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8/27/09 vs Connecticut

Final score: Storm 86 – Sun 74 (W) (17-11)

Attendance | 6588

Box Score | Jayda's Game Blog | Pelton's Game Blog

Game Photos | Scott E | Rick

There were a couple ways to look at this game.

Glass half empty: The Storm once again played "down" to their opponent's level and allowed a dangerous team to stay close until the end, risking yet another home loss on a late game burst by one or more of the Sun's shooters.

Glass half full: The Storm played a good team toe-to-toe — an opponent that has given the Storm fits for the last 3 years — and not only matched the other team's energy but found ways to push harder.

Today, I'm a glass half full kind of guy.

In the post-game Player of the Game interview, Sue said when asked about what has changed for the Storm lately that they have decided that they just want to win. You can see that new mindset on the court.

The Storm didn't get panicky even when they made bad decisions (even if they are the same bad decisions that keep getting made — like the ones that lead to forced shots with single digits on the shot clock). Every time the Sun got a little string of baskets together, the Storm responded with tougher defense and scoring of their own. I think a very telling stat that illustrates the Storm's composure and toughness is that the Storm won three of the four quarters, and tied the Sun for the other quarter.

There was one stretch of the game in the third quarter when the Sun seemed like they were finally going to make a big move. It seemed like they were hitting everything, including threes. The Storm matched the Sun shot for shot. It looked like a game of I Three, You Three. While it was a bit nerve-wracking to see the Sun, especially Whining Whalen, get some forward momentum, it was highly gratifying to see the Storm face another team's best effort, match it and then do that little extra to surpass it.

One troubling note from this game was how little the bench played and how little the ones who did play produced. After last game's 30 points, we only got 3 from the bench in this game. Only Janell and Pee Wee had significant minutes. Suzy was in for a minute or two, but that was it. With LJ's back bothering her so much, you'd have thought that Coach Alger would have gotten her more help.

One positive note from this game was it seems Sue and LJ, back injury or not, are out of their shooting slumps. I think this really gets back to Sue's comment about finally wanting to win. Both of them have that look about them that says they are going to do whatever it takes to win a game. You can see the same thing in Camille and Swin. Camille is all business out on the court. She's been getting called for a lot of ticky tacky fouls lately, but she's not letting that get into her head.

The best thing of all about this game that helped the whole glass half full feeling was that with this win, the Storm have clinched a playoff spot. Dick Fain threw out some numbers after the game — 6 straight years in the playoffs, 8 straight .500 or better seasons (second in Seattle sports history to the Sonics who had 9 straight winning seasons — man, the Seahawks and the Mariners suck). We've also beaten 3 of the best 4 Eastern conference teams in a row. Atlanta on Saturday will make 4 of 4.

We're in a good spot. We need to keep winning because there is an outside chance that we can overtake the Mercury for first place in the West. Even if that doesn't happen, the Storm need every one of their next 6 games to propel them into the playoffs. At this point, I don't really care who we play so long as we have home court.

Other notes:

Tonight was the Storm's turn for Breast Health Awareness Night. Most of the team had on pink shoes and they all wore pink shooting shirts during warmups. Thankfully, they did not wear pink uniforms. I get the whole pink thing, but man the pink unis are hard to watch for 40 minutes and I wasn't looking forward to the color balance issues when it came to adjust photos. Interestingly, LJ changed back to her normal low top Nikes for the second half.

For the Storm introductions, the arena's video screen strip that goes around the arena above the suites was turned to bright pink all the sudden. It was quite shocking.

Van Chancellor was at the game.

Katrina Hibbert was at the game as well. Angie had a chance to talk to her for a bit. Katrina has retired from the WNBL and is now working on joining the fire brigade. She's already taken one test and now has to do some physical testing.

Swin was wearing a pink headband with "Sharon Cash" written on it.

The halftime entertainment was a break dancing group who is on some dance contest show on MTV. Their video intro was better than their actual performance. It was also a little weird that the dancers in the video were different than the ones who performed. I don't get kids these days.

Late in the game, Doppler came out and was throwing little pink bears into the crowd. It was a little disconcerting to see their flailing bodies fly through the air.



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