TIE GAME: Bird kicked the ball out to Smith for a three-pointer, tying the game at 25 points apiece with 4:11 left in the half. Add a 16-foot jumper by Wright off a Bird feed and Seattle is now up 27-25.
SUPER STRICK: Stricklen is making plays off the bench to be part of the reserves pulling the Storm out of its early funk. She hustle for a loose ball to Yelana Leuchanka’s chagrin, the latter loosing her cool and getting called for a technical foul. Stricklen also nailed a three-pointer and collected a steal with her long arms, drawing a foul on Hayes on the breakaway. Seattle is within 20-23 before Wright’s FTs. There’s 5:53 on the clock and we’re at a timeout.
LITTLE SITS: Little isn’t off to the greatest start. She committed three quick fouls and is 0 for 2 from the field for two points and and two rebounds. She was pulled as AGler went smallish with rookie Shekinna Stricklen, reserve Alysha Clark, and Smith in with Bird and Kobryn. It’s the end of the quarter, folks are doing some sort of Platypus Walk at center court and the Storm is down 18-12.
ANOTHER TIME: Agler called time after there was already a short break. Probably because Henry is making him look questionable with personnel decisions. She made a putback behind the Storm’s sleepy defense to make the score 14-7 with 3:37 left in the opening quarter. The Dream is outrebounding the Storm 8-2, Seattle really missing its bigs.
COLD-BRYN: Cold as in bad a…what? I’m just talking about Ewelina. She’s scored five of the team’s opening seven points to get the Storm in the game. Seattle is still shooting 28.6 percent overall compared to Atlanta’s 62.5. The score is 10-7 with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter.
SLUGGISH: Perhaps the Storm should take another shot of coffee. The team is off to a sluggish start against the Dream, not grabbing a rebound in the opening four minutes. Bird missed her first attempt of the game, Seattle going 0 for 5 overall to trail 8-2 overall.
Storm C Ann Wauters tried to give it a go, but will not start as Seattle hosts Atlanta in the annual Kids Day game on Wednesday. Her absence leaves the Storm with eight active players and just two traditional posts.
Legend Tina Thompson is out with a strained left knee and ankle. She suffered the injury Saturday in Los Angeles and is wearing a protective boot for the foot injury. Meanwhile three-time MVP Lauren Jackson is currently in England preparing for the London Olympics with her Australian national team.
“We’re going to be smaller than both teams,” Storm coach Brian Agler said of lining up against the Dream and Phoenix on Friday. “It’s going to be quiet a challenge.”
The Atlanta Dream are playing without All-Star Angel McCoughtry (knee), but coach Marynell Meadors raved about how rookie Tiffany Hayes is filling in as a backup. She was a surprise drop to the 14th overall pick, averaging 10.6 points in her five starts. The Dream also mark the return of former training camp invitee Aneika Henry, who’s starting and averaging 6.5 points and 5.1 boards, and Kirkland’s own Cathrine Kraayeveld (Lake Washington HS).
It’s the last home game of the season for the Storm before the league-wide Olympic break from July 14 through Aug. 16. The team will travel to play at Phoenix on Friday.
Let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
F Sancho Lyttle
F Tiffany Hayes
C Aneika Henry
G Lindsey Harding
G Armintie Price
F Katie Smith
F Camille Little
C Ewelina Kobryn
G Sue Bird
G Tanisha Wright
Tonight’s officials are Clarke Stevens, Sue Blauch, and Michael Price.