Just The Facts, Ma'am: Essence Carson's 18 points led a balanced Liberty attack, and New York held the lead virtually wire to wire in an 83-75 win over the Indiana Fever. Katie Douglas had 17 for Indiana, while Shannon Bobbit's 16 made her the only other Fever player in double figures.
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Vengeance will be mine upon the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York. Vengeance, I say! You made me late for a game, and up with this I will not put!
Mom, if you're reading this, happy birthday. Again.
We're up 12 at the half, and the Rutgers girls must have known that Stringer was coming to this game, because they all look inspired- even Tammy Sutton-Brown.
I'm told I missed a 9/11 tribute. I can't honestly say I feel like I missed anything by it. But my thoughts on the atmosphere surrounding this weekend are not appropriate to these Game Notes of Doom, and will be consigned to my head.
I am very tempted to cause violence to the woman in the next row who's randomly cheering for Indiana for no reason I can determine. Even her friends are looking at her like she's a crazy woman. Worse, they were friends with one of the security guys, so no matter how obnoxious she got, we weren't going to get anything done about her. After the game, one of the friends, who were all passionate Liberty fans, joked, "We're going to jump her outside."
Our brief Shyra Ely sighting was unimpressive and unremarkable. Shavonte Zellous showed the scoring instinct that I remember so well from Pittsburgh- but that's all she can bring to the table at this point. Jessica Davenport wasn't really a factor, and more of one defensively than offensively. She had one excellent sequence where she stole Quanitra Hollingsworth's lunch money. Jeanette Pohlen had quite an intimidating ponywhip (which appears to have quite an interesting personality), and we left her open far too often for my liking, but at least she didn't take too much advantage of it. I was surprised she didn't push her size advantage, but Indiana wasn't pushing as hard as they could.
When did Shannon Bobbitt acquire that corner three? Because she was kicking New York's butts from that corner all night. Her low center of gravity also helped her go after our lackadaisical ball-handling. She's not the answer as the only point guard for Indiana, but she's made herself a viable option as a reserve for them, and that's more than I might have said about her a couple of years ago. Tangela Smith showed flashes of the offense I remember from her glory days in Sacramento and Phoenix. Tammy Sutton-Brown looked like she was trying to impress a couple of her former coaches in the first half. She slacked off a bit in the second half, though I can't tell if that's because Lin Dunn reminded her that the only team this game mattered to was New York, or because she's Tammy Sutton-Brown and she regressed back to the mean. We left Katie Douglas open entirely too many times for my comfort, even if she missed most of them. She got a lot of sympathy from the refs after catching a hand to the face during a Tangela Smith foul in a sandwich situation. She was definitely dialing it back on defense, which is a scary thought. Tamika Catchings... one of the least Catch-like games I've seen from her in a very long time. I thought she didn't assert herself, and I understand why- but at the same time, if you're not going to assert yourself, don't complain when you don't get the calls you think you should get, and don't start flopping like a beached dolphin to try and get the calls. You're better than that, Tamika.
Whiz actually played a matchup in the first half! I nearly died of surprise. And then he realized that Sydney Colson was not the answer and put her right back on the bench again. Quanitra Hollingsworth was game on the defensive boards, but couldn't hit water falling out of a boat, and was otherwise ineffective and a liability. Don't just stand there and stare when the ball goes out of bounds. That is a bad plan and you should feel bad for considering it. Kara Braxton wasn't completely horrible tonight, though I think Plenette may have wanted to kill her later causing a shot clock violation by fumbling and then passing off what was supposed to be her shot. No, you didn't see Plenette's face. Classic WTF. Essence Carson- man, she's turned into a real gamer. When it's crunch time, the chips are down, and the cliches are really starting to fly, she's the one who takes her game to the next level. She's closing this season like Mariano Rivera. She hits the big shots, she gets the big stops- she's becoming the player she was at Rutgers, but on another level. Alex Montgomery's three minutes were so unmemorable I almost forgot to note them. I will say that I don't like plans that involve Alex dribbling.
Cappie Pondexter's ankle gave out in the fourth quarter, giving us all a scare. That's why she sat for such a long stretch when she probably needed to be in the game. But it was clear that it was bothering her. She had some pretty moves, but she wasn't moving at full speed. Leilani Mitchell had the big three, and held her own, but I thought she should have worked more on Bobbitt and gotten more involved in the offense. Nice to see signs of life from Nicole Powell, and more importantly a midrange and inside game. Since she can't hit that damn corner shot that she keeps letting other people get, well have to have her use her height more. Plenette Pierson brought the defense, and the rebounding, and the grit. Kia Vaughn was great. She and Essence make a great pair- Kia starts off the show and Essence finishes it.
Whether it's that the Fever's offense isn't that good or we were bringing the defense, I don't know, but I don't think I've ever seen a game with so many shot clock violations or near violations. Not that we were any great shakes in that regard, especially in the fourth quarter when we were very badly trying to run out the clock.
Lin Dunn and Stephanie White wore coordinating outfits. Do they do this often? Please tell me they don't do this often. That brings in several levels of OMGCREEPY.
Lots of giveaways, though none terribly interesting except for the ball exchange at the end (and apparently the intros, which my mom's neighbors got to participate in, but mom missed because she was late, DAMN YOU MTA!). Ball exchange is awesome. Ball exchange with team-autographed balls is even better.
I think the last game of the year was the first formal confirmation we had that the regular Torch Patrol is no longer a dance team, but a work the stands team. They announced the Lil' Torches and the Timeless Torches as the Liberty's two dance teams. They did a combined routine that was awesome- and I usually avert my eyes when the Timeless Torches come on. (If I want to see people my mother's age dance, I'll give my mother Pepsi and watch her go.)
There was a guy in the stands, presumably a party clown, throwing out t-shirts. He was an interesting gimmick, but I'm hoping he isn't a frequent one.
There was a mixer after the game at Brick City, but we wanted to get home. After all, I had these notes to write, and we have a road trip to go on. ROAD TRIP! /is totally psyched