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7/22/09 vs Los Angeles

Final score: Storm 71 – Sparks 74 (L) (11-7)

Submitted by sbirdie10

What an interesting game, almost like a rollercoaster ride.

A little delayed and long, but here's my game report:

First off, I FINALLY got a pic with Sue! I had been wanting to get one with her for a really long time. So that was a great start to the night.

Warmups looked pretty good. Everyone seemed relaxed and ready to play. One thing that stood out were Camille and LJ's shoes. I never realized how bright yellow can be sometimes. During the player intos, Sue got the loudest cheer from the crowd as usual.

The very 1st possession LJ wanted to make herself known out there. She literally bulldozed her way to get a foul called. Camille started off good early with a couple of nice step through moves. I'm really impressed at how she's playing this year. Totally different from last year. T somehow got hurt I think and got taken out pretty quickly. PeeWee replaced her which meant Sue was the 2. I've said this before but I really like it when Sue is the 2 and can run off screens to look for her shot. When LJ got the ball down low, the SS would totally collapse on her at first. They really didn't want her to score. Good offensive execution and movement led to a 12-4 start. Out of a timeout the SS switched up the D into a zone which rattled us a little, resulting in a Swin travel. I know how bigs shoot 3s nowadays but now Sophia is shooting them too! Her and Charde Houston suddenly shooting and making 3s now really throws me for a loop. Then all of a sudden our lead is gone with a Becky 3. We were leaving the shooters wide open. Thank goodness they weren't making all of them but the defensive rotation needed to improve. Sue and LJ were super frustrated at the refs towards the end of the quarter. LJ got hit all night and hardly ever got a whistle. Sue turned her frustration into a nice left handed drive for a layup. Nothing, not even the Great Wall of China would have stopped her from getting to the rim. Swin was encouraging in the huddle when the quarter ended. Every time I looked at Sue, she was still not happy and shaking her head. LJ played almost the whole quarter and looked like she wasn't hurting bad at all.
End of 1st: 18-22

Here comes Frazee! 6 quick points off the SS bench. She was a big spark for them and really did play well (although I thought she traveled quite a bit under the basket and only got called for it once). LJ had a nice "get that weak stuff out of here" block on Helen. But it seemed that she wasn't getting many touches on offensive end. Her 1st perimeter shot came wayyyy into the quarter. Sue kept getting open for a second or 2 off screens but didn't pull the trigger. Swin wasn't being all that aggressive either. We fell down by I dont remember how many points but clawed our way back through our transition game. It was great to see. Swin had 2 layups followed by Sue with one after a nice block by Swin. Everyone was really emotional and encouraging. The D picked up which lead to easy O. Big momentum shift.
End of 2nd: 34-34

We definitely needed to keep the momentum going into the 2nd half.

Becky hit an open 3 to start the half. There were a couple of heated battles down low a couple of times: Swin with Snelly and Sue with Erin. It was kind of entertaining to watch. T was quiet the 1st half but really came alive in the 2nd. She was driving to the basket and being really aggressive. I think she took pretty much all of the early shots. At this point I looked at the scoreboard and saw that we had balanced scoring which I didnt realize, but was happy to see. I think everyone was shocked by Sue's airball, including Sue. I'd never seen LJ take so few shots from the perimeter before. She finally took a 3 and swished it, shortly followed by another one. But on the other end, we were still leaving the SS players wide open for 3s (including Sophia ). Becky countered with another 3 of her own. Then Sue and Katie hit back to back 3s. All of a sudden the game became a 3 pt contest! We found ourselves up 8. Swin was playing good D. The team followed suit late in the quarter. Then Becky got a little daylight and again drained a 3. With a few secs left, Sue hit a kind of crazy but nice offbalanced 3. When she threw it up, it looked good. We needed to keep up the good shooting, ball movement, and D to finish the game.
End of 3rd: 61-51

Sue turned the ball over to start the quarter. She fell, Sophia fell over her, and Sue got called for the foul for just being on the floor. Needless to say Sue wasn't happy and told the ref "She fell!!" I hate those kind of calls. But I must say Sue's look when she gets called for a BS foul is priceless and never gets old. T showed off her handles with a nice crossover dirbble then dished it off to Camille for an easy 2. Sue came off a screen and was WIDE open for a few secs and didn't shoot it. I yelled "SHOOT!" and I think she might have heard me because she shot it. If you are THAT wide open for that long and are a guard, you have to shoot the ball no matter what. Then the "WTF?" started happening. Sophia got bailed out with an and 1 after a great double team help. We were not blocking out at all and the SS kept getting O boards. LJ received another no call, VJ got a steal which lead to an easy Becky layup, and Becky literally took a nice stroll down the lane with ZERO defense or help whatsoever for a layup. Horrible offense led to 2 or 3 turnovers, and our lead got cut to 2 after a Sophia jumper. The SS sure had the momentum now. Edwige casually pulled up during a semi fast break and drained a 3. SS up 1. We were being so careless and lazy on both sides of the floor. Sue was taking a leadership role in the starters huddle and was very adamant in what she was saying. Then I have no clue how Sue ended up how Frazee but she scored over her for an easy 2. Seriously, what the hell happened to the offense?? Nothing was working right. 2 more turnovers. Becky hit a hard pullup to put the SS up by 5 with 1:19 left. We needed to pick up the O and D NOW. Great play out of the timeout with an and 1 by LJ but she missed the FT. Becky got a possible BS foul and sank 2 FTs. Next possession, HUGE Sue 3 to cut the lead to 69-71 with 40 secs left. Then T hit a scary runner to tie the game with 14.5 secs left. What an exciting game now! Just one more stop to send it to OT! We played great D at 1st. The SS play broke down and they were scrambling. Becky drove, LJ or Camille helped out, which left Sophia wide open. Swish! Buzzer. Game over. I had to laugh in amazement and shock at that. Sue couldn't believe it either based upon her reaction with her hands on her head. The refs take a look at the replay and sure enough, the shot was good.
End of game: 71-74

Sucks to lose like that. The whole 4th quarter killed us though.

After the game I found out that we havent won here in SIX games, since '05. Holy crap I didn't realize it has been that long. What is it about playing here that we can't win? Well, hopefully next time. As always, awesome to see the Storm play again.