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Archive for February, 2018

I Belize I’m back!

Though my insides and my outsides are still trying to find a harmonious relationship. It was WINDY and ROUGH diving. But the Ambergis Divers and Amigos del Mar dive crews were amazing at getting us in, out and around the waves.

Some highlights:

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Grouper – What kind? Still trying to figure that out.

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Nurse shark with friend

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Sea Cucumber

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Blue Azure sponge

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Rock Beauty

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Red Hind in his cups…

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Old Turtle of the Sea

Now, about basketball….

Cr@p: Baylor Lady Bears Rout West Virginia, Lose Wallace To Knee Injury

Whoa: A’ja Wilson Out With Vertigo; USC Falls at Tennessee, 65-46

Ivy League: What to Watch for as Women’s Basketball Title Race and #IvyMadness Berths Take Shape

As Oregon Ducks women’s basketball wins its first Pac-12 title in 18 years, Ben Dull at the Summitt talks about the tourney: 12 Pac-12 pre-conference tournament things (and awards!)

The Pac-12 Conference Tournament begins Thursday. Oregon, the preseason favorite, sits atop the bracket. Stanford and Oregon State, who each beat the Ducks in the regular season, are slotted in the opposite side. With a win in the second round, UCLA could get another crack at Oregon after those teams treated us to an overtime thriller just over a week ago.

Let’s bounce around the conference, noting one thing to watch for each team over the weekend as the tournament unfolds (unless otherwise noted, all advanced statistics obtained via Her Hoop Stats). Stay tuned until the end, where I’ll share my officially unofficial Pac-12 awards picks.

More from Mechelle: Five key questions for Championship Week

Love them, hate them or feel indifferent about them, conference tournaments are the signal that March and its madness are about to arrive. Charlie Creme will keep you updated on the daily impact on bracketology as the league tournaments play out. But here’s a quick look at five key questions going into Championship Week.

1. Will Mississippi State finish running the table in the SEC?

 

Big 10: Pairings set for Big Ten women’s basketball tournament

Well deserved! Amy Williams gets Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year award

BTW: Kelsey Mitchell passes Brittney Griner to become third all-time scorer in NCAA history Which begs the question: Does Kelsey Mitchell have a chance to set the NCAA all-time scoring record?

We see you: Bloomington Pantagraph: Drake extends MVC streak to 38, rolls ISU women and DesMoines Register: Inside the Drake women’s basketball team’s Valley winning streak. This must also be a huge relief: Discrimination suit dismissed vs Drake coach Baranczyk

Sugar Bears! Mercer ranked for first time in 38 years

“This is a moment to celebrate,” Mercer coach Susie Gardner said. “This is awesome. It’s difficult for a mid-major to get considered and we’re very humbled and very honored without question to be ranked.”

BTW: Belmont takes over top spot in mid-major rankings

Sweet:  Mississippi State caps off perfect regular season with 30-0 record and Mississippi State women’s basketball captures its first SEC championship

Dude needs to apologize: South Carolina women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley files lawsuit against Missouri AD

Deja vu all over again: UConn women salute seniors, cap 10th unbeaten regular season,

’twas a while back but worth noting: Oregon State’s prolific center Marie Gulich headlines women’s basketball players of the week

Take a seat: Coach’s Chair: Tara VanDerveer, Stanford University

For the last few years, it seems like each season Stanford has been pegged as a “rebuilding team,” yet every year the Cardinal are in the upper echelons of the competition. How are you able to consistently get so much out of what you have?

Our team is in a horse race and it’s not how the horse comes out of the gate – it’s a long race. Right now we’re going down the dark stretch, working hard. We know where we want to get to and we want to stay healthy. The team is very close; they have great camaraderie and play hard for each other. We don’t have a lot of drama; we have upper-class leaders who know and accept their roles, which is hard. (The athletes) have really good attitudes and make a good effort in practice every day. Some teams are more fun than other teams, and this year’s team is fun. Last year’s team was really fun.

But to answer your question, we expect to do well. The expectation and the goal is to win the Pac-12 and go to the Final Four. So when it happens, it’s not a big surprise.

NCAA.com: Naismith Watch List narrowed to 10 semifinalists

Whaddaya think? Bracketology with Charlie Creme. Charlie asks: Which teams have the most to gain during Championship Week?

The ACC, SEC, Pac-12, Big East and Big Ten have all wrapped up their regular-season schedules and are moving on to conference tournaments. The Big 12 and American are right behind.

That means time is running out for teams to make a last big push for a NCAA tournament bid or for seeding.

As Championship Week opens, keep an especially close eye on the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis, where a number of teams’ fates will be determined.

TWO GAMES? Oregon State bans fan from 2 women’s basketball games after ‘derogatory statements’ at USC

Listen up! The State Of The Black Coach In WBB:

Around the Rim closes Black History month with a special episode dedicated to dissecting the state of the Black coach in women’s college basketball. Guest moderator Felicia Hall-Allen is joined by a decorated panel including CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams, Vanderbilt assistant coach and National Champion Carolyn Peck, Syracuse head coach Quentin HIllsman and more.

Already looking forward: Why 2018-19 will be better for Arizona Women’s Basketball

NCAA reveals DIII women’s basketball tournament field, bracket

WNBA

.com: Overseas Report: Fowles, Jones Dominating in China, Paris Productive in Turkey

In case you were wondering: NBA All-Star: Joel Embiid, Jimmy Butler divulge favorite WNBA players

Let the adventure begin! Cambage rediscovers her wings in Dallas, Why the time was right for Liz Cambage to return to the Dallas Wings and the WNBA and the .com adds Five Things to Know About Wings Center Liz Cambage

Sure would be nice across the league: Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve wants Minnesota media to provide better coverage of women’s sports

Forbes: Restricting Attendance In The WNBA: Short-Run Wise, Long-Run Foolish?

The WNBA –in its 21st season — attracted 7,716 fans per game last year, the highest mark for the league since 2011. But two teams may be taking action to reduce that number significantly going forward.

Landing on your feet: Aces Hire Vickie Johnson, Kelly (Schumacher) Raimon as Assistant Coaches

Also: Brandi Poole, Connecticut Sun’s new assistant coach

Under construction: Seattle will renovate former Supersonics stadium for WNBA and new hockey team

WATCH: The Summitt talks to Lindsay Whalen in her Big Ten broadcast

Listen up: That’s What She Said w/Sarah Spain: Minnesota Lynx PG Lindsay Whalen talks about her path to the WNBA Plus, after being invited to Paisley Park by Prince..why Lindsay had to leave early!

more .com: Fellow WNBA Greats Reflect on HOF Finalists Tina Thompson, Katie Smith and Amsterdam News notes: Liberty’s Katie Smith named to Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame

The News Tribune: Her sister made it from Tacoma to the WNBA, and that opened a new world

Kondalia Montgomery stepped into the New York Knicks’ and Liberty’s training facility.

The first thing to catch her eye?

“The Gatorade,” Kondalia said. “As much Gatorade as you could drink. I was like, ‘Cool.’ And there was a pool table.

“I was like, ‘If I had to get up early to practice, I would do it if there was this.’”

Orlando Sentinel: Julian and Jaden Newman talk NBA and WNBA dreams

WATN? Back to school: Former Mercury star Gillom lead Xavier basketball to the brink of school history

DesMoines Register: The Register’s list of the 50 best Iowa high school girls’ basketball stars of all time

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And the weather’s looking a little stormy, so who knows how much time I’ll be spending underwater. Sigh.

BUT, teams sure sent me off with a bang, though!

Turtles overturned.overturned. Purdue put on its upset hat and, in College Park, snapped Maryland’s seven-game winning streak, 75-65.

We own you.” Alabama made good on their claim on the Lady Vols, this time in TBA. In a see-saw battle, their fourth-quarter surge sealed #11 Tennessee’s fate, 72-63.

“Orange-you-glad I didn’t say ‘Banana.'” Syracuse gets a “big win,” taking down #17 Duke, 68-65.

“Hold on, Horizon!” Cleveland State got an early lead over #19 Green Bay, and held on for the 71-60 win.

#8 South Carolina kept #20 Georgia at bay, 77-65. From The State: Free throws — lots of them — fuel South Carolina to crucial win over Georgia

#13 Missouri escaped Auburn, 59-51.

#17 TAMU used a fourth quarter come-back to avoid the Gators’ jaws, 85-80. Despite UF’s women’s basketball team’s current five-game losing streak, coach Cameron Newbauer isn’t deterred

#24 Belmont is just stomping all comers.

Belmont has a 15-game winning streak and its first national ranking in school history but understands that won’t mean much to the NCAA Tournament selection committee if it slips up at the wrong time.

That simply comes with the territory for teams in traditional one-bid conferences.

Mercer is still undefeated in the Southern. (And yes, I’ve noticed that Chattanooga is really struggling this season.)

LSU continues their winning ways.

From The Breeze: Family over everything: a mindset for JMU women’s basketball

NCAA.com: Women’s basketball players of the week: Oregon’s nearly-flawless Ruthy Hebard leads Starting Five

Wait, is this legal? Boston Celtics’ Kyrie Irving gave this Louisville women’s basketball star some new kicks

Yale Daily News: WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Psych and the Guth Life

Every Tuesday and Thursday, roughly 1,200 Yale students file into Woolsey Hall for “Psychology and the Good Life,” the most popular course in University history. Among them is Allison Guth, head coach of the Yale women’s basketball team.

As suggested by the course’s record-setting enrollment figures, the science of happiness has captivated much of the Yale community. The nuances of emotional well-being have also peaked the interest of the women’s basketball third-year head coach and her coaching staff.

“I am committed to being a lifelong learner,” Guth said. “I was motivated to audit the course by one of my players who thought I would really enjoy the material.

Not a question I thought to ask: Which D1 women’s basketball program has the most NJ alums on its roster?

In case you were wondering: 6 of the best scorers in Division II women’s basketball

The Eagle:  Congratulations to the women’s basketball team

In news you may have missed, AU’s women’s basketball program is currently on a 13 consecutive win streak, the second-longest winning streak in the program’s history. With head coach Megan Gebbia – recently inducted into the Frederick County’s Sports Hall of Fame – at the helm, the all-women staff and team has risen to the top of Patriot League standings. We’d like to take the time to highlight these student-athletes for their tremendous work in repping the Eagles – despite a generally apathetic student community.

Players do not enjoy the liberty of full academic breaks. They maintain full-time course loads and involved community roles while also putting the University on their backs and dribbling us all the way to the top of Patriot League standings.

Ta da! MAC women’s basketball power rankings

In case you’re an New Yorker looking for a team to cheer on: Hostos Chomps Away at Queensborough in CUNYAC Semifinals, 89-39

The No. 1 and top-seeded Hostos Community College women’s basketball team kept its magical season going Tuesday night with an 89-39 victory against fourth-seeded Queensborough Community College in the semifinals of the 2018 CUNYAC/Army ROTC Community College Women’s Basketball Championship at BMCC.

On the road again: Sparks sign veteran guard Cappie Pondexter, a two-time WNBA champion

Ummm… If she builds it: Picture this: 6-foot-5 Elena Delle Donne in a bobsled

Las Vegas Sun: Coming up Aces: Catch up with the coach of Las Vegas’ new WNBA team

Eeeuuuw, gross! Dissecting the Liberty’s move to Westchester

WATN? Former WNBA all-star Katie Douglas-Poe opens new fitness studio

Good question: What’s next for Team USA’s backcourt? and Why two former Duke women’s basketball players want so badly to make the USA National Team

High School, Indianapolis: Maddie Nolan carries Zionsville to new heights while smashing mom’s records along the way

Damnit! Tuscon: Girls’ basketball coach arrested on suspicion of sex with a minor

Insta-update: Only slight puddle-jumper delays. Landed safely, as did the rest of my dive crew… internets went out, but they’re BACK!

Got to dive this morning. Keeping the cold at bay with doses of medicinal rum.

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Count down to…

Belize!!!

It’s the annual February school break SCUBA trip, and I’m psyched to be able to get down to Belize and, weather permitting, visit their famous Blue Hole.

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How cool is THAT!!

And yet… basketball doesn’t stop.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the lack of communication from the New York Liberty. It’s soul crushing for the fans. Wrote a friend:

I told her I wanted to cancel. No why, no discussion about it. She confirmed my credit card # for the refund. I asked if I would be getting a full refund. She said yes and I would have it by next week. Of course, I won’t truly believe it until I see the credit posted to my account, but am a little surprised that they didn’t try to pull you signed a no refund agreement. Like with Trump, I think that may be because my bar is so low now that I just expect them to screw us over.

And quite the indictment of the organization as a whole that team (Tina Charles, Katie Smith urge fans to follow Liberty to White Plains), @MoheganMaven (aka, Amber Cox/Connecticut Sun), @SportsSiren (aka, the Fabulous Holly Rowe) and @LynxCoachReeve (some kid in Minnesota) chime in before @nylibery (aka A Shadow of Its Former Self):

Certainly you’re prerogative to leave them when they need you most. What we do is more than basketball…women supporting women is powerful – and necessary! Perhaps you can recruit a fan to take your place in the “fight” for the

I think Coach Reeve has a good point. Again, too bad the Lib could give a flying frack.

SWITCHING GEARS AND CLEANSING MY PALATE!

Was overjoyed to get a call from a colleague – and Louisville fan – last night before their UConn game. My stomach sank for him after the first quarter of the game, but the Cardinals did well to gather themselves and fight to the end. The headlines kind of say it all.

Other games to reflect on as I work my way out of my Liberty-gone funk….

#18 Georgia was not-quite-ready for prime time in their game v. #11 Tennessee.

Speaking of “not-quite-ready“… #21 Michigan falls to MSU. Not a good way to set yourself up for the end of the regular season.

Yes, Kitija Laksa can go off, and USF has had a up-and-down-and-up-and-down season… but if you’re not worried about #13 Ohio State, you’re not paying attention.

LSU, upset queens, take down #14 Texas A&M. Something’s brewin’.

I see you, Bethune-Cookman, sitting at 11-0 in the MEAC.

It was tight in the fourth, but Dayton held off George Washington, 57-53, to go to 13-0 in the A-10.

No one is ignoring Quinnipiac, undefeated in the MAAC.

Moments after Quinnipiac’s home victory over Canisius on Friday night, Tricia Fabbri pulled off her pink high heels and took off for the second half of her son Paul Henry’s high school basketball game.

St. Joseph-Trumbull beat Fairfield Ludlowe by a point for its first win. That made mom happy. Saturday morning, Fabbri was back in her car, heading to Jersey in search of a big recruit.

Not being with the team before a road game was unusual, Fabbri said, but she’d meet her Bobcats later Saturday night in Albany. It’s all good, she said. And the fact that she was set to win her 400th career game at Siena?

“C’mon, you see Geno Auriemma got his 1,000th,” Fabbri, in her 23rd season, said. “Sylvia Hatchell got her 1,000th at North Carolina. Barbara Stevens [at Division 2 Bentley] got 1,000. What’s everyone making a big deal about? It’s a number. I’ve done this long enough. You should hit some numbers.”

RrrrrrOUGH! Drake stays undefeated in the MVC with an 84-61 win over Indiana State.

Can we get a Mississippi State v. UConn regular season game on the schedule? So exciting to see what Vic and company have created.

Of course, in the “on any given day” Big East, DePaul (20-6, 12-2) escapes Xavier (9-17, 2-13), 73-72.

Notre Dame: Sunday Brunch: Irish Rise From Ashes at Louisville

Yea! Belmont earns first AP Top 25 ranking in school history

Listen up! Las Vegas Aces coach/GM Bill Laimbeer

Laimbeer discusses the deals he’s already made this month—for players like Carolyn Swords, Kelsey Bone and Tamera Young—plus the trio of elite guards he inherited from the San Antonio Stars, along with how he plans to deploy them: will Kelsey Plum, Moriah Jefferson and Kayla McBride play together? How often and when?

.com: Senior Watch: Frontcourt Versatility

Doug: Taurasi ready for final go-round with USA Basketball

“I’m as healthy as a 35-year-old can get,” Taurasi said. “I’ll take these three months to rehab and be ready for the whole gauntlet of the WNBA and world championship.”

USA coach Dawn Staley has been thrilled that Taurasi and Sue Bird decided to keep playing for the U.S.

“They bring so much every time they step on the court and off it as well,” Staley said.

Sapakoff: Dawn Staley’s Team USA task more about tweaks than cuts for 2020 Olympics

Vroom: WATCH: Cycle’s new Breanna Stewart video on life in China

WELCOME: Tina Thompson, Chamique Holdsclaw highlight Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame 2018 class

Stick to sports my ass: Fox News pulls column by executive vice president/executive editor John Moody that claimed USOC wants a “Darker, Gayer, Different” Olympics

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..’cause the WNBA schedule is out and Lib fans are SCREWED!!!

Here’s the new reality for any fan interested in seeing 15 of the Liberty’s 17 home games (assuming they’re on a weekday):

  • From Grand Central, peak train 6:10 gets you to White Plains @ 6:45.
  • Google says 9 minute walk to the arena
  • After security/bag check, you’re into the arena by 7pm.
  • Since it’s “peak time” your outgoing fare is $12.25. Your return fare is $9:25 (off peak.)
  • To get back to the city (on a weekday) you can grab a 9:09 (arriving at Grand Central by 10:01) or catch the 10:05pm train and arrive 10:44.
  • So, this season, you get to fight commuters going home and pay $21.50 a game.
  • COOL!

Basically, my question is “Why even bother?” I’ve also got questions on who arm-wrestled Dolan into not totally pulling the plug on the teams…. Methinks this is worse.

OK. You can uncover your eyes now.

In other news:

Ta, da! Women’s basketball team of the week: NC State Wolfpack riding a month-long win streak

Look who’s rising: Who else? Green Bay returns to top of mid-major rankings

Ah, bracketology.

Independent Florida AlligatorFlorida women’s basketball team showing potential despite recent losses

Chippewa’s: Sue’s superstition: Women’s basketball yet to lose MAC game in gold jerseys

Dawg Nation: Joni Taylor has right stuff for Georgia women’s basketball

Sometimes your emotions betray you. You sense that a person has extraordinary qualities, but after plum bobbing and further review, you find that all the dots, which might be superficial, don’t connect.

This leads to the reality that what you often see is not what you get. But I am happy to aggressively creep out on the limb with confidence that I am secure in submitting to a rave review of the Lady Dawgs basketball program. It is not premature to sing the praises of coach Joni Taylor.

Courier-Journal: Louisville’s Bionca Dunham driven to prove doubters wrong and be family’s first college grad

Bionca Dunham has a literal chip on her shoulder. 

It’s a 3-inch poker chip tattooed next to her right collarbone. At its center, “Critics, Doubters & Haters,” is written in neat, curling script. Encircling the chip are the words, “Doing Everything They Said I Couldn’t.” 

Kentucky freshman lost her way obsessing about three-pointers. Here’s how Cats got her back.

“She’s a perfectionist so she was dead set on if she wanted to be a stretch four she had to make threes,” assistant coach Kyra Elzy said of McKinney. “She became obsessed with it.”

It was nothing that a long discussion over a salad and fried pickles couldn’t fix for McKinney, whose emergence has happened as Kentucky has won three of its last four games.

Womenshoopsworld asks: Who are the most indispensable players of them all?

Indispensable.

Every team has a player that they absolutely can’t do without. It might not necessarily be the best statistical athlete, although sometimes it is. The indispensable player is the one who pushes the pace, makes the clutch plays, fills up the stat sheet even in ugly games, and who often seems to put on a cape and do super human things – including carrying the team.

Kris Gardner, contributing writer for the HRReview; Cain Currie, a Southern-based basketball analyst; Rob Knox of Mel Greenberg’s Womhoopsguru blog; and myself each compiled lists of our seven Division I indispensable players. Athletes are listed in no particular order. Some of us chose the same players, but each of our views are unique.

There is, however, one commonality: every woman on this list is a true gamer.

NY Times: Morgan William Is Still Chasing That Perfect Shot

Morgan William has gotten used to life as a minor celebrity. It’s her jump shot she’s worried about these days.

Listen up! LaChina Robinson chats with Bentley head coach Barbara Stevens who weighs in reaching 1,000 wins. Also, Women’s Hoops World editor Sue Favor helps us break down the week’s biggest games. Plus, Texas A&M’s Anriel Howard and Chennedy Carter join.

Listen up! No Ceilings Podcast: Milestone Moments: Head Coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin speaks about her team’s big win at Stetson that snapped a long drought in DeLand, going 2-2 through the toughest test, avoiding a letdown late in the season, NBA trade deadline and more.

Summitt: From 11 in her high school class to NCAA All-American: Iowa’s Megan Gustafson

Port Wing has a population of only 364 and not a single stoplight. Gustafson’s graduating class at South Shore High included just 11 seniors.

Filling out school athletic teams required some creative combinations. Gustafson grew up playing with girls nearly three grades higher or on coed teams matched against all-boys teams.

The residents of Port Wing knew Gustafson was something special from the moment she scored her first basket.

Fordham’s Bre Cavanaugh: The Journey: Where It All Began

It’s funny, in most cases, that some people don’t realize that my parents are white. Yes..I said it, white. It all started in Camden, New Jersey, with my birth sister Takiesha, and my birth brother Dawonye. My mother at the time had Takiesha at around 14 years old, and had my brother at around 15 years old, then finally me at 16 years old. My parents were young, naïve, and in my personal opinion, assumably weren’t ready to have children.

Difice came into our lives, shortly after my birth sister mysteriously had broken her arm. In actuality, my father had done it, as he pulled her from the crib aggressively by the arm. Our social worker was named Donna, and from that point on the journey to becoming adopted soon began. Right now you’re probably thinking it was great, there was happiness, and there was beauty. It’s actually the complete opposite of that. It was horrible, terrible, scary, and absolutely inhumane. Physical, mental, and emotional abuse took place for 6 years. Yes…6 whole years. It was quite terrifying and scary, because at one point I didn’t think I was going to make it through these different foster homes alive. Lucky enough, I had gone through everything with my brother, which is quite rare I shall add.

As I get deeper into this journey I ask my readers of three things. One, to keep an open mind, two, to not feel sorry or to feel bad, and three, respect it.

Cr@p: Duke women’s basketball guard Haley Gorecki ruled out for season with left hip injury

Flashback! ‘We’re gonna’ have fun tonight’: remembering Ivory Latta’s 70-point game

Player’s Tribune: Angel is Feeling Good Again

You should’ve seen my grandma when I told her that I wasn’t going to play in the WNBA last year.

It was like she’d just found out that her favorite television show had been canceled.

Actually, no, it wasn’t like that — that’s what it was.

The Day: Girls and Women in Sports: Women can be the boss, too; just look at Amber Cox

The very name — National Girls and Women in Sports Day — connotes certain images, most notably of girls and women playing or coaching. It is to be celebrated, surely, this attainment of more opportunity for girls and women than ever before.

But this is the story of a woman who is very much a player without being one. This is the story of Amber Cox, a beacon for girls and women everywhere, who illustrates the concept of opportunity beyond playing and coaching.

FYI :The ‘s new game, designed with student-athletes in mind, is free to play on Facebook and Kik. Just search PLAY IX or @WSFplayIX on either platform, start a conversation by sending a message and you’re in. Get playing today in celebration of !

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Ears stopped ringing yet?

A raucous, sold out arena and some timely shooting help lift #2 Mississippi State to a 67-53 win over #7 South Carolina.

Mississippi State stunned the world against Connecticut, but South Carolina left the Final Four with the national championship.

That hurdle remained, and with it that last little bit of lingering doubt.

That doubt remained after a painfully slow first quarter Monday night. It remained when South Carolina took a lead into the fourth quarter. But Victoria Vivians, the one player who, for better or worse, seems immune from doubt kept shooting. And a run allowed a wave of noise from the biggest crowd in program history to wash away the doubt.

#3 Baylor won their 19th straight, beating Oklahoma 74-65.

#15 Missouri eked out a win over Florida, 66-64.

In Cali, UCLA women’s basketball completes season sweep of rival USC

Add ons: Former Ute Malia Nawahine plays key role for BYU women’s basketball

Hello: Maryland women’s basketball enters top 10 for first time this season

Vandy: WBB “on the right track” – 

On Jan. 4, Vanderbilt women’s basketball dropped an 81-52 loss to Georgia at Memorial Gym. The Commodores fell to 0-2 in SEC play due to an inconsistent performance vs. the Bulldogs, headlined by 28 turnovers.

That loss didn’t sit well with Vanderbilt head coach Stephanie White. Her Dores needed a jolt with a road trip to rival Tennessee on the horizon. After the Georgia game, White issued a challenge to her roster.

“Right before we went to Tennessee, we said, ‘From here on out, we want to be the most improved team in the SEC,’” White said.

ESPN: Late-season top 20 for John R. Wooden Award includes four players from UConn

Looking ahead: Courier-Journal: Can Louisville women beat UConn this season? Here’s a look at their most memorable games

This month’s clash is set up to be the one of the biggest yet between Louisville and the 11-time national champions. 

With that in mind, former Cardinals players helped to recap five of Louisville’s most memorable games against Connecticut: 

Brava: Former basketball player Crystal Griner received the NCAA Award of Valor for saving lives during the congressional baseball shooting

WNBA news

Check out Amanda Ottaway’s  book THE REBOUNDERS: A DIVISION I BASKETBALL JOURNEY comes out March 1, 2018 from  You can preorder it here:

A slow, yet painful, death: James Dolan, MSG decide not to sell WNBA’s Liberty and move most of their games out of the Garden this season and into an arena in suburban Westchester County.

Meanwhile, Force10 is kicking ass and taking names: Storm’s parent company strikes deal to manage Reign ticket, service operations

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Game on!

All eyes are on Starkville as undefeated #2 Mississippi State goes up against #7 South Carolina, 7pm.

The State: USC is ready for Mississippi State: ‘They’ve been tweeting at us for the past month’

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of being in an environment that appreciates women’s basketball. I like Mississippi State in the (Humphrey Coliseum). I hope our players are prepared to play in an NCAA-type game.”

Mississippi State has reached unprecedented heights under Vic Schaefer, but the Bulldogs have never defeated South Carolina in his tenure, and that fact has often prevented the program from reaching its major goals.

After 11-straight outcomes featuring the same result, will this time be different?

For Whom the Cowbell Tolls: Mississippi State face South Carolina on their quest for 24-0

Mechelle: Bulldogs to test unbeaten streak against defending NCAA champs

My players continue to battle, to fight and to handle having that target on your back,” said Vic Schaefer, who took over the Bulldogs in 2012.

AP: Mississippi State’s 6-foot-7 Teaira McCowan has turned raw game into dominance

Teaira McCowan’s first workout at Mississippi State was supposed to be simple.

Associate head coach Johnnie Harris wanted the 6-foot-7 recruit to work on one of the most fundamental moves a post player can make — the drop step. Harris gave a few instructions, stepped back and waited for McCowan’s first move.

The freshman responded with a blank stare.

“She was extremely raw,” Harris said. “But she had all the tools.”

Commercial Dispatch: Sold-out crowd awaits No. 2 MSU, No. 7 South Carolina

Also: Schaefer proves labels don’t apply

Too small. Too slow. Too short. 

Blair Schaefer has heard those words plenty of times in her career. But the 5-foot-7 guard didn’t grow into an integral piece of the No. 2 Mississippi State women’s basketball team because she listened to what other people thought about her. 

Instead, Schaefer attacked the game with an approach that dared others to be tougher than her or to take and to make more big shots in smaller windows. 

Starkville Daily News: Bulldogs, Gamecocks have developed into SEC powers

Games gone by…
  • Austin over Dallas-Fort Worth with style. #8 Texas held #22 TCU to 4 first-quarter points and cruised to a 92-65 win.
  • #20 Green Bay got a tussle from Wright State, but held on for the 75-68 win.
  • Boomer! Sooner! Oklahoma defeats #21 West Virginia by 19.
  • After North Florida stunned Florida Gulf, 75-73, the Eagles responded with a 2-point win over Jacksonville.
  • AmEast upset: New Hampshire over Albany, 74-68.
  • NEC top dogs battled… and St. Francis (PA) roared away with the 68-47 win.
  • STILL undefeated in the Patriot: American over Army in OT, 71-63.
  • Upset in the Southland, as SE Louisiana took down Central Arkansas, 78-70 in double-OT.
  • Upset in the Big West, as CSU Northridge sent UC Davis to their first conference loss, 75-71 in OT.

In other news…

Polls! Bye, WVa & Cal. Hello NC State and Arizona State.

Holly talks to Sabrina.

Syracuse.com: Louisville loss shrinks postseason margin of error for Syracuse women’s basketball team

WNBAInsidr is talking free agency.

FYI: Emma Meesseman releases statement on her WNBA absence

Thank you! Jia Perkins retires.

Listen Up: WNBA’s Imani McGee-Stafford Speaks Up on Mental Health in Sports

Fly Eagles Fly! Coach’s Chair: Karl Smesko, Florida Gulf Coast University

What was your approach in creating your program, both on and off the court?

When we first started out we didn’t have a gym; our offices were in trailers. Everything was emphasizing the vision of what FGCU could become. Early on we took the best players we could find who would be coachable. That included walk-ons to transfers to signed freshmen. We pieced a team together, and in a lot of ways it was easier than rebuilding a program because we got to pick the pieces for ourselves and fit them into the overall plan. We wanted players who were willing to share the ball, who were really good shooters. Kids that could move their feet and play man-to man-defense. We were bringing in kids who could play the way we’d like them to play.

Coach’s Chair: Kamie Ethridge, University of Northern Colorado

What was your 1988 Olympics experience like?

For me it was the culmination, the hardest thing that I did in that I had always been the starting point guard. But I got hurt the year before the Olympics and was lucky to be on the team. Coach Yow was loyal to me and put me on the term after what we’d done (win the World Championship) in 1986. When I look at it, it was such a good experience to not be the best player or the starter, and get minutes when I could, having that role. And at the same time, knowing it wasn’t a one tournament experience. When you finally get an Olympic gold medal and you’re standing on the podium watching the flag go up, hearing the anthem playing, it’s one of the most special and one of the greatest accomplishments as an individual. For to be an Olympian, I feel very fortunate. I felt such gratitude. I thought of all that my family had sacrificed for me.

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6:30: #12 Tennessee v. #14 Texas A&M. The Vols try and right the ship. They exploded in the fourth quarter to make sure the ship stayed afloat.

7pm: #3 Louisville v. Virginia. Both are 8-1 in the ACC. Guess we’ll see if that means anything. Meant zilch. Cardinals in a romp.

7pm: #10 Florida State (6-2) v. NC State (6-3). Down go the Seminoles!

7pm: #11 Maryland v. Rutgers. So Scarlet Knights – ya wanna be a pretender or a contender? Pretender.

7pm: South Carolina hosts UConn: USC’s historic challenge of facing No. 1, No. 2 back-to-back is no risk, huge reward  Not sure what was more brutal – the final score or the awful TV commentary (really disappointing).

8pm: Michigan v. Purdue. The Wolverines try and keep their run going against the (occasionally) upset-minded Boilermakers. Purdue gets the upset in OT.

8pm: #17 Georgia v. LSU. Speaking of upset-minded…. I need to get me a lottery ticket.

8pm: Nebraska v. Illinois. The Huskers aren’t ranked (yet), but this game likely won’t garner them the voters’ attention – unless they lose. OOOf. Illinois scored ONE point in the second quarter… so, yah, Huskers win.

8pm: Western Illinois v South Dakota. If the Leathernecks want the upset, they’ll have to do it on the Coyotes’ home. It was a game Debbie Antonelli would love, but South Dakota emerged victorious, 92-81.

8:30: #2 Mississippi State v. #15 Missouri. What’s the Tigers’ post-kerfuffle mood? Pretty feisty, but not enough for the upset.

9:00: Gonzaga v. San Diego. The Bulldogs have quietly moved to 9-0 in the WCC. Make that 11-0.

#24 Stanford sure is stubborn. They take down #16 Oregon State, 60-57.

Other news:

Ouch: MTSU women’s basketball collapses in fourth before falling to LA Tech

Register-Guard: Oregon Ducks women’s basketball will be the hunted, not the hunter, this weekend

My Dayton Daily News:Dayton women’s basketball flying higher and higher

The Gazette: It’s February now, and urgency increases for Iowa women’s basketball

The Sentonian: Defensive intensity key for women’s basketball

Interesting: Inside the Texas Women’s Basketball film room

Also: Richardson Motivates On The Court And Is Inspired Away From It

It was as if the words glanced off of Diane Richardson.

The first-year Towson University women’s basketball coach didn’t want to believe what she was hearing. She sat there frozen, helpless from the news she was just given.

“I took it really hard and for three days, I couldn’t speak,” said Richardson, last week as specks of late afternoon sunlight shined through the corners of her office window. “My husband and I were college athletes and to have our first born to be diagnosed with autism and not be able to talk or walk or do anything or eat on her own was kind of a shock to the both of us.

Watch list for 2018 Lisa Leslie Award narrowed to 10

Watch list for 2018 Katrina McClain Award narrowed to 10

Watch list for 2018 Cheryl Miller Award narrowed to 10

NCAA.com: Jordin Canada’s legacy with UCLA goes beyond court and UCLA’s Jordin Canada leads Starting Five after recording 300 career steals

And counting: Ashland Women’s Basketball Sets Division II Record for Consecutive Wins

Hello: SUNY Oneonta coach Daphne Thompson featured this week on D3Hoops.com

Let’s hope: Lynn Holzman committed to growing game as Vice President of women’s basketball

Momentary Gulp: Lindsay Whalen exits USA Basketball, will still play in WNBA as Twenty-Two Athletes Expected to Attend USA Women’s National Team Camp

Check out the WNBA transactiions, including Seattle Storm Inks Courtney Paris to Multi-Year Contract

WNBA Offseason Primer: Los Angeles Sparks plus WNBA Offseason Primer: Minnesota Lynx plus

BTW: WNBA Coaches, GMs Tab A’ja Wilson for Top Pick in Mock Draft

Damnit: Lake County girls basketball referee charged with sex crimes

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