Turn Left for the Joust: Bridgeport Holds Queens College At Arms' Length

Just the Facts, Ma'am: The Purple Knights of Bridgeport led for most of the way in their 59-50 victory over the Knights of Queens College. Four Bridgeport players put up double figures, led by Tanisha Carter's 18 points and 10 rebounds. Nicole Caggiano led Queens with 19 points, 15 of which came in the first half.

For adventures, nerdish references, insanely thick Noo Yawk accents, dissection, and blatant lies, join your intrepid and flushed blogger after the jump.

Ranked teams on CBS, wild card football on NBC, laundry piled up and needing to be done- of course this was a perfect day to walk down Kissena Boulevard and check out a game at Queens College like we've been saying we would do all season. There's a St. John's connection, you see- alumna Sky Lindsay is the new assistant there, and we promised we'd go out and support her.

I don't know if we're going to do it again. Security was obstructively helpful and ended up leading us through the back door. I'd really rather not be shepherded, if it's all the same to you. I don't mean any harm, and it's not like I was carrying a large bag that could be used to blow something up, and the guy sent us up the wrong way anyway.

Queens's gym is on the second floor of FitzGerald Gym, and you'll find yourself transported to another time when you go there. It's not necessarily a good thing. I'm pretty sure that's literally the same floor that Donna Geils and Gail Marquis played on and the same bleachers that people watched them from. The scorer's table is pretty nifty, with a clear arrow and what looked like a lot of nice gadgets. Everything else smacked of improvisation, though.

I have no idea what was up with the dance team's lime green leotards and black tops in the first half. They were pretty ugly, and in no way related to team colors. At least in the second half they put on Queens College shirts and looked slightly less like they were earning their tuition on Eighth Avenue. I do not appreciate signs blocking my view of the game, people. Just because it's bad basketball, that doesn't mean we don't want to see what we came to see.

I've never heard anyone with as thick a New York accent as the PA announcer at Queens. Mind you, I'm born and raised in Queens, and I do have a slight accent. But this guy sounded like an extra on any New York-based show you can name. I was almost embarrassed, but then, many stereotypes about my city embarrass me. (That goddamn Nanny...)

Bridgeport's uniforms are very purple, and I'm not sure what was up with the stuffed animal on the bench, only that they held it up like a trophy after the game. It's hard to tell, since not all of the substitutions were announced, but it looked like Bridgeport wasn't going very deep into their bench. The box score confirms this assessment, though the bench player I did notice, Casey Bray, wasn't the one who logged most of the minutes. This is why announcing substitutions consistently is important.

I like the way Edna Marant got to the basket- she was about the only player who was consistently drawing foul calls. Aziza Patterson scored a bit in the first half, but wasn't as effective in the second. Julia Colley demonstrated her English background with several dives worthy of EPL. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn't. She mostly looked for outside jumpers of questionable accuracy. Elinor Avny showed off her three-point shot in the first half, but didn't get going again until late in the second. I was most impressed with forward Tanisha Carter, though she's going to have to learn to handle double teams if she's going to be the first option for this team. She was hot for the first ten minutes, then faded as Queens's defense keyed on her in the second quarter (for lack of a better description), then came roaring back in the second half to hit her average. She's got nice presence in the paint, and could conceivably be a good fourth option for a D-I team.

Megan White came in long enough for me to notice her as she committed a foul and got good position in the lane. Cadie Chu played a lot of point guard in the second half, mostly because she was bigger than the starter, but I wasn't impressed with her vision. (Because she wears #1, and because she has a high-arcing shot with little spin, I'm assuming she's going to be Sky's pet project this year.) Caitlin Hopkins came in for a bit to give them some minutes in the post, but they mostly went with the starters, rotating Chu in as necessary.

If Marissa Resnick were about five inches taller and had a better handle, she'd be a D-I point guard. I like the way she saw the floor, though she and her teammates couldn't make the plays, especially on the break, that they were trying to make. Nicole Caggiano was the focus of most of the offense, which wasn't necessarily a good thing but wasn't necessarily a bad thing either. She got them going early. Samantha Gillman got them going late; if you could average her and Megan Lonergan out, you'd have two pretty good basketball players, because Gillman is way too aggressive and Lonergan backs away from too many balls. I like Gillman's physicality, though. If she had better hands... but that's part of being a D-II player, isn't it? Setting aside the "I chose Division II" slogan, most D-II players are going to have flaws; otherwise I'm pretty sure they would have chosen the free ride and the increased notoriety. Alexandra Marshall committed stupid fouls, but otherwise made no impression on me.

I understand why Queens brought in a former point guard as an assistant- the entire team is in dire need of lessons in ballhandling and catching passes. Bridgeport was able to start running clock with four minutes left in a six-point game because Queens could not get their offense going with anything that remotely approached speed. Whether it was on rebounds, on passes, or even inbounding the ball, they couldn't maintain possession long enough to get anything going. It was exceedingly frustrating as a basketball fan to watch this.

Officiating was a good bit more consistent than I've seen in a while, though Alexandra Marshall might disagree with me.

It was an interesting experience, but one I'm not sure I want to repeat. I know I'll end up doing so sometime in the near future. Maybe the next time, the heat won't be cranked up to max and the team will have figured out a little more about this whole basketball thing.

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