Good evening! Bit of a late tip here at Carnesecca Arena, as St. John's plays a TV game against the Bulldogs of Butler. Your intrepid blogger is injured but dressed for the game (slipped on the subway stairs coming up this morning and now my knee looks like part of my thigh).
I don't know why Selina Archer didn't start out stretching with the rest of the team, but in the long run, I'm not expecting this to be a key factor.
Kyra. Kyra Dunn. Worry about your damn lip gloss or Chapstick or whatever it is after the game. Okay, we're still forty minutes before, but still. You gotta take it onto the court?
There's a player for Butler rocking yellow and blue tips to her dreadlocks, and she is working them.
Kevin, our band director, appears to have bogarted my husband.
I have asked my Diet Coke twice why it doesn't have rum in it. This is not a good omen. We're down 26-19 at half to Butler and can't hit the broad side of a barn. Aliyyah Handford has 8, but no one else is contributing consistently. We're not rebounding. We're skimping on defense.
#22 in this biddy game is throwing some tough screens.
It's very difficult to be a two-player team when one of your two players is not playing well. It is even difficult to be a two-player team when that same player is double-teched out of the game with lightning speed. I do not know what Danaejah Grant said or did, but I find it hard to believe that she twice said something so heinous that she had to be T'd up in the time it took Maj Forsberg to blow her whistle. There were no warnings. There were only technicals, and Danaejah was ejected from the building. Big Brother frowns upon obscene language in this space, so my true feelings regarding this turn of events must be relegated to Twitter, which in turn is not fit for the underage and the faint of heart.
Indeed, many of my sentiments as regards this sporting event can only be properly expressed in the sort of language better suited to the coarsest of dockworkers, else our readers of delicate sensibilities be rendered insensible. I regret that this unfortunate turn of events will undoubtedly color my perception of the proceedings, and beg the understanding of our gentle readers.
Lexus Murry was the player with the awesome dreadlocks mentioned above. Her one shot was a pretty little jumper that, in conjunction with her hair, reminded me of Seton Hall's Tabatha Richardson-Smith. Andriana Moore is a big girl who isn't afraid to throw her weight around. She finished well around the basket and had a nice rapport with Ijeoma Uchendu. If you're expecting more reports on the bench for Butler, that's all there is, there isn't any more.
I am trying to remember where I remember Loryn Goodwin from, because I don't think I've seen North Texas in person, but I know her name. She picked up a lot of boards- she's taller than she looks, which sounds strange but makes sense in context. It's not even that she plays bigger, it's that you look at her and realize she has height. Ijeoma Uchendu reminds me of a slightly compressed Natasha Howard- same hairstyle, same sort of build, only not quite as long in the limbs and a little stockier around the torso. I like the way she plays, and her passing vision was really good. Sydney Buck started, but didn't play very much- Murry was in when the chips were down. Belle Obert showed soft touch at the basket and from beyond the arc, and made a couple of key blocks down low. She was one of the few players for either team who was consistent from the free throw line. I feel like I should remember Blaire Langlois more, but other than missing the two free throws on Danaejah's second technical, I don't remember her.
Butler crashed the boards well, which is saying something with our rebounders. They have some good pieces, and when they gel, they'll play spoiler up and down the conference. Coaching is solid, too- they defended the last St. John's possessions very well.
I'm pretty sure Kyra Dunn is the reason for this strand of graying hair right over here *points at right temple*. At her height, there is no excuse for her not to be some kind of defensive presence and not to have her hands up. No excuse. She plays low, she plays scared, and she plays like she's never seen a basketball before in her life. And she needs to pull her shorts down. Crystal Simmons was called upon for big minutes in the enforced absence of Danaejah Grant, and she looked like a freshman who hasn't played extended minutes on the NCAA level. She got good looks, but they steadfastly refused to go down. On defense, she made one or two good plays, but didn't seem comfortable.
And meanwhile, everyone else on the bench sat. Joe, if you're not going to trust them in your time of need, why did you bother offering them a scholarship?
Danaejah Grant looked off her game even before Maj Forsberg decided she needed to leave- double-clutching on her shots, bailing out on defense- but I'll chalk that up to the shoulder. She sure looked like she was finding her groove until the technicals happened. (Poor Nae then tried to sit on the bench and blend in with her teammates, but no such luck. She had to leave the premises.) Aaliyah Lewis made some questionable passes, but overall ran a good game. She tried to step up on offense after Danaejah left, but that's not her forte. Jade Walker showed off her outside game. She got a little sloppy on defense- there were teaching moments in the first half, and teaching moments are not happy fun time for anyone. Amber Thompson had trouble hanging on to the ball, but as always, made plays on the boards. I might have tried going inside to her more on offense after Danaejah was removed from the game, but I am not Joe Tartamella. Aliyyah Handford did her damnedest to win the game single-handedly, and because she is Aliyyah and we are not worthy, she almost did it. Jumpers, lay-ups, steals, assists, she did it all. It broke my heart to see how emotionally beaten down she looked at the end of the game. I wanted to give her a hug.
Ball movement needed work. There were times when it was crisp, but too many times when everyone was waiting for someone else to do something.
I still do not understand how Butler got both a good field goal and a two-shot foul on the same play. From everything I know about officiating, it should either have been a foul on the floor, no field goal, or a field goal and an and-1. Butler should not have been allowed to get five points on the possession, and y'all can do the math. And then there was the review after Jade hit what was blatantly a long 2 to put St. John's within 39-38. The refs originally called it a 3 to tie the game at 39. They went to the screen... and put Butler back on top by one, as they should have been... by giving Uchendu an extra point to make the score 40-39. It got reversed properly, but really. And that's setting aside the technicals on Danaejah, which I have harped upon. I will not bore you further with my opinions regarding that matter, as I believe my retreat into ornate, Victorian-esque prose indicates the level of distress the officiating has put me in.
We got a T-shirt! And it was an XL! We might be able to wear it!
Props to the Sigma Chi Beta frat boy who just missed the free throw for the t-shirt, missed the three for the prize pack... and nailed the halfcourt shot for the iPad.
Dance team is awesome this year. Sorry, Butler, no matter how early you break your timeout, you can't join us.
I am too tired and too frustrated to sum up this game in a pithy manner.