score: Storm 86 Silver Stars 72 (W) (14-2)
Score | Jayda's
Game Blog | Live
from Press Row
E | Rick
don't think anyone expected Sue to play tonight. She was suited
up and on the bench, ready to come in if absolutely necessary,
but as it turned out she wasn't needed. The starters plus
La'coe, led by LJ's 31 points and 15 rebounds along with Tanisha's
career high 11 assists, were more than enough to hand the
Silver Stars another blowout loss.
fairness, San Antonio has also been hit by the injury bug.
Ruth Riley is out with a broken finger. They just waived Megan
Franze after she injured her knee and signed Crystal Kelly.
They are working in new players and have a rookie coach who
just gave birth. The Silver Stars are in second place in the
West and are unbeaten against conference opponents, except
for their losses against the Storm that is, so they aren't
push overs. The Storm blowing them out, even minus Sue, isn't
that big a story. We as fans have to guard against expectations
because it's going to get easier to take for granted that
the Storm will win the "easy" games. So far, it
doesn't seem like the team is even close to that mindset.
They aren't taking any team lightly.
a good thing, because as potentially beaten down as the Silver
Stars might seem, they were hanging around in this game until
the fourth quarter.
Storm certainly looked like they were going to make it interesting
to start the game. Their first three shots were airballs.
I'm not sure that's ever happened before. The fourth shot,
a jumper by Tanisha, missed off the rim. Still standing, I
leaned over to Angie and said, "I guess that's an improvement."
Luckily, the Silver Stars were about as accurate. By the time
Tanisha decided she had enough jumper attempts and started
successfully driving the lane for layups, the Storm were only
down a couple.
got hot for a stretch and kicked the lead up to 10. For the
most part, the Silver Stars were able to keep the Storm with
about an 8-12 point lead for the rest of the second and third
think I made the same observation about the game on the 20th,
but I had my concerns about the Silver Stars hanging around
and their ability to rattle off a lot of points in a hurry.
Becky was hitting her threes and Chamique was quietly scoring
double digits. Don't get me wrong, the Storm were playing
well. Their defensive intensity was very high at times. They
were clicking on offense. If you weren't watching the scoreboard,
you'd think that the score was 20+ from about the second quarter
on. But it wasn't. In fact, the only reason the Storm had
a decent lead at the end of the half and the third quarter
was because La'coe and Tanisha both hit buzzer beating threes.
The Silver Stars, however, kept it close-ish in spite of the
big baskets and LJ's scoring barrage.
don't think they were doing anything different than they did
in the earlier game. One thing I was actively looking for
all through the game was what kind of adjustments both teams
made compared to the way they played their game a week ago.
I was a little confused that it didn't seem the Silver Stars
playing the same game, but were hitting more shots.
Storm did change things up. The were of course forced to because
of Sue being on the bench, but they were also feeding LJ in
the post a lot more and she was going to town. I got the feeling
that in the earlier game, Snow's presence stopped the Storm
from playing in the paint as much as they normally do. Tonight,
they had no problems going in and weren't intimidated at all
by Snow or Appel. They also used their height advantage at
the guard positions. With Svet starting, she played Becky
and Tanisha was on Lawson-Wade. The two of them were able
to post up and drive on their shorter counterparts most of
Storm didn't turn the game into a blowout until the fourth
quarter. LJ owned the quarter and the Silver Stars. The Storm
ended the game with a few minutes left. Coach Agler finally
started subbing the starters out and had the bench fully in,
plus Swin, at the four minute mark. The lead was 22 points.
It didn't stay there.
think it's safe to say that we haven't seen this bad of a
late game bench performance since a couple of the near debacles
from last season. The bench scored nothing and were fouling
like crazy. The Silver Stars scored 10 points to the Storm's
2 (a layup by Svet). In my opinion, an illustrative play was
when ARob took a short range jumper and had it go off the
side of the backboard. She then fouled the San Antonio player
who got the rebound.
clear that we arguably have the best 7-player rotation in
the league. Veselá on a good night makes that a respectable
8-player rotation. I get that Lacey and Bishop are rookie
projects and am willing to give them some slack. Lacey especially
shows promise and doesn't look like she's intimidated by being
out on the floor. That said, is a 7- to 8- person rotation
enough to go all the way? We are legitimately looking a deep
playoff run and the potential for the big enchilada. We need
more out of ARob than a block.
Orender and Dee Kantner were at the game and had a short Q&A
with some season ticket holders. Kantner is good. She was
direct and didn't back down from answering questions. She
didn't really say anything I didn't expect to hear. Refs are
human, they make mistakes. Each game is reviewed and the refs
are accountable for their calls. Most of the time, what we
see and react to is wrong - we're not seeing what they're
seeing. She did say that it's possible for a defender to establish
position and then move and still get a charging call against
a driving offensive player. Hearing her describe some of the
rules made me think that a better exercise with fans would
be to spend more time at these kinds of meetings and actually
go over some film so we can see what she is talking about
- and so we can show what we are talking about. Simply talking
in the abstract only goes so far. She seems honestly interested
in being transparent and working to educate the fans on how
the refs do their jobs. This meeting was good, but I think
they could go a step further.