Well, thank the Washington State women’s basketball team for keeping the entire state from being in a funk on this windy, rainy Monday. Football certainly didn’t help.
Cougars coach June Daugherty raved about freshman guard KiKi Moore prior to the season tip-off and the San Francisco product scored a team-high 17 points in WSU’s 64-54 win against UC Davis on Sunday.
The Cougars played before just 1,200-plus fans. Yet it was the largest crowd for a home-opener since WSU joined the Pac-10 in 1986. The team leaves this week for a four-game road trip beginning at Kansas on Friday.
“This was a tremendous opening game for us,” said Daugherty in a press release. “We knew we were going to be tested because their coach does a phenomenal job and they had a lot of talent returning this year. I am proud of our team for their effort on defense and putting the game away.”
The Aggies (1-1), which returned 11 players from last season, pounded Seattle University 71-49 in coach Joan Bonvicini’s opener on Friday. Perimeter defense was an issue as UC Davis was allowed to attempt 20 three-pointers.
But the pain didn’t stop with the season debut for the Redhawks (0-2). The team, playing without three key returnees due to academic suspension, lost to Concordia 50-47 on Saturday night, again unable to stop the three-point shooting.
Neither could Gonzaga in losing its opener to South Dakota State, which hasn’t lost an opener since 2006. PG Courtney Vandersloot, who was named West Coast Conference Player of the Week , nearly had a triple-double with 20 points, 11 steals, and nine assists. But Gonzaga couldn’t pull it out in overtime, deflated by a late three-pointer that tied the game at the end of regulation.
It’s the beginning of a tough schedule for Gonzaga. The Zags play at Idaho tonight.
For Washington, the heartache came at the free throw line. Huskies senior Sami Whitcomb missed a key attempt with 14 seconds remaining that allowed Portland State to hit a game-winner with 0.3 on the clock.
UW was 12 for 19 from the FT line overall.
“We knew we had a tough game coming in,” said Washington coach Tia Jackson, whose players wanted the win to erase last season’s 8-22 finish and defeat a Vikings squad full of talent many played against in high school. “It took one great play for them to win this game. It was a great game.”
The Huskies (0-1) host BYU in their home-opener Wednesday at Edmundson Pavilion.
Stanford sophomore F Nnemkadi Ogwumike was named the Player of the Week for the conference. She averaged 23 points, 9.5 rebounds and shot 64 percent from the floor in the Cardinal’s road wins at Old Dominion (89-56) and No. 25 Rutgers (81-66).
FEMME TALK: A positive discussion emerged from an earlier post regarding the Florida State and Texas A&M;’s glitzy web sites/media guides. Although the Aggie men share a similar “James Bond” theme as the women, we all know this is not a mark of equality. Grace Jones (“A View to Kill” 1985) and Maud Adams (“Octopussy” 1983) are the only women given any power in the iconic flicks and end up dead or overtly sexualized.
Plus, the Aggie men have three basketballs prominently displayed and wear sneakers with their suits. The women have one basketball and did not wear anything athletic. But you already read my argument. Here’s another stance on the women by LGBT author Pat Griffin and a take by ESPN columnist Mechelle Voepel on her personal blog.
Former WNBA C Chantelle Anderson offered an insightful counterpoint on her blog.
COACH LIEBERMAN: We’ll have to wait a year to see how Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman does in her return to the sideline as coach of the new Dallas Mavericks D-League affiliate. But this article about her being named the first woman head coach of a male professional team was interesting. Enjoy!.
TWEET THIS: My favorite all-time tweet on the social-networking site Twitter is from Los Angeles star Candace Parker when she let her daughter take over the computer keyboard while watching “SportsCenter.” The result? “swadrfcrrdtf rxfc (lailaa’s first tweet)” entered on Sept. 22 at 10:24 p.m. I think Lailaa, born in May, is the youngest twitter ever, but I refuse to check that stat out.
Anyway, I thought I’d share others that strike me either from the group I follow or the people in the women’s basketball world that I check-in on regularly.
So, the inaugural Tweet of the Week goes to Minnesota Lynx G Candice Wiggins, who on Nov. 9 stated: “Lots of basketball in my life…I remember 1 time when I was younger, I accidently called my mom “ball” instead of “mom” LoL”
SHOUT OUT: Mercer Island High won the girls 3A state swimming championship on Friday. They are coached by Chauntelle Johnson, the Storm’s community relations manager. Congrats.