Women's Hoops Blog
Jayda Evans covers college and pro women's basketball. While its her first year on the Washington beat, she has covered the Storm since its inception. She'll offer observations, critiques, occasional off-beat tales and answers to select e-mail inquires. Evans also has written a book on the Storm and women's hoops, called "Game On!"
July 5, 2008 6:50 PM
Posted by Jayda Evans
STORM WINS: Seattle is an impressive 10-1 at home, defeating Minnesota 96-71 before one of the rowdiest crowds I've experienced here this season. Santos made it ugly with her late shooting and you really got to give the bench a lot of credit for closing this one out in the second half. KG finished with 17 while Wright added 11. Ely and Little combined for eight boards.
ANOTHER STANDING O: Rookie Kristen O'Neill checked into the game to a smattering of standing ovations and more rowdy cheers.
WHITE FLAG?: F Kelly Santos just checked in for Cash. I think Agler is calling it. Not a bad decision since KG is still hitting buckets, inching in for a jumper to make the score 83-56. The Lynx last hit a FG with 4:27 remaining in the third quarter. Ooops. LaToya Thomas just ended that with a 16-footer with 7:04 remaining in the game. Lynx are down 83-59.
NO. 20: The Storm just added to their league-leading shot-clock violation total, lulling the Lynx into their 20th of the season with 9:07 remaining in the game. Credit the bench for that one.
LITTLE BREATHER: A fan is screaming at the Lynx bench, wondering where the celebratory party they were throwing in the opening quarter went. Well, if Minnesota is going to make a run to get back into this game, they better do it now. Cash is the only starter still in the game. And the bench ain't slouching. The trade for Camille Little is genius and KG is still playing good defense while Shyra Ely and Tanisha Wright are doing the dirty work. The Storm leads 79-55 heading into the fourth. The team held Minnesota to 3-of-13 shooting (23.1 percent) in the third.
ANOTHER THRITY: So, Jackson will probably get POW as a little send-off for the Olympics. She just nailed another three-pointer and has another season-high with 34 points on 15-of-22 shooting from the field. Jackson also has seven boards and Bird has 10 assists as the Storm leads 72-51 with 2:03 remaining in the third. Could we be headed toward a 100-point night? Storm hasn't done that since 2007 when it scored 111 against Phoenix in August.
HEY REF: Well, Jackson was just served her second technical foul of the season after being tagged for a bad defensive foul. Bird says the "ball doesn't lie," so Augustus did make the FT for the tech because Jackson does curse. But Vanessa Hayden-Johnson, who elbowed Jackson to originally get position, missed both of her ensuing FT. Later Jackson was called for an offensive foul and Hayden-Johnson a foul. A bucket by Bird with 5:27 remaining helped make the score 63-49. The Key is seriously going nuts. Guess no one has a hangover from the Fourth celebrations or this game is a little hair of the dog.
IN CONTROL: A little 8-0 run pulled the Lynx within five points of the Storm to close the opening half, but Minnesota is calling an early timeout at the 8:13 mark after the Storm opened the quarter on a 6-0 run to make the score 53-42 Seattle. Jackson made four of those points.
BOOO!: Those pleasantries for Nickels were short lived. He was just shown on the KeyArena jumbotron and fans booed loudly. So bad and uncomfortable was his wave while being booed that the public address announcer didn't even give the normal introduction. They just cut quickly to the Storm logo. Ouch!
GO KG: Can I get personal for a moment? I've been watching KG this season and waiting for her three-point shot to go down. Actually, I've been waiting for the whole team's three-point shot to go down since they rank last in the league at 28 percent. Well, I talked to KG about it prior to the game and dang it if she doesn't go out and nail 3-of-4 attempts. Anyway, her hot shooting and assist to LJ inside has the Storm up 42-30 with 3:20 remaining in the second quarter.
GOT CASH?: Cash just made a beautiful bank shot in the paint with 6:28 remaining in the opening half to put the Storm up 32-25. But Augustus is amazing, stopping Swoopes in her tracks on defense. Still her 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting isn't enough as of yet to pull the Lynx back into the game.
BIG FINISH: Yeah, it took a minute for the Storm to figure out the Lynx's defense and once they did, they erased a 13-point deficit on a in-bound jumper by Jackson at the final buzzer for the quarter off an in-bound pass from Katie Gearlds. The score is tied at 23 points apiece.
BIG TRIBUTE: Lorin "Big Lo" Sandretzky, known as Seattle's biggest sports fan, is suffering from Diabetes, needing surgery on his legs. To help offset expenses, there will be a benefit in his honor on Aug. 17. You can learn more about it here.
HOT STUFF: The trouble with young teams is they're so cocky. The Lynx are acting like the Key is their house, hitting threes and playing solid enough defense to open the game up 15-2 on 6-for-6 shooting from the field. Bird and LJ are helping to respond for the Storm. They've hit the team's last seven points to pull Seattle within 17-9.
HEY MAYOR: Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made another appearance at the Key to catch the Storm game with his family. Plenty of fans and employees gave him handshakes as he weaved to his seats, none tossing tomatoes for the Sonics leaving.
Storm C Ashley Robinson will be on the inactive list due to a sprained right ankle. She told coach Brian Agler that she felt better today, but not good enough to play. She spent pregame in the trainer's room, receiving treatment and is hopeful to play on Tuesday when the team plays at Sacramento.
Tonight's game should be interesting as Minnesota is another young team -- the youngest in the league -- and plays an aggressive defensive style that can frustrate older teams. Lynx coach Don Zierden gave Storm stars Lauren Jackson and Sue Bird much props, though, saying that if his team doesn't mix up their defenses and personnel covering them, "they kill you."
All-Star Seimone Augustus has the best mid-range jumper in the league, according to Agler, and her leadership has been key to Minnesota starting off so strong after being predicted to be the Atlanta of the West by most pundits (not me). Augustus is averaging 19.3 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists.
On a side note, congratulations need to go out to Atlanta for nabbing their first win of the season. The Dream defeated Chicago 91-84 today and former Storm players Betty Lennox and Iziane Castro Marques contributed a combined 20 points.
Here are your starters:
F Swin Cash
F Lauren Jackson
C Yolanda Griffith
G Sheryl Swoopes
G Sue Bird
F Seimone Augustus
F Nicole Ohlde
C Nicky Anosike
G Anna DeForge
G Noelle Quinn
Tonight's officials are Scott Twardoski, Byron Jarrett, and Maj Forsberg.