score: Storm 70 Liberty 69 (W) (13-9)
Game Blog | Pelton's
E | Rick
don't know if most people I talked to after the game were
happier that we won or that we didn't go into yet another
overtime. As the game neared the end of regulation, there
were even chants in the stands of "No OT, No OT."
the Storm really win that game or escape it? They certainly
seemed determined to give New York every opportunity at the
end to get a game winning basket. Turnover, turnover, turnover
leading to easy baskets and open three-pointers. Honestly,
I should just start copy-and-pasting my game day reports because
the Storm's issues are the same every game.
kept wanting to send the Storm coaches an in-game memo, "New
York has a tall blonde woman who can hit three pointers, kinda
like our tall blonde. Maybe you should have someone, oh I
don't know, GUARD THE THREE."
game started out really well. The Storm were playing the way
we all have wanted them to play — fast, decisive, attacking
offense and solid, consistent defense. Up by 10, it felt,
finally, like the Storm were going to have a good old blow
out on their hands. I turned to Angie during the break between
quarters and said, "It's been awhile since they've played
with a lead. I wonder if they can do it."
Liberty outscored the Storm each of the remaining three quarters
and took the lead in the fourth with about 5 minutes left
in the game. The Liberty also outrebounded the Storm and really
punished the Storm on the offensive glass getting 10 offensive
rebounds. The Liberty hit 8 for 21 threes, most of which came
in the late third and fourth quarters and felt like they came
after a Storm turnover (I say felt because it seemed inevitable
that Storm turnovers lead to easy Liberty lay-ups or threes
— I don't know if it was actually that way. That's how
basically, the Storm played a great first quarter and then
traded baskets or let the Liberty go on 4-0 or 6-0 runs the
rest of the game. True, the Storm got the lead back to 10
on a couple occasions after one of those Liberty runs, but
they weren't able to keep it there.
answer my post-first quarter question about playing with a
lead? Not so much.
really wasn't that the Storm played badly. They had good plays
on both ends of the court. They just weren't very consistent
and it seemed like every time the Storm players eased up even
a little, the Liberty were ready to jump on the opportunity
and get the rebound or find and hit the open shot. It's kind
of hard to blame fatigue since the Liberty played the night
before in Sacramento. Sure, the Storm have had all those overtime
games, but the Liberty weren't running like Phoenix or anything.
This seemed more like mental fatigue than anything. As soon
as the Liberty started to pull even with the Storm, you could
see the Storm tighten up. You could almost see thought bubbles
floating above their heads with a weary "Oh no, not again."
after the win, Sue had the team in their customary huddle
at mid-court for a very long time. The new sky cam got a great
shot of her emphatically talking to her team. She had something
to say and she was driving it home with authority. You know
what? That's freakin' awesome. The Storm, as they have been
for weeks, are on the edge of being real contenders or playoff
fodder for the likes of Phoenix or Indiana. It's time for
them to regain their focus and play every possession with
some passion. I hope that's what Sue was telling her team.
I hope that was a leader leading and saying "Enough is
Agler actually played all of his eligible players tonight.
I know, it's hard to wrap your head around that isn't it?
ARob and Suzy only got about three minutes each and it was
during the early second quarter when we still had a decent
lead. The Liberty hadn't shown any fight yet. Still, the bench
got into the game. Suzy had a productive three minutes with
two rebounds, an assist, a blocked shot, two points and no
cringe inducing mistakes (although her three-point attempt
was an airball). Give her some time and she can produce. What
more can we ask of her?
the game, Coach Donovan talked to several of the Storm players.
However her time here ended, it seemed like those that stopped
to say hello to her were genuinely happy to see her. Sue was
telling her some sort of story and was cracking herself up.
It was pretty comical to watch.
have to give some props to Katie Gearlds for bringing up the
average street-clothes quality quotient on the bench. She
was dressed in a simple red blouse and black skirt with flat
sandals (no 4-inch heals when you have knee injuries —
I'm looking at you Janell) and didn't look like she had just
left home room and was heading to the library for study hall
(yes, I'm looking at you Ashley Walker).
we invaded by the Army or something? They had a group exercise
thing before the game and did another t-shirt parachute drop
during the game. I guess the Army needs to advertise, but
they seem an odd fit for a WNBA team.