It is going to be a very busy Saturday for me. My wife and I are holding a Junior Eurovision party. (You heard me right the first time.) We expect to have no less than ten people visiting to watch this international celebration of 5 to 15 year olds caterwauling in Kiev. We hold Eurovision parties twice a year, once during Junior Eurovision in November/December and once for the real, honest-to-God, adult Eurovision in May.
So I'd better start writing and start writing now, because after all of this housecleaning I've not had time to see any women's basketball. Here are the great games I didn't see yesterday:
#2 Duke (9-0) defeated #16 Purdue (5-2) in an ACC/Big Ten Challenge Game at home, 99-78. The Blue Devils just shot the lights out in this game, hitting 56 percent of their shots and having six players finish in double digits. It was a turnover-ridden game, with each side losing the ball 20 times. But don't blame senior Duke guard Chelsea Gray for those turnovers - she had 9 assists to just one turnover and scored 16 points to boot.
Despite the high score, the Boilermakers actually had a 44-41 lead at halftime, the first time that Duke has been down at the half all season. What killed Purdue's chance of an upset? Probably the 28 percent shooting in the second half.
#25 Iowa (9-1) handed #22 Syracuse (8-1) its first loss of the season as they won at home 97-91 in another ACC/Big Ten challenge game. Orange sophomore guard Brittney Skyes was all-everything for forty minutes with 10-for-13 shooting, 25 points, 10 rebounds and five assists, but it wasn't enough to win. Syracuse could have used some help at the free throw line, hitting only 58 percent as a team.
Iowa junior Samantha Logic ended up needing eight stitches in her forehead after she took an elbow above the right eye halfway through the first half. Logic's absence helped Syracuse take a 47-37 halftime lead, but Iowa took over in the second half, helped by junior Melissa Dixon who went 7-for-10 from 3-point range, scoring 27 points. Only five Iowa players have ever hit seven three-pointers in a game - and Dixon has done it twice in the last two games, shooting 7-for-13 from long distance in a 102-65 Iowa win against UNC-Wilmington.
Sacramento State (5-1) beat Saint Mary's (7-1) 94-92, giving the Gaels their first loss of the season. Saint Mary's shot a blistering 60 percent to Sacramento State's 39 percent, so how on earth did they lose? The 29 (!!) turnovers by the Gaels might have had something to do with it.
At one point, the Hornets were down 37-21, but went on a 21-9 run to answer back. Saint Mary's answered with a run and then Sacramento State answer with another run. Saint Mary's had the ball down 94-92 with 29 seconds left and their head coach, Paul Thomas, did not call a time out during this final possession. But Saint Mary's could simply not get a shot off in the final seconds and Sacramento State got the home win.