Just the Facts, Ma'am: The Connecticut Sun pulled away late in a tight game to beat the Washington Mystics 82-75. Tina Charles and Renee Montgomery each had 16 points to lead the Sun, while Washington's Crystal Langhorne had 17.
For vendettas, incompetence, and a lot of people who have some explaining to do, join your intrepid and congested blogger after the jump.Okay, Mohegan Sun. The gauntlet is down. The gloves are off. And you are really going to thank your lucky stars I didn't get the names of the security people working the Sky Entrance at this game.
If you are going to have a policy that states that laptop computers are not allowed at games, you damn well better put it in writing. And when someone presents you with a list of your own policies, including prohibited items, your response should not be, "Where did you get this?" in a tone that suggests that you think the answer is "Microsoft FrontPage" or "my imagination". I did my best to be polite, and I was treated as if I had attempted to smuggle in knives and nuclear fuel. After showing them the list of their own policies, security decided to be obnoxiously perfectionist, up to and including searching a purse approximately the size of an iPod Classic. And really, I didn't need the escort to bag check.
Oh, and thanks to the carelessness of their bag check people, my new headphones are missing. Not that I'm accusing them of anything but incompetence...
Okay, you want actual game notes, right? Not me kvetching about people who (judging from this runny nose) are going to be suffering bronchial karma in about four days?
The anthem was amazing, other than the vocalizes at the very beginning.
It looks like Connecticut is getting rid of their stash of Orender-signed balls by giving them away in the ball exchange. Quite clever of them.
Victoria Dunlap doesn't look ready for prime time yet. We'll see if that comes with time, or if she's just a talented tweener who doesn't have a position in the league. Of course, we might also see if young players escaping Washington have a chance to make something of themselves the way young players escaping Charlotte once did. Jasmine Thomas is a better defensive player than offensive player right now, but that's damning with faint praise. She hasn't learned how not to telegraph everything she's doing- and I mean everything. She's faster than greased lightning, but that doesn't help much when the savvy veteran in front of her knows what she's going to do before she starts doing it. And she needs to understand that that finger roll isn't going to go in all the time. The glass is rarely so kind. Kerri Gardin played defense and not much else. DeMya Walker played heavy minutes, and when she was able to get a shot up, it was a good shot- but she was painfully, ploddingly slow coming up the floor, and she dropped a couple of easy to catch passes.
Kelly Miller looked about ready to strangle her teammates for most of the game, and that's the kind of emotion I don't expect to see from her. Tears of frustration, yes. Homicidal urges, not so much. (Tackles worthy of the Washington Redskins, not so much but I'm getting used to seeing those from her.) Nicky Anosike was not really a factor- her defense was irrelevant and she wasn't able to look for her offense. Crystal Langhorne went about her business, but some oddities with the foul count had her out for a key portion of the second half. She does have a way of getting things done that's quite impressive, though. Matee Ajavon... she's never seen a shot she doesn't like and she likes to get fancy with her dribbling, and I don't think that's changed since she wore #22 red for Rutgers. Marissa Coleman's shooting early kept the Mystics in the game, and she hit the boards hard, but she went cold in the second half.
Washington flat-out fell apart in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter. It was like they realized they had a chance to win the game and that was simply unacceptable. Their shot selection went out the window, they missed open plays, they tried to commit stupid fouls, they did commit stupid fouls, Lacey's rotations were jacked up... no one knew what they were doing out there, and it made me sad.
Allison Hightower sighting! Jessica Moore sighting! Not that they were all that crucial to the game, but they did get into the game. I rather thought putting Hightower on Gardin was a waste of a defender, but I'm not Mike Thibault. I have far too much hair for that. Tan White did a nice job on loose balls and long rebounds, though I had no idea just how ubiquitous she was until I looked at the box score. Kara Lawson brought the offense at crunch time. Kelsey Griffin was not memorable, except for the duct tape on her elbow sleeve. Seriously, what gives with the tape?
Danielle McCray set the tone in the first quarter, hitting almost everything she looked at and forcing Washington to respect the perimeter- which meant that there was room for Asjha Jones and Tina Charles to operate. They took some contested shots, and the percentages weren't great- but they had lots and lots of opportunities. There was a lot of volleyballing going on with rebounds. Renee Montgomery tried to throw a lot of crap at the basket to see if she could get a call, and it didn't really work.
Connecticut did a nice job capitalizing on Washington's mistakes and errors in judgment. Getting to the line a lot certainly helped, too.
The foul differential is nuts, but it's pretty well warranted. Washington does a lot of dumb things. So do the Mystics. *rimshot* There was the usual amount of no-calls and things that make you go hmmm, but it seemed fairly even-handed. So Connecticut fans really needed to stop booing the calls.
I just get the feeling that Washington is being hamstrung by their coaching. Someone's not paying attention on the bench. Maybe it's the players, maybe it's the coach, but simple and basic things are being missed.