Saturday, November 26, 2011

Too Much Nneka for Xavier

It’s so hard to write a blog about The Stanford Women’s Basketball team’s win over Xavier if you don’t see the game live, televised or even follow it on Gametracker. Both C and R were doing family things the day after Thanksgiving (and not pepper spraying our friends, thank you very much) and had to read the news reports just like you.

First we opened the box score and play-by-play. Hey, Toni Kokenis made a three right off the bat. Gulp, then Stanford would miss their next 9 three-point attempts and would not hit another one until the second half. Hey, Jasmine Camp, the freshie started. Gulp, she wouldn’t’ score any points, going 0-2 from behind the arc. A quick scroll to the bottom of the half finds the lead changing hands several times and Stanford only up by one at the half. What the heck?

Here’s what we gleaned from the various electronic outlets:
In the first half, Xavier shut down perimeter, forcing Stanford into missing threes, as we mentioned. Also, Xavier got their game plan from UConn, which was to get sisters Nneka and Chiney Ogwumike on the bench with fouls. They consistently drove to the basket to draw the defense into making fouls. Xavier made 11 free throws in the first half to keep it close, although Nneka and Chiney would be smart and finish the game with only 3 fouls each. Score 33-32, Stanford nursing that one point lead.

The second half was a different story. Well, the same old story since game two of this season. The story line goes like this: Hecka Nneka. Nneka would score 34 points for the game; 23 in the second half alone, and grab 13 boards overall. Xavier’s coach said they even tried to push Nneka outside to shoot jumpers, but Stanford fans know how high and accurate she is on those jumpers. Sister Chiney added 18 points and 8 rebounds.

Toni Kokenis would add 14 points, but again the underlying story is no one else is scoring. Stanford was 3-18 from three-point land for the game. Very troublesome, if you ask C and R. Still, Stanford was more aggressive on defense, stealing 5 times and scoring 23 points off of 20 Xavier turnovers. Ya gotta like that! And we do.

We think Tara is concerned, about being a one-note team, too, and in her press conference she added another Tara-ism to the collection. When asked about Nneka’s scoring all the points, she said, “Yeah, we don’t want to be just a one-move Mary.” Or Not a one-note Nneka. Other notes will have to sound off if we hope to be the full orchestra Tara VanDerveer wants to conduct. (Sorry for the clumsy a metaphor).

Work in progress...

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1 comment:

  1. I listened to the game and you nailed it. The first half was hard to hear, but I trusted the team would be well motivated by Tara to have a better second half. And they were.