Just the Facts, Ma’am: James Madison surged out to a big lead early and never let Prairie View back in in their 79-50 win. Lauren Okafor and Kirby Buckholder each had 16 to lead the Dukes, with Okafor adding 10 rebounds. Jeanette Jackson of Prairie View led all scorers with 20 points, but no other Panther had more than nine points.
For brevity, dancing, abandonment, mommy issues, the awkward cell phone wave, and lots of purple sneakers, join your intrepid and water-logged blogger after the jump.
On to game two, the battle of teams what wear purple- the Dukes of James Madison and the Panthers of Prairie View. James Madison has led the entire way, and comfortably so for most of the game. Lauren Okafor leads the Dukes with nine off the bench, but it’s been a very balanced scoring effort. Unsurprisingly, most folks have left, though a few have stayed. The Johnnies were around for a while, but most of them have left as well. Scouting, you’re doing it wrong. James Madison has had good ball movement, though they don’t react well to broken plays, and the folks behind us are bemoaning the slowness of Kenny Brooks’s offense.
This was not so much a game as it was a blowout. Prairie View was never in it, and the biggest takeaway I got fro it for the Panthers is that they really miss Toyelle Wilson. I was not impressed with Dawn Brown’s player management. It’s one thing to have no faith in your bench, it’s another to end up with a player with three fouls barely into the second quarter because you decide you’re going to leave her in after she picks up her second foul four minutes into the game. I consider it a minor miracle that Asha Hampton-Finch didn’t foul out, and am unsurprised that two other Panthers did. I also have to question the wisdom of rolling the ball with six minutes left in a thirty-point game. Some of us wanted to go home at that point, you know. No matter how much fun it was to watch Briana Brown in the end court bleachers doing her “I R SRS KEPTIN, THIS R SRS SKOWT” face.
Precious Roberts got a little bit of time in the second half and committed quick fouls. Taylor Overshown was the random bench guard of choice in the first half. Shamiya Brooks threw her weight around underneath with mixed results- couldn’t get her shots to fall and fouled out fairly quickly, but seemed okay on the boards. Tonisha Lacey didn’t seem to have her coach’s confidence. I don’t know why. Shaneece Stephens rocked the pompadour a la Janelle Monaé, and seemed to be good at making bad decisions.
Part of Prairie View’s problem may be that they’re not sure who’s running the offense. Is it LaReahn Washington, or is it Jeanette Jackson? The offense seemed to move better when the ball was in Jackson’s hands, but I’m not sure whether that was as the playmaker or as the scorer. Her fluffy ponytail made her stand out, as did her ability to get her to the line. Larissa Scott mixed it up on the boards, and set surprisingly strong screens for a woman of her slim build. Asha Hampton-Finch looked like she was trying to rock the Brittney Griner look with the leggings and ‘do, but she didn’t seem confident in her ability to play defense once she had fouls- and to be honest, she should have fouled out at hands to the face- there were a couple of plays where fouls were passed from her, one of which ended up helping foul out Washington. I feel lke I should remember more of what Washington did, but I can’t, other than a general sense of not-good things for Prairie View. Yes, this is the kind of insightful analysis you slog through long paragraphs of Game Notes of Doom for. “Not-good things”.
James Madison really got to empty their bench in the latter portion of the game. Amani Tatum was fast, but seemed a little lost. Da’Lishia Griffin went hard after rebounds. Crystal Ross got into the middle of a lot of plays- she’s not afraid to get up in anyone’s business. Destiny Jones is another big girl. You might detect a trend here. I disapprove very strongly of her shorts, though. In home whites, rolling shorts up like that makes them look like Depends, which is such a not-good look. Lauren Okafor went to work down low, using her build to muscle up on the slimmer posts of Prairie View and making solid defensive plays. Angela Mickens provided god offense off the bench, especially in the second half- she had a really pretty and-1 in the lane late in the game.
Nikki Newman’s got a pretty stroke- it didn’t go down a lot today, but I get the feeling it usually does. Precious Hall got herself into foul trouble and eventually out of the game, and seemed very frustrated about it. Jazmon Gwathmey has distractingly intense eyebrows. She spent a lot of time directing traffic late in the game- I think she was the last of the starters to come out. Kirby Buckholder was a big favorite among the James Madison fans behind us, for her shooting and her defense. Toia Giggetts was aggressive on the inside, sometimes to her detriment- she took an arm to the facemask, which is never fun.
Crowning moment of funny, first half: Lauren Okafor not quite being read for the pass and having it bounce spectacularly off her… chest… as if airbags had been successfully deployed.
Crowning moment of funny, second half: Toia Giggetts may have been the only person in the room who liked the DJ, because she was getting her groove on during one of the timeouts. There was serious hip-swaying going on. One of the assistants put a hand on her back as if to restrain her, and for a moment she stopped… but then the swaying began again, and by the time she went back to her chair on the bench, there was full-on shimmying occurring. Don’t ever let them stop your groove.
It’s a bad sign when there are game management calls being made in the first half.
James Madison looks ready to take the Colonial back. Then again, they weren’t exactly playing tough competition out there.