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Final score: Storm 51 – Lynx 65 (L) (10-20)

Attendance | 7823

Anthem Xtra Notes | By far the most ever, but that's okay because Scott's a jazz snob and will let it pass this time

Anthem High Note | More than one

Anthem Style | Jazz guitar solo

Fan Noise | We scared the baby away

Signs | Nothing of note

Fan Psyche | May we have another?

Halftime | The Nike or Starbucks or somebody's girls basketball

We’re thirty games into the season and I’m sensing a pattern here.

Whenever KeyArena is packed (or as packed as it gets for the Storm), the team has a bad game. Through a combination of the Lin Dunn bobblehead giveaway and good word of mouth from the Houston win the other night (determined by an unscientific stormfans.org survey of 2 people), there are nearly 8,000 fans at tonight’s game, the second highest reported attendance figure for the season.

Our contention has been for anyone that we’ve brought to a game is that if you come to see one, you’ll be hooked and come back. I’m sure that the Storm management agrees with that idea, but every time the Key is packed the team plays flat and loses. The highest attendance this year was a whopping 9,000+ for the Portland game on July 20 – major loss.

Tonight, again the team plays flat, hesitant and seemingly unsure of themselves. This doesn’t make a lick of sense when you compare this game to the game against Houston just two days ago. I think that on Wednesday, we saw the real Storm. Tonight, we see the pod-people who sometimes pose as the Storm.

I’m not going to go into all the gory details. Suffice it to say that everything that went right on Wednesday went wrong tonight. Successful drives to the basket against the Comets turn into seemingly out-of-control drives into multiple defenders against the Lynx. Smothering defense and fastbreaks against the Comets becomes lackluster energy and running down the shot clock against the Lynx. Shots fall from all over the court against the Comets, but shots miss the rim against the Lynx.

There is a second pattern at work here. Against the best and the greatest, the Storm rise to the occasion and have played their best games. Against the worst and the lowest, the Storm have played their worst games. Is it because the Sparks, Comets and other good teams don’t consider the Storm a threat and relax, allowing the Storm to play stronger? Conversely, do the Storm consider the bad teams to be easy wins and do the same thing, relax and allow the other team to control the game?

As frustrating as it is for us to watch, this has got to be frustrating for the team. All of these women come to this team with winning backgrounds, whether it be in the college, Olympic or international realms. We hope that they can see that when they work together and play with confidence they can beat just about anybody on a given night. We hope that they can see better days coming and don’t start asking to be traded or just not exercising contract options to stay. We are one or two players away from being a solid contender – that could be current players stepping up or it could be new people.

As Sonja said in a recent newspaper article about the Houston game, “We have to come out with the same energy and intensity that we had against Houston… if we can put that in a bottle…” If they could put it in a bottle, they’d be at least playing the Sparks in the first round of the playoffs a couple of weeks from now.

Notes:

We recently heard that Lauren is suffering from an on-going shoulder injury that has been aggravated by the heavy WNBA schedule. Tonight is the first time that we notice her favoring it. Anytime she comes in or goes out of the game, she is stretching it out. At the half, she goes into the tunnel wearing an arm sling. At the end of the game, she has a huge ice pack on her shoulder. A couple of our Australian members on the Forum have said that it isn’t a huge deal and is something she’s had for awhile. We hope that it is something that can be taken care of in the off-season and doesn’t impact her play for the WNBL Canberra Capitals or affect next year’s season for the Storm.

Kamila is in street clothes, looking pretty sharp by the way, because she reportedly injured one of her knees during practice.

Katie Smith breaks Cynthia Cooper’s single season scoring record tonight. I guess that’s good… for Lynx fans.

So what about the bobbleheads? Well, they’re heavy. All of them are given out. After the supply of 5,000 runs out, fans are given the Lin Dunn head on a stick giveaway from last year. At least there aren’t any riots or fisticuffs over who got one or not. Stormrocks said that she is going to put her bobblehead on her desk at work and ask it every once in awhile, “Are you going to play Katy Steding more?” And of course, the bobblehead will agree to do just that.

Quacy Barnes comes out after the game for a Q&A. Apparently, she found out that she would be playing tonight at 4:55 pm while she was stuck in traffic on the 520 floating bridge. She had been on the injured list because, as she says, she had “a bruise on her bottom.” Chris, the Storm staffer moderating the session, opens it by asking Quacy to describe how she got into basketball. She says that she started when she was 12 or 13 because “some crazy guy” kept telling her that she should play ball and kept dragging her to the gym. He ended up being her high school coach. Chris also asked what her off-season plans are. She says that she plans to visit Korea for three weeks and then go home and substitute teach. By teaching, she feels like she is giving back to her community. Her teaching degree is in Physical Education, but as a substitute she does get to teach a little of everything. She loves teaching for elementary and high schools, but not junior high. She says “that is just a weird age.” A young fan asks Quacy how tall she was when she was 12. Q answers that she remembers being 6’ 2” at that time, but all the boys in her class were small anyway so it didn’t seem that different. Another question is what is the thing she likes most about basketball. She says that the competition is what she likes best. She says she can’t even teach basketball because she gets too competitive with it. She can teach other sports and not get too involved, but not basketball. Another question is how the team gets pumped up for a game. She says that Simone dances and sings and that gets everyone going. Simone, who is on the other end of the arena, hears her name and yells out something, but we can’t make it out. Finally, Chris asks Quacy what advice she can give to young people who want to get into basketball or succeed at whatever they are in to. She says that it is important to set goals and to work to achieve them. She is currently working on setting some new goals of her own because she has achieved many of her goals in the last 3 or 4 years. She says be a goal setter, dream big and achieve your goals.