and supporters

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Surveying Sunday Stuff

A Day in The Life: Texas’ Ariel Atkins.

New Flyer: Butler transfer Ward set to resume her career with UD Flyers

She remembers the coach just rolling his eyes.

“It was an intramural basketball league for little kids — around 5 and 6 years old — and there was a rule that girls could be on the team, too,” Kesha Ward remembered. “The first day I brought Brittany to the gym and walked up to him and said, ‘Hey, this is my daughter and she wants to be on your team.’

“He rolled his eyes because he was irritated. He was being stuck with a girl.”

She said he already had a team of little boys who showed real promise. In fact, today those boys have grown into something of a Who’s Who of NCAA Division I athletes.

“I think out of the 10 boys, seven are playing D-I,” Kesha said as she recalled some of the roster:

Damn: Duke says freshman guard Mikayla Boykin will miss the rest of the season after injuring her left knee.

Double damn: South Carolina women’s basketball senior guard Bianca Cuevas-Moore is out for the remainder of the 2017-18 season with an ACL

Aiming for 1000: Mechelle picks 10 top UConn wins. Auriemma shares favorite memories of past players.  Longtime UConn beat writer John Altavilla offers Geno Auriemma Has Suffered Some Tough Losses Along The Way while Carl Adamec picks his favorite ten wins:

Trying to pick out the 10 biggest wins in Auriemma’s tenure is tough when he has 11 national championships. Which one do you leave off? So the take here will be 10 of my favorite wins of his. They may have little to do with the game but with something Auriemma did or said, or something that happened.

So here it is, listed in chronological order:

1. vs. Providence in Big East Tournament final, March 4, 1991: Providence was UConn’s biggest rival in the late 1980s and early 1990s. This 1991 game, played at Georgetown’s McDonough Arena, would mark the third straight year they would play in the Big East final. Back then, no one in the country played at a faster tempo than the Friars. It was the third game in three days and UConn’s bench was short. At the start, Auriemma had point guard Debbie Baer hold the ball out at center court until 15 seconds remained on the shot clock. The first two possessions end in shot-clock violations and it seems like everyone (about 500, maybe) including UConn people in the stands is yelling at him. But UConn builds a double-digit lead and on one second-half possession gets three offensive rebounds. As the Huskies milk the clock, PC coach Bob Foley yells out, “This is ridiculous, it really is.” After two minutes with the ball, Meghan Pattyson gets a layup. UConn holds on, 79-74.

Want a ticket to the game? Act fast: Women’s Holiday Showcase Presented By The Basketball Hall Of Fame ’cause, with all due respect (Geno Auriemma Goes for 1000th Career Win Tuesday on CBS Sports Network as Part of Featured Lineup of Women in Sports Programming) it’s unlikely you’ll see it on your cable listings.

Check out Front Rowe: University of Louisville junior Asia Durr talks with Holly Rowe about her powerful offensive game and how she shares a unique bond with her coach.

George Mason women’s basketball sophomore guard/forward Jacy Bolton saw her team’s fight in a season-opening WNIT game against a ranked Michigan team as the Patriots went to the locker room down 37-31 at halftime.

This was the point that Bolton knew the team’s hard work, which began in March, had paid off.

“It put us in a perspective that everything had paid off with the system, Coach (Nyla Milleson) and each other,” she said. “Right off the bat we knew that this was what we prepared for.”

Salvo Coppa says he’s fortunate. He shows it, too.
Coppa smiles as he helps run practice, grins when he huddles with the other coaches and practically beams when he talks about how his players are developing.
Coppa is a rare breed in coaching. From the beginning, he’s always followed his heart. The approach is how Coppa ended up at the UA, serving as an assistant coach for a women’s basketball team coached by his wife, Adia Barnes.

Eleven teams were still unbeaten entering Wednesday. What’s Notre Dame done to earn that No. 2 ranking?

What haven’t the Irish done?

Besides turning away all comers other than those other-worldly, unanimously No. 1 Huskies, the Irish have done so while navigating a schedule rated second-toughest in the country, per RPIRatings.com.

No less, they’ve navigated it almost entirely away from home, playing eight of their games outside South Bend.

“Lynn Holzman brings the requisite balance of skill and experience in both managing championships and coordinating the administration of the committees governing the sport,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA senior vice president of basketball. “Her excellent work as commissioner of the West Coast Conference and previously as a director at the NCAA has prepared Lynn well for the various responsibilities of the job, and as a former scholarship basketball student‐athlete, she will be an inspiring leader for NCAA women’s basketball. I am excited and proud to welcome Lynn to the NCAA basketball team.”
Would love to hear what NCAA vets like Sue Donohoe think….

After coaching for nine seasons and officiating for seven, she began working for the NCAA, first as the organization’s secretary of rules editor and then in various spots as coordinator of officials. When she arrived in Indiana to interview with the NCAA, there was former Lady Techster grad assistant Sue Donohoe, hopefully about to become her boss.

“She’s the same Sue as VP of the NCAA as she was as GA at Tech,” Williamson said. “You could sit next to her on a plane trip and never know you were talking to somebody who has been such a big part of the women’s game for the past 35 years, someone who’s accomplished so much — and she did it all with a servant attitude. She has a way with people, a way of getting us all to do things that were best for the game.” 

W & International

From the always fab D3Hoops: Persevering to go pro

There’s a false correlation between men’s and women’s professional basketball. It’s easy to think that because the NBA is leaps and bounds above any other pro league – in terms of salaries, prestige, and level of play – that the same relationship would exist between the WNBA and women’s leagues around the world.

“There are a lot more opportunities on the women’s side for playing really competitive basketball,” says Chelsie Schweers, the 2011 D3hoops.com Player of the Year. “The average WNBA salary right now is about $55,000. For sure there are opportunities overseas making that kind of money in a lot of places.”

Of course a Division III player can’t expect to just walk into a contract like that, even as the second all-time scorer and an All-American as a freshman, as Schweers was. The opportunities and competitive salaries make the fight for jobs that much tougher.

At the other end of the spectrum: Diana says, “Dasvidaniya” Maya says, “Zdravstvuyte.”

Speaking of Diana, Sue weighs in and suggests there should be term limits on USA National Team players. (Would love to hear what players past and present think. Fans are too partisan and coaches are suspect.)

But what is really outrageous is to see Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi in this pool. Each has already won four gold medals. If both are chosen for the 2020 Tokyo Games roster, Bird will be 39 and Taurasi, 38.

Augustus and Fowles have each won three medals. They will be 36 and 34, respectively, at the next Olympics. Charles, McCoughtry, Moore and Whalen have all helped the U.S. win two gold medals.

When this country began its reign of winning in 1996, there weren’t as many great players as there are now, and there was less competition to make the roster. But the game has grown so much since then, and especially over the last six years or so. Today there is more parity both in college and in the pros, with greater talent spread farther and wider among different teams.

From MSR, who’ve covered the W from the start: Women’s sports slapped down again

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Pool time! From USA Basketball: Teleconference: 2017-20 USA Basketball Women’s National Team Pool Announcement

From Mechelle: All eyes on USA Basketball backcourt as 29-player pool named

Trying to get on the World Cup or Olympic roster, as always, will be extremely tough for any of the newcomers. Eleven of the 12 players who won gold for the United States in the 2016 Olympics are still in the pool for the 2018 World Cup. The only one who is not is former Indiana Fever star Tamika Catchings, who retired as a player after the 2016 WNBA season.

Candace Parker’s omission was the most notable absence. The Los Angeles Sparks post player is a two-time Olympian and two-time WNBA MVP who controversially was left off the 2016 Olympic team. Callan did not indicate whether Parker was not invited or declined an invitation, saying USA Basketball does not discuss reasons why any specific player was not in the pool.

Inquiring minds sure as heck wanna know, though…

Desert reveal: Vegas lights up for WNBA’s arrival, CBSSports: Las Vegas has a WNBA team, and one minor-league baseball club isn’t thrilled  and Michelle Smith: Laimbeer, Aces Looking Forward to Playing New Hand

Woot! Big Syl is Minnesota’s Professional Athlete of the Year!

A little “WATN?” with a bit of “I hope all is ok” tossed in: Titans’ Teasley taking leave of absence from girls basketball team


NCAA.com: Tennessee Lady Vols share Christmas spirit with party for hospital patients

Well done! DII women’s basketball rankings: Ashland maintains No. 1 poll spot for record 17th straight time

Wowza: Kragthorpe: SLCC coach Betsy Specketer is on pace to become Utah’s all-time wins leader at one school

Betsy Specketer spent a lot less time worrying about someday reaching 500 victories as the Salt Lake Community College women’s basketball coach than she did about being stuck on that number for one game too many.

The celebration of her achievement came during the Bruins’ next home appearance in late November and was a nice occasion, except the visiting Casper (Wyo.) College Thunderbirds didn’t play along. “My mind was just on that game, and we end up losing that game,” Specketer said. “That’s what keeps you up at night: ‘What could I have done differently?’ ”

Drummers drumming? Lords a leaping? Maids a milking? That’s all well and good, but what would December be without 10 mid-majors mingling?

We’ll be back after Christmas. For now, here are the rankings.

“She couldn’t remember what that set was, so I just coached her through the entire thing,” Walz said. “But she did it, I’ll give her that. That’s what I like about her: She’s coachable. I was able to tell her exactly what to do, and we got a layup.”

Such is the life of a freshman. Even one ranked among the best recruits in the nation.

“I definitely had a brain fart,” Evans said. “We were running a play, and I was supposed to kick it to the four player, go through and set a back screen. I totally blanked out.”

Optimism: ODU women’s basketball team is struggling mightily now, but won’t for long

Not even Geno Auriemma, the wizard who built UConn into a national powerhouse, could fashion a winner with the Old Dominion women’s basketball team this season.

ODU doesn’t have enough size, depth and talent – and especially not enough experience – to win this season.

I intend no disrespect for the 11 women playing with so much heart for the Monarchs. I’ve rarely seen a team work harder. I watched the last 90 minutes of a three-hour practice Tuesday, and they busted their you-know-whats.

But former coach Karen Barefoot left the cupboard bare when she departed for UNC Wilmington after last season.

Speaking of ODU, great work by William & Mary:  (8-1) Tribe Women’s Basketball Game vs. Old Dominion Set for Broadcast on Cox TV Sunday.

Chi-chi: Creighton volleyball, women’s basketball will get own training facility

Do you agree? Here is our Mississippi Bicentennial women’s basketball team

Good on y’a: Makayla Epps takes time out from pro career to earn UK degree, but: Epps’ mother terrified about seeing her daughter going overseas to play

Summitt: Take 5: Two of our writers plus a special guest answer five WBB questions

What a week it has been in women’s basketball since our Take 5 post last week. Several upsets, many breakout performances and another week of shake ups in the polls. As the non-conference season begins to wind down, the matchups on the court continue to heat up with plenty of surprises surly in store. Speaking of surprises, this week we thought we would bring in a special guest writer to give her thoughts on the week: LaChina Robinson! One of the premier voices in women’s basketball today, Robinson was kind enough to join us this week to weigh in on some questions.

Some many programs have someone like this: Rutgers women’s basketball loses a dear friend and supporter

It isn’t a name you likely know. But the women who play basketball for C. Vivian Stringer – and CVS herself – know who Glenys Manfre was.

Glenys was a loyal supporter of Rutgers women’s basketball and she passed away on November 29 of this year after a lengthy fight with cancer.

If you think this is a story about a Rutgers grad who supported her Alma Mater, you’d be wrong. Glenys was born in Pennsylvania and graduated from King’s College in Wilkes Barre. That’s coal country and the last thing on the minds of folks up there is Rutgers women’s hoops….or anything Rutgers.

About those games I was interested in:

It took double overtime, but Fordham topped St. John’s, 67-64.

Whose state? MY state! Rutgers over Princeton by 20.

Didja catch this? DePaul was down to Northwestern, and then they exploded for 41 points in the third quarter. They cruised to a 92-63 win. Bad news for the Blue Demons, though: Dahlman and Daninger Sidelined by Injuries

A strong first half powered #5 Mississippi State over #9 Oregon by 11.

“Tonight we were pretty good, especially offensively,” Mississippi State coach Vic Schaefer said. “I just think we’re hard to deal with offensively. I think people are having a hard time guarding us right now.”

Reminder: Friday



  • Toledo (7-2) v Western Kentucky (6-3), 11am. Both programs fighting for recognition.
  • #12 Florida State v. #8 Texas,12:30am n FSU’s lovely 10-0 record includes nary a single (currently) ranked team. Longhorns played poorly in their last game. Ah, intrigue!
  • DePaul v. #2 Notre Dame, 1pm. Interesting to see how DePaul stacks up against the Irish after being blown out by UConn.
  • Georgia Tech (9-1) v. Georgia (8-1), 1pm. ’cause in-state rivalries ROCK!
  • #11 UCLA v. Seton Hall, 1pm. It’s been a little rocky for the Bruins. Good match up to   settle things down a bit.
  • Bucknell (6-3) v. Fordham (6-3), 2pm. Bison v. Rams. What’s not to love?
  • Central Michigan (8-1) v. Duquesne (9-2). Just interested to see these teams take each other’s measure.
  • #3 Louisville v. Kentucky, 3pm. Can the Wildcats right the ship against a soaring Cardinals team?
  • Ole Miss v. #9 Oregon, 4pm. Rebels have one loss, but this is their first ranked team. The Ducks are coming off a loss…and are at home.
  • Marquette (5-4) v. Milwaukee (8-2), 5pm. After a promising start, the shines a bit off the Golden Eagles. Can the Panthers make a splash? ‘sides, it’s an in-state, in-CITY game!

In other news:

Check out this podcast with about how women in sports media are treated.  

As the #MeToo movement spread through entertainment and politics, the sports world collectively wondered when it would hit our heightened bastion of sexualization. It finally has as a disturbing lawsuit alleges mass sexual harassment at NFL Network. This week’s guest, noted sports and feminism journalist Julie DiCaro, has some fascinating thoughts on whether the floodgates will really open and the difficulty of being a woman in sports.

Ugly: At ESPN, the problems for women run deep.

Uglier? Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s drop USA Gymnastics sponsorship after sex abuse scandal.

A response:  Wow – and leave after 140+ victims of come forward; probably worst in US sports history. Curious: will those administrators and coaches that looked away from Larry Nassar’s get salary cuts? Or will athletes suffer?

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Will ya look at that!

Sunday Games

#20 Kentucky didn’t bounce back v. Miami.

#22 Villanova just barely escaped Temple, 69-64.

The “Clash of Color Palettes!” was fun – and after a furious fourth (a combined 65 points scored!), the Vols emerged victorious.

Graham: Fearless freshmen help Tennessee topple No. 2 Texas

There was a time this was the place teams came to prove themselves. Or at least it was a place where they came to try, even if the team that took the court in orange inside Thompson-Boling Arena proved too much to overcome most days.

So the script felt familiar Sunday as the faithful filed in nearly 10,000 strong for one of the grand old rivalries of women’s basketball. Familiar but not quite the same.

In this case, the home team had something to prove in Knoxville. And the shade of orange that stood in the challenger’s way wasn’t bright but rather burnt orange.

#25 Cal had to work hard to hold off Pacific, 92-85.

(Those of us who listen to Radio Deluxe will get this comment) Maddie Pizzarelli better shout out Brown women’s basketball. They’re at 9-1.

Good time is for Ohio. Tough times for Purdue. Bobcats top the Boilermakers, 77-71, for the first time since 1982.

Someone did get their first loss of the season, but it took OT. New Mexico over Navy, 94-87.

“It was the kind of game we expected from two undefeated teams,” Bradbury said. “It didn’t disappoint and the atmosphere was great. I can’t thank the fans enough. I don’t know if we’d have hung in there to the very end without them.

Monday Games

Remember when I said I was intrigued by the Ivies? Still am. Penn beat St. Joseph’s and Dartmouth upset Colorado, 81-75. (Hope starter-of-the-WHB-blog Ted & Sara are proud.)

Colorado women’s basketball coach J.R. Payne didn’t like the vibe around her team throughout the day on Monday.

“Our shoot-around wasn’t very good, our warm-up wasn’t very good,” Payne said. “It was kind of a flat feeling all day long.”

That flat feeling continued into the evening, as the Buffaloes were handed a humbling 81-75 loss to visiting Dartmouth at Coors Events Center.

Upcoming games I’m interested in:


  • Fordham v. St. John’s, 7pm.



  • Troy v. Middle Tennessee, 7:30pm.


  • South Dakota State v. Creighton, 5pm.
  • Dartmouth v. #13 Ohio State, 7pm.
  • #19 Texas A&M v. USC (9-0), 10pm.


NCAA.com: UConn women’s basketball: Geno Auriemma, Chris Dailey on the verge of win No. 1000

Paying attention: Ball State women’s basketball receives AP Top 25 vote

The State: South Carolina climbs in the latest AP poll, thanks to fast-rising rival Tennessee

Dabnabbit! Not the update I wanted: ASU women’s basketball guard Sabrina Haines out for season with knee injury.

Well deserved: Oklahoma State’s Loryn Goodwin named espnW player of the week

Guard Loryn Goodwin will be playing for Oklahoma State for just one season. But what a season that is shaping up to be.

The 5-foot-9 senior is the espnW player of the week after leading the Cowgirls to an 87-72 upset of No. 7 UCLA on Friday. She had 27 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

For the season, she is averaging 21.6 points, 6.1 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 4.3 steals.



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A *narrated* review

2pm: #18 Texas A&M v Central Arkansas. I expect the Aggies will bounce back, but the Sugar Bears are a solid program. *narrator* They are. TAMU by 11, 72-61.

In general, I’m intrigued by the Ivies thus far. Feels like their in-conference games will rock. *narrator* Well look at that! Penn gave Notre Dame all they could handle. Irish escape, 66-54. (And let’s just ignore Maine beating Big Green, shall we? And Buffalo squeaking by Columbia)

3pm: #16 USF v Oklahoma. I’m not optimistic about the Sooners, but Coale was pretty cranky after their last game. *narrator* She was. Oklahoma wins, 79-74.

3pm: North Dakota v. North Dakota State. ’cause who doesn’t love an in-state rivalry! The Fighting Hawks win, 79-68! *narrator* That would be North Dakota.

4pm: Utah v. BYU. Utes try to keep on rollin’. *narrator* They don’t. Cougars get an important win (and Hamson blocks 9), 77-68.

4pm: UC Davis v. St. Mary’s. The Aggies are making program history at 8-0 and the Gaels are trying to set themselves up for a run the the WCC. *narrator* You’re witnessing history. UC Davis earns a 74-50 win.

7pm: #4 Louisville v. Middle Tennessee. The Cardinals started out a little shaky last game. Don’t do that when you play the Blue Raiders *narrator* They didn’t. Cardinals win *GULP* 80-26.

7pm: Bowling Green (7-1) v. South Dakota State (7-2). How to the Wabbits wecover from their nice win over Oklahoma? *narrator* With aplomb. Wabbits what the Falcons, 76-44.

You’ve read the articles, now check out the video:


A h/t to hoopism for this bit of history: From ‘Chicks’ to champions: How South Carolina women’s basketball got its start

Last April, in Dallas, Texas, South Carolina’s women’s basketball team did something it had never done before: win a national championship.

Tens of thousands of fans watched with bated breath as the Gamecocks battled Mississippi State. Media outlets from across the country wrote thousands of words about Dawn Staley and her team. And at the end of the day, Staley and her players hoisted the trophy, cut down the nets and came home to a parade in their honor.

Forty-six years ago, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, another South Carolina women’s basketball team did something no other one had done before.

In 1971, women’s collegiate athletics were not recognized or organized by the NCAA. Even the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW), the organization that filled the role of the NCAA for women college athletes, would not be fully established for another year.

And for those of us who remember more recent wbb coverage history: A shoutout to Kim and her site ChicksWithBalls. She did enormous work, and all fans of wbb owe her a “thank you!”
Speaking of history, don’t forget to read Richards SI piece on Maya: Maya Moore Is the Greatest Winner in History of Women’s Basketball—and Best May Be Yet to Come

Maya Moore answers questions in long paragraphs, and you have asked her about a topic she has thought about often: How do you define winning?

Her response is far from simple.

“The answer can be very deep depending on your perspective and how you are measuring success, how you are measuring failure and how you are measuring winning,” says the 6-foot forward for the Minnesota Lynx. “I think it takes different types of winners to maintain a winning culture.

“You have to have some winners who know how to win people, to [keep] people together with vision and perspective. Then you have to have toughness and resiliency because sustained excellence is way harder than it looks. You have to be able to bounce back and deal with disappointment, failure and weaknesses, and a lot of that happens behind the scenes for teams that are very successful.

“I think a winner has to be a master of preparation, they have to be a master of connection, extremely competitive and have really high standards for themselves and the people around them. They have to be willing to put in that emotional energy to hold each other accountable. They have to have a lot of passion—sustained excellence takes conviction and passion and focus. When you are dealing with a team sport, you also have to be willing to adapt and be flexible.

“Hopefully, that is a pretty reasonable definition.”

A little somethin’ on a little someone: Sophomore guard Crystal Dangerfield continues to open eyes for No. 1 UConn

At the midway point of the first quarter there was no indication Crystal Dangerfield was on the verge of going where few if any UConn women’s basketball players had gone before.

Dangerfield had an assist 12 seconds into the road game against former conference foe DePaul, but no other tangible proof that she had an impact on Friday night’s game. When the sophomore guard’s night was over with 6:32 remaining on the clock, the numbers she put up in the 103-69 victory were simply remarkable and unmatched.

Have fun watching Sunday’s games!

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Well, well, well….

WHB readers know all about the Eagles of Florida Gulf Coast and the journey that program has made from non-existent (1997) to NAIA/DII/DI status. I’m sure many have wondered why another A.D. hasn’t swooped in (USC tried) and plucked coach Smesko from his Naples perch. After their upset of #20 Kentucky, ya gotta believe folks might take redouble their efforts..

Florida Gulf Coast University had more thoroughbreds, and at the buzzer, they whooped and hollered and hugged each other with sheer delight.

Facing the second-highest ranked team to ever visit Alico Arena, FGCU’s  women’s basketball team ran past, through and around No. 20 Kentucky, 68-64, in front of a raucous crowd. 

The only other time FGCU hosted a ranked foe was in the Eagles’ very first Division I game back in 2007, when No. 19 Florida State drummed the Eagles, 93-53.

That seems like forever ago. 

So, a couple of posts ago a I drew your attention to Oklahoma State. Seems the WHB jinx didn’t kick in as they finally got a win over a ranked team: #7 UCLA, 87-72.

“It feels good,” said Goodwin, who scored 35 points against Mississippi State. “We all knew we could do it, but to prove it to everybody else feels amazing. All your hard work, and coming up short a couple of times, to finally pull it out in front of our home fans, is priceless. Playing in those close games and learning from our mistakes and getting better, and having everybody buy in and everybody be on the same page, it really helped a lot.”

No upsets in Terp land, as Maryland easily handled George Washington, 80-54.

“This was a game that I was really, really pleased with our defense,” Frese said. “It was, by far, one of our most complete games for 40 minutes defensively.”

*all sing* “Number 999, number 999, number 999.” Yup, Auriemma got his 999th win against his buddy, Doug Bruno. He goes for #1000 December 19th against another buddy, Sherri Coale.

Other games of note:

Rutgers being less Rutgers, beating in-state rival Seton Hall, 70-45.

Yah, yah, I see their schedule. But that makes 8 wins for Clemson.

Upcoming games to keep an eye on:

2pm: #18 Texas A&M v Central Arkansas. I expect the Aggies will bounce back, but the Sugar Bears are a solid program.

In general, I’m intrigued by the Ivies thus far. Feels like their in-conference games will rock.

3pm: #16 USF v Oklahoma. I’m not optimistic about the Sooners, but Coale was pretty cranky after their last game.

3pm: North Dakota v. North Dakota State. ’cause who doesn’t love an in-state rivalry!

4pm: Utah v. BYU. Utes try to keep on rollin’.

4pm: UC Davis v. St. Mary’s. The Aggies are making program history at 8-0 and the Gaels are trying to set themselves up for a run the the WCC.

7pm: #4 Louisville v. Middle Tennessee. The Cardinals started out a little shaky last game. Don’t do that when you play the Blue Raiders.

7pm: Bowling Green (7-1) v. South Dakota State (7-2). How to the Wabbits wecover from their nice win over Oklahoma?


1pm: #20 Kentucky v. Miami. Bounce back time for the Wildcats as Mitchell stays put. 

2pm: #13 Florida State v. Arizona State. The Seminoles put their unblemished record on the line. This will be a nice prep for them, as they face their first ranked team on the 17th – #2 Texas. Waiting on an official injury report for Sun Devil junior Sabrina Haines.

2pm: #22 Villanova v. Temple. Wildcats are still undefeated…and what do we say about in-state rivalries? Nothin’ like’m!

3pm: #2 Texas v. #11 Tennessee. Both teams are undefeated, and the “Clash of Color Palettes!” has proven to be a fun game.

3pm: Navy v. New Mexico. Someone’s gonna get their first loss of the season…

In other news

Mechelle writes about a rising star: Former UNC star Charlotte Smith finding own success on sideline as Elon coach

Elon’s campus in North Carolina is often listed as one of the most beautiful in the country. But not much looked prettier to coach Charlotte Smith than seeing “Elon” pop up on the NCAA tournament bracket last season.

It wasn’t a surprise; the Phoenix had the automatic berth with their 78-60 victory over James Madison in the Colonial Athletic Association tournament. Still, it was a long-awaited moment for a program that went Division I in 1999 and 18 years later made its first Big Dance appearance.

Sue interviews Minnesota’s Marlene Stollings.

You’re in your fourth season at Minnesota. Does the program feel like yours now?

It does, for the first time. This is the first season that it truly feels like our program, because we’re playing the way we want to play, and we have depth for the first time. For the first time since I’ve been here, we can go into our bench – we can go eight or nine deep. We play so fast, that we’ve got to go into the bench.

Dumb: St. Norbert women’s basketball team benched for 10 games

Please: Here’s hoping the WNBA’s Liberty stays in New York

.com: WNBA Overseas: Jones Dominating, Dolson and Zellous filling stat sheets

Slam Online: Hold On, Be Strong – Los Angeles Sparks point guard Chelsea Gray overcame two devastating knee injuries, a rookie season that saw her ride the bench and a trade to become one of the top floor generals in the WNBA.

Really? Nerves? Lindsay Whalen fights nerves before season debut … with Timberwolves

Dallas News: Wings guard Skylar Diggins-Smith on her busy offseason, looking for basketball games to go to in D-FW

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Yeah, it’s been quite a week…

BUT – I got to lead a puppet workshop and, luckily, the basketball world stayed semi-sane.


Unfazed by being the only ranked team playing on Monday, #24 Michigan took care of business against winless Detroit Mercy.

Of interest was Rutgers being Rutgers in their 54-43 win over Virginia.

Don’t look now, but Ball State moved to 7-0 with their win over Purdue (first time since 1979)

Don’t look now, but Clemson is at 7-2.

Tuesday, the usual suspects did their usual stomping.

  • #4 Louisville by 35.
  • #5 South Carolina by 26.
  • #8 Baylor by 62.
  • #20 Kentucky by 38.

Of interest, Big Green moves to 6-1 with their win over New Hampshire.

Yup, that’s the Tribe, moving to 8-1.

North Texas was feisty, but lost to Indiana, 68-63.

Utah stomps Pepperdine and moves to 7-1.

UT Rio Grand takes care of business agains North Dakota, 82-79, and now sit at 9-2.


Take no prisoners by the usual suspects.

Interesting to see BYU lose to Utah State. Ends a 39-year drought for the Aggies.

Penn State roared back in the fourth to escape Fordham, 65-60.

Mercer came out in the first firing on all cylinders, cruising to a 61-44 win over George Washington.

Navy’s still undefeated AND Delaware took down Army.

Well now. Nebraska gave Kansas their first loss, 66-49.

Yah, Oklahoma’s in trouble. The Wabbits whomped them, 67-61.

Look at the Omaha Mavericks move to 7-2!

In state rivalries rule: Iowa over Iowa State by 6 and Colorado over Colorado State by 3.

Listen up! In The Heart of Texas: LaChina Robinson breaks down UConn’s come from behind win over Notre Dame in the Jimmy V Classic and welcomes No.2 Texas head coach Karen Aston to the show. (Love, LaChina but honestly, can’t we get you some better mics? You sound like you’re broadcasting with a tin can.)

Take note: Lobos look to set new record, face Texas Tech at home *narrator* They did.

City Paper: The Duquesne women’s basketball program is looking to take a big step toward the big time

Knoxville Sentinel: Lady Vols’ Meme Jackson trying to be better about consistency

No surprise: Kelsey Mitchell becomes Ohio State women’s basketball’s all-time leading scorer

Ditto: Florida State’s Shakayla Thomas named espnW player of the week

In a week with a lot of intriguing games — including another UConn-Notre Dame grudge match and a quadruple-overtime marathon between Creighton and Drake — there were plenty of terrific performances. Shakayla Thomas’ stood out — earning our espnW national player of the week honors — because of her ability to put No. 13 Florida State on her back and then take it to the finish line in two challenging road games.

Sweet: Katelynn Flaherty an all-time great for Michigan women’s basketball

One day, maybe a decade ago, Katelynn Flaherty and her dad Tom were driving around near their Point Pleasant Beach home when they came across a park with an empty basketball court.

“We said, ‘That’s the place to go,’” Tom Flaherty said. “We put up nets and we’d play there from April to November.”

Other top players from Hoops America, the Red Bank gym where Katelynn trained, would start coming around. Soon Orchard Park became the place to be.

Cool:20 questions: Dawn Staley is leading by example, and Eli Manning’s riding the bench

Ouch: Kyra Lambert to redshirt for Duke after tearing knee ligament during NCAA tournament

Washington Post: For the WNBA, business isn’t as bad as it looks

The Nation: WNBA MVP Maya Moore Takes on the Criminal Justice System and Maya Moore Accepts Performer of the Year at Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year Awards

Again: WNBA again earns top grades for gender and racial diversity

Hey, there: Lindsay Whalen fights nerves before season debut … with Timberwolves

News: Storm’s KeyArena to be Redeveloped

So… is the WBCBL the new NWBL? Marynell Meadors to Coach New WBCBL Team in Atlanta

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Well, THAT got the heart pumping!

With Durr struggling, #4 Louisville was down at the half by 8 to the Wabbits. They clawed back to win, 68-64.

“I told myself that I knew eventually my shots would fall,” Durr said. “I just tried to stay positive, stay aggressive and tried and create.”

Oklahoma State kept the pressure on #6 Mississippi State all game long. Bulldogs escape with a 79-76 win.

 Vic Schaefer searched a few seconds for the right word. He settled on “meekness.” Yeah, he said after repeating the word to himself a couple of times, there is no room for that on Mississippi State.

Down 11 in the fourth (and two preseason All Americans), #1 UConn powered pastpowered past #3 Notre Dame, outscoring the Irish 26-9 in the fourth to secure the win.

“That fourth quarter really came down to collectively that you could see a change,” UConn coach Geno Auriemma said after he won his 998th career game. “It was partly Kia (Nurse), partly Crystal, Pheesa (Napheesa Collier) looks the same all the time, Z (Stevens) had a different look on her. I think it was a collective thing for us. We don’t have that one person who walks around, acts like it and demands that kind of response. You can’t manufacture it and it has to be a team thing, and that is what happened in the fourth quarter. You could see it, the demeanor of the team changed.”

Maybe a little elevated…

A big third quarter (and Thomas’ 26) helped #13 Florida State to at win over James Madison, 79-63.

James Madison women’s basketball exchanged 10 leads and six tied scores with No. 13/11 Florida State on Sunday afternoon as the Seminoles (8-0) were able to edge the Dukes (2-5) 79-63.

With JMU leading 33-32 coming out of halftime, FSU went 12-of-13 from the floor to start the third quarter and secured the lead for good.

#8 Ohio State got a fight from Maine, eventually wining, 83-70.

”We got to get better on defense. We’re not playing defense at all,” Mavunga said. ”We let girls come in here and get 25, 30 points or whatever they want to do against us. We really got to be defensively sound. We haven’t been doing that.”

Pretty much resting rate.

#5 South Carolina’s strong first half allowed them to cruise over #14 Duke, 72-52.

“We’ve played Duke for a few years now, and no one’s ever played Rebecca (Greenwell) that way,” Staley said of Jackson’s performance. “Bianca really didn’t have a lot of offensive (responsibilities) like Tiffany Mitchell had and Kaela (Davis) and Allisha (Gray) but she really locked in. She really locked in on the gameplan and she grew up tonight, and we can only expect her to continue from this and grow from it.”

#11 West Virginia held TAMU to 33% shooting and rode Teana Muldrow’s hot shooting to a 70-56 win in College Station.

You don’t often see what has happened with this year’s West Virginia’s women’s basketball team occur in college sports.

The team’s star player, in this case Tynice Martin, goes down with a serious injury.

We’re not talking about a good player.

We’re talking about an All-American quality player who was a candidate for Big 12 Player of the Year after averaging 18.8 points a game last season.

#9 Baylor blew the doors off in the first quarter, and that’s all she wrote. Bears over #16 Cardinal, 81-57.

#12 Tennessee pummeled one-win Alabama State, 104-51.

#20 Kentucky did the same to one-win Tennessee Tech, 82-54.

#25 Villanova shut down St. Joesph’s, 79-44.

#2 Texas dispatched Georgia with ease, 81-53.

“Texas is a really good team,” head coach Joni Taylor said. “I thought we fought hard. I thought we had good effort to try to get back in the game, but you can’t give the No. 2 team in the country a lead like that and expect to overcome it.”

#7 UCLA had no trouble with UC Santa Barbara, winning by 30.

Other Games of Note:

Florida over Oklahoma. Nice win for new head coach Cameron Newbauer, but troubling times for Coale and the Sooners.

“I just want to apologize to our fans,” OU coach Sherri Coale said. “I haven’t seen an Oklahoma team play that poorly in 15 years.”

Nothing to write home about – but it was a win for Georgia Tech over MTSU, 48-45.

“Obviously I’m disappointed in our performance today, but I believe that a sign of a good team is when you can play bad and win — especially when you’re playing a very good team and a very well-coached team,” stated head coach MaChelle Joseph. “It’s hard to beat a team three times in a year, but I’m really proud of our team. I thought Francesca Pan refused to lose and made some big plays. Imani Tilford was big off the bench with her defense and I thought overall, we found a way to win when nobody was really having a good day. Breanna Brown came up big with some rebounds and blocked shots. I really felt like today our depth paid off.”

St. John’s by 10 over Miami.

Central Michigan romped over Oakland, 103-85.

CMU senior Tinara Moore had 28 points, junior Presley Hudson had 27 points and Micaela Kelly had 20 points. The trio shot a combined 26-42 from the field and 18-19 from the free throw line while accounting for almost three/fourths of the Chippewas’ 103 points. 

“When our inside-outside attack is going, we’re tough to defend,” said head coach Sue Guevara. “Micaela Kelly, breakout game for her, she has a great ability to penetrate score or dish.” 

Kansas moves to 7-0 with their 71-60 win over Arkansas.

So, Houston’s comeback win over Texas Tech moves them to 7-2. 

Tired just reading the box: In FOUR overtimes, Creighton defeats Drake, 108-100.

And there it is again – a San Diego State win. This time over Arizona, 78-67.

Counting down to 1000 wins for coach Hatchell, UNC defeats Appalachian State, 56-43. Nice article about the connection between two coaches who are surviving cancer: Special bond between Appalachian State’s Elderkin, UNC’s Hatchell highlights matchup

Chapel Hill used to be an exciting place for Angel Elderkin.

During her coaching career, trips to play North Carolina became chances to visit one of college basketball’s meccas.

That changed for Elderkin last year. Commutes for the fourth-year Appalachian State women’s basketball coach ended with either office visits, radiation or chemotherapy.

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Warned ya!

Green Bay was unimpressed by Marquette’s ranking and took the Golden Eagles down, 63-55. Yah, they’re #1 in the mid-majors rankings, but I’m thinking that if the pollsters actually pay attention, Phoenix gets ranked this Monday. Great time to revisit Graham’s piece on Jen Wellnitz, who’s looking to quarterback Green Bay to another winning season

In a city defined by football and where football is defined by the succession of quarterbacks, from Bart Starr to Favre to Aaron Rodgers, it hasn’t been an easy fall. An injury that sidelined Rodgers threatens to doom the Packers. But on the other side of town, a former middle school quarterback holds the key to a 20th consecutive conference championship on the basketball court. The catalyst of a defense that helped Green Bay upset ranked Arizona State this past week and hold the Phoenix’s first five opponents to fewer than 50 points, Wellnitz remains very much a product of the gridiron.

You can, it seems, take the girl out of the Favre costume, but you can’t take the gunslinger out of the girl.

A Friday game focus: Belmont wins and looks to dominate the OVC. The growth of the Belmont program is an amazing turnaround story. Remember when they scared the bejesus out of Kentucky in the NCAAs? Yes, the architect of the resurgence architect, Cam Newbauer, moved over to Florida, but the cupboard wasn’t left bare for new coach Bart Brooks. They schedule two “big” programs this year – Stanford and Oklahoma. Lost to them both, but I’m wondering if they’re on track to be a team that the big names want to avoid.

The end of the Jacksonville/Troy game was incredible.

WHAT?!?! Quinnipiac beat Richmond 81-0??!?!?! Oh, never mind. It’s ESPN’s crappy scoreboard.

There is no.such.thing. as a WHB jinx. USC’s strong first quarter powered them to a 10-point win over Loyola Marymount. Of note: Trojan Minyon Moore made 21 of 23 free throws.

There is no.such.thing. as a….Oops. Sorry Stony Brook.

There is no.such.thing. as a….Oops. Sorry, Elon. What an upset by Wake Forest! I like what coach Jen Hoover is doing with the Deacs.

That’s one! Mt. St. Mary’s gets into the win column with their victory over Loyola (MD).

That’s one! Bryant does the same, defeating Rhode Island, 58-52.

Coach Swanson has the Tribe sitting at 7-1.

Interesting. Stephen F. Austin (6-1) smoked South Dakota, 77-55.

Life’s been tough for UNI since their upset of Iowa State. They fall to North Dakota.

Speaking of ISU, nice win for Vandy, 77-74.

Dang, in-state rivalries are smokin’ in New Mexico. The Lobos escape the Aggies, 101-93.

Doink! Arizona State schools Buffalo, 76-57.

Doink! Doink! Utah (6-1) over Saint Mary’s (5-2), 74-63, as senior Emily Potter (the reporter) broke the Utes’ program blocks record held by Lauren Beckman (225 shots).

Tough year so far for the Red Foxes. Marist falls to Dartmouth, 60-51.

Saturday games

Yes, #10 Oregon beat Weber State by 27… but the Ducks let’em score 87. Being allergic of defense can cost you in the NCAAs.

George Washington showing some fight v. #17 South Florida, falling by 5, 83-78.

A nice round number: Dawn Staley wins 400th career game and South Carolina’s Dawn Staley is ‘dream merchant’ for players. Gamecocks coach Dawn Staley talks with espnW’s Julie Foudy about her remarkable basketball career and how she hopes to inspire others to achieve their goals in life.

Ole Miss: Women’s basketball hopes to build on strong start to season

Good: Oregon State women’s basketball team not satisfied with close losses to top-25 opponents

Is someone paying attention? No. 19 Missouri women’s basketball looks for seventh straight win on Saturday

Upcoming (reminder) games you might wanna try and find:

12pm: #5 South Carolina v. #14 Duke, SECN, WatchESPN

1pm: Saint Joseph’s v. #25 Villanova

2pm: Oklahoma State v. #6 Mississippi State, SECN, WatchESPN

2pm: #16 Stanford v. #9 Baylor, Fox Sports 1

3pm: #4 Louisville v. South Dakota

4pm: #3 Notre Dame v. #1 UConn, ESPN, WatchESPN

Mechelle: Next chapter in Notre Dame-UConn headlines Sunday’s blockbuster schedule

Coach Muffet McGraw smiled when it was suggested that her Notre Dame program has practically taken on the nickname “Guard U.”

That’s because of players such as Skylar Diggins, Kayla McBride, Jewell Loyd and Lindsay Allen in the WNBA, and Arike Ogunbowale, Jackie Young and Marina Mabrey leading the Fighting Irish now.

“I think our offense really is guard-oriented,” said McGraw…

4pm: #2 Texas v. Georgia (7-0), SECN, WatchESPN

8pm: #11 West Virginia v. #18 Texas A&M, ESPNU, WatchESPN

In other news

It’s been a hot mess in the Tennessee Athletic Department, so with the recent AD turnover, Mechelle has got to ask: How will John Currie’s departure and Phillip Fulmer’s hire impact Lady Vols?

John Currie was eating breakfast in downtown Knoxville, Tennessee, in June, talking about how to mend some fences. He’d been athletic director at Tennessee for just two months, but he had previously worked in administration there for 10 years.

Currie’s primary focus, of course, was football, as it is for most ADs. But when we met in Knoxville during the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame induction this past summer, we talked about other things. Particularly the fracture that had developed between women’s sports fans and Tennessee’s athletic administration under Currie’s predecessor, Dave Hart.

WBUR: NCAA And The Tax Bill, Backlash In Tennessee, Honoring Maya Moore

Study up! WNBA approves four rule changes for 2018 season

Good news: Alaina Coates is healthy, graduating and getting ready for her first WNBA season

BTW: Tulane men wearing WNBA jerseys for uniforms today at CCC. “You can’t be what you can’t see” DQE6oAjXcAIv1jr.jpg
Love so much about this – especially the old teams….

The losing streak had reached 312 games, dating back about a dozen years, when most of the players were toddlers. The girls on the floor for Carroll Academy on Friday night had nothing to do with the start of the streak, or the hundreds of losses since 2005.

But they put an end to it, using two overtimes to get there, in a small gym in Huntington, Tenn. The Lady Jaguars beat Immaculate Conception Cathedral, a small private school in Memphis, 29-27, ending what is presumed to be the longest high-school losing streak in the country.

Carroll Academy and the Lady Jaguars were featured in a five-part series in The New York Times in 2012, and again in a series of stories in 2013.

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A little trash talkin’…

Thursday games

“Whomp.” The sound of South Carolina playing Western Carolina after the Gamecocks’ first loss.

“Whompity-womp.” The sound of #12 Tennessee playing Central Arkansas.

“Whompity-womp-womp.” The sound of undefeated #2 Texas playing LaTech.

“Big12 Rules, SEC Drools!” The sound of #9 Baylor after sending #20 Kentucky to their first defeat of the season.

“Woof.” The sound of coach Q after 7-0 Syracuse survived Northwestern.

“Wheeee!!!” The sound of still-undefeated Georgia

“Check us out!” Virginia Tech, showing off the box score of their game against Illinois.

*all sing* “Devil with the blue dress, blue dress!” #14 Duke upsets #8 Ohio State.

“That’s one!” Nikki McCray getting her first win as ODU head coach.

We’re back!” Knights over Wolfpack. So, yah, Rutgers and Tyler Scaife are making some noise.

Upcoming games to snag your interest




Looking for their first win: Mississippi Valley State, Rider, Loyola-Chicago v. Chicago State (so someone’s gonna get it), Montana, Mt. St. Mary’s. Bryant, Central Connecticut, Florida A&M, NJIT, Air Force, Iona…

Interesting: College Basketball Super Survivors: Sports Figures Who Survived Cancer

WNBA: Senior Watch: First Impressions

D.C.: Belgium shows how the Mystics and the G League team can have a big homecourt advantage with a smaller arena

International: Q&A with Paul Nilsen Part 2: Breaking down the balance European women’s teams make between continental and domestic play

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