Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pac-12 Quarterfinals, Stanford vs Washington

Pac-12 Tourney, Stanford vs Washington: this game was frustrating. Frustrating for the Cardinal, who couldn’t have their customary way with their inside game, and frustrating for C and  R, who couldn’t get the stupid YouTube feed to buffer.

On the Twittersphere, someone who shall remain nameless tweeted, oh thank you thank you @Pac-12 for this ingenious way to show the women’s game! To which C and R say, no thank you, the men’s games were shown on TV, why not the women’s games? To which the person said, hey, just be glad we got this on a video feed. C hates that argument, that women should be grateful for whatever scrap or crumb that gets thrown their way, meanwhile the men’s side is feasting away. Isn’t this the same argument sports programs used before Title IX said it was illegal?

When C and R were at the Pac-10 tourney in LA a few years ago, one higher-up shared the reason they moved the women’ s tourney down here was it was cheaper, all the camera equipment was already here and set up in LA for the mens’ game. If you are not going to even use the camera equipment on the women, then let it rotate from site to site. We loved when it was in San Jose. Or better yet, have the men’s and women’s tournament together and rotate from site to site, at a neutral place in Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Utah, Stanford. Maybe then the Pac-12 could get some more interest from the crowd, too. SF Chron reported the fans for the Stanford game at about 200 people. This is the number 2 team in the country, people! Bring it back to San Jose! Tara VanDerveer agrees with us!

Sorry for the rant, the day belongs to Stanford, so let’s get back to them.

The game started slowly for Stanford. At first they had no answer for Washington’s Regina Rodgers, the hefty center (The SF Chron reports her weight at 300 pounds). And she took Pac-12 Player of the Year Nneka Ogwumike out of her comfort zone, literally, by giving her a bloody nose. Nneka said in a post game interview it was incidental contact. She is as gracious as she is tall. And she said being pushed around down low is what they needed to get ready for the next level (read NCAA tourney), against more physical teams. Plus Stanford was 0 for 100+ shots from the three point line. Well, maybe not that bad, but they were 1-8. And that won’t do at the next level. It didn’t’ help matters that Washington was out –rebounding them in the first half, and had 8 offensive boards, whereas Stanford had 2, as evidenced by Tara intensely reminding the team at half time. Hey, check out this video, which does give a rare glimpse into what goes on in the Stanford locker room at half time:

But this team is coached by Tara VanDerveer, and she is the queen of game adjustments, as you saw in the video. She had Nneka cut more to the basket and play the ol’ high-low game. It worked. Nneka scored 18 and Chiney had a double-double with 16 and 11 rebounds. Bonnie Samuelson did hit some threes in the second half, and ended up with 11 points and three made threes. Jos Tinkle contributed 8, although we don’t like her playing time reduced now that Taylor Greenfield and Sarah Boothe are healthy. You dance with the one that brought you there, or some sort of idiom or saying.

Concentrating on Nneka and Chiney’s numbers (and whoever else had a good game) hides the fact Stanford plays great defense. They held the Pac-12 freshmen of the year, Jazmine Davis to just 2-18 shooting and 8 points, after starting the game so promising. Ditto for Regina Rodgers, and although she got some good looks early on, she ended up with just 12 points, 6 in garbage time when Nneka was on the bench for good. Announcer Ros Gold Onwude, who used to play at Stanford so might have a wee bit of bias, said Washington looked like they were giving up in the second half when Stanford got ahead by as many as 27 points. Final score was 76-57.

Reason #2 you should be in LA at the Pac-12 Tourney.
Copious Free T-shirts and Whales. Jeanette Pohlen’s Mom got a whale, and so did Ros Gold Onwude, who was announcing at the time. She announced she caught the whale flung her way. Now C and R are really bummed they couldn’t make the trip.

Reason #3 you should be in LA at the Pac-12 Tourney.
Just heard from new friends S and C, who were there and said the many empty seats gave them the opportunity to sit right behind Ann Meyers, Lisa Leslie and their favorite rising star color analyst, Ros Gold Onwude. You guessed it, they also got a whale. (S reports: It didn't seem likely that any of the cheerleaders could heave a whale past the third row, so we knew it was only a matter of time before we snagged one). But they are better people than C and R as S and C gave the whale to a 2-year-old boy and just about made his life. C would have selfishly kept hers at a high level from any and all children.

Next game at noon (darn work interfering with basketball again), against Arizona State, and this time it’s on TV. However, being at work… Will have to tape it and watch in the evening. So nobody twitter about it or report any scores or nohtin’, ‘k?

Follow C and R on Facebook and Twitter, and you just  might win a whale, too!


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