So the first thing we notice when we walk in to Maples for the National Girls and Women in Sports Day is everyone is wearing red. Including the Stanford Cardinal. What? Why is the Stanford Women’s Basketball team wearing our “away” uniforms at home? Plus C hates those uniforms. She likes the black ones. So everyone is wearing red, except C and R. We are wearing our black shirts and are finally going to give our number one fan her shirt at half time, now that my son’s head has stopped bleeding (long story, see last post)
Then they announce that everyone is wearing red to raise awareness for earthquake victims in Haiti and please send money to the Red Cross. Noble idea, but how did C and R miss this? We are on the Stanford website about five times a day!
So, C and R look like some kinds bobsie twins in our matching black shirts, and we weren’t the only bobsie twins. Jayne Appel is wearing a red ribbon in her hair, and so is Joslyn Tinkle, and they look enough alike to celebrate bobsie twin day every day. Then Arizona has a player that is built just like our Nneka Ogwumike. Arizona’s Nneka is named Ify Ibekwe and not only does she have a similar build to Nneka, she is just as athletic and plays just like Nneka. Ify jumps and rebounds just like Nneka and they each were guarding the other all day long.
So the half ends (what, I have to get up early to go skiing and hope my son’s staples stay in his head, so I am condensing), and we are down 40-42. It’s weird. It’s not like we played poorly. Scoring 40 points in a half is not what C and R would call playing badly, it’s just Arizona matched us point for point, and they had some good shooters. They also had some of the Oregon philosophy in that they pushed the ball up court after every Stanford shoot, hit or miss. Although Arizona didn’t try to score within the first 7 seconds, they were out to score and as we said, could shoot well. They made 8 three pointers in the first half. Stanford, where’s the “D”?
We also shoot well in the first half with our bigs hitting some threes, three by Kalya Pedersen and one by Joslyn Tinkle (Tinkle Bells all around, and we are sorry we didn’t get a chance to say hi to you, Mrs. Tinkle, as our little girls had a game at 5 PM and we had to leave right after they threw the victory balls-oops, now we told you Stanford won- the end, have to go to bed- skiing- and I am using dashes now so R won’t yell at me for a run on sentence- see, R, dashes!)
Halftime was fun in that we got to meet our number one fan, as we mentioned, and sneak junk food from our little girl’s team that came to the game, calling it a “coach’s tax”. (And even though we are named “French Fries”, we did have to ban garlic fries as we had a game right after this one, although since we were going to try a new man-to-man scheme, maybe we should have had them eat a ton of garlic fries and breathe on the other team!)
Anyhoo, Stanford kept trading the lead with Arizona and were down by two at the half. We haven’t been down at the half since, oh, Thursday, when we were down at the half for the first time all year against Arizona State. We came back and figured them out and clobbered them. Same thing here. We figured them out and clobbered them, and our Nneka beat their Nneka at the boards and points. Arizona didn’t score in the second half until 14:23 when their Nneka, Ify Ibekwe, made a lay up. By then, our Nneka had 6 points to lead us on a 10-0 run in that time frame.
In fact the only suspense in the second half was seeing who would be high scorer, Nneka or Kayla Pedersen. It was a tie at 27 each. Jayne got 8 points and Joslyn ended with 10, with another 3 pointer in the second half. That is the first time we can remember freshmen Tinkle out scoring Senior Jayne. We did see a great article in our local paper, the San Francisco Chronicle saying that Jayne’s total points are down this season to feed emerging Nneka and to pass. Jayne is one of those rare players who wants to do whatever it takes to win and can and will look for an open player before shooting. She said if Nneka’s player just moves an inch off of her to double Jayne, Jayne will hit Nneka. We love unselfish Jayne! Also, her knee is still bothering her. Get better in time for March, Jayne!
Okay, we do want to say one thing about our Nneka. When we write “she skies” for rebounds, what we mean is she is at a dead stop boxing out and leaps straight in the air and almost grabs balls at the rim. It’s one thing to take a running leap and go for the lay up or rim, but to do it without the benefit of any forward momentum is impressive to see in person. And she made some impressive “skies” in this game, too.
So we came back and beat them 83-62. So, is it that the PAC-10 is good this year or do we play down or mirror the team we are playing in the first half until we figure them out and then play Stanford ball in the second half? R votes for the former and C votes for the latter.
We rush out after the end of the game as NO red victory balls were thrown our way (Stanford, what’s up with that?) hike all the way to our car (some other event made parking even worse) drive to our little girl’s game, review man-to-man with them before the game, watch them forget everything about man-to-man during the game, nearly have a heart attack as we go into overtime, and have our center, who we have been working with all season to be Jayne Appel, score the only basket in overtime to take the victory!
Two for two, big girls and little girls!