Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Women's Basketball vs USF 11/28/2007

Stanford 96 USF 61

Having played a string of 6 games on the road, I'm sure the girls must have been happy to be back in the friendly confines of Maples for their first regular season home game. The overall turnout wasn't that great and I find it rather unfortunate that our women's team, despite consistently being one of the top teams in the nation, does not get much support from the students. That being said, the marketing team, could definitely do a better job promoting the Brickyard Club. I also shouldn't be one to talk since I will be missing most of the Pac-10 games because of my travels to the men's basketball away games.

This was the first time I'd seen us in action and it was a lot of fun even if USF wasn't that great competition. In the first half, most of our baskets came off layups, putbacks and the occasional short jumper. We would feed our posts who'd either make a strong move to the hole or hit whoever was open for an easy bucket when they were double teamed. We also made a concerted effort to push the ball whenever we got a defensive rebound and out ran USF down the floor several times for layups. Last year, one of my frustrations was free throw shooting. We've been shooting pretty well from the line this season and were 13-14 tonight! Our men's team could definitely learn from their counterparts at the charity stripe as well as passing on the fast break.

In tonight's putting contest, Maple witnessed another successful half court putt. A friend of mine who clearly learned from my ugly previous attempt, calmly slow rolled the ball straight down the middle for a cool $500. Since hardly any other students were in attendance to witness it, I'll post it as proof that it actually happened.

In the second half, we shot more jumpers. I think it was partly a concerted effort to test our outside shot rather than USF taking away our post play. We struggled from the 3 point line which judging from previous games, is going to be an issue this season. I'll fondly remember the days when we had Rap draining 3 after 3. On the whole, I was pleased with the play of our freshman. Kayla was the dominant force I had been reading about and waiting to see in action. Donaghe and Pohlen looked good and hit a 3 pointer each. Hopefully they'll develop into reliable shooters from behind the arc. The upperclassmen were solid. Jillian especially stood out - getting boards and always in the right position for a lay up.

We definitely need all the help we can get from our freshmen this year with Melanie and Michelle done for the season. Hopefully everyone else will stay healthy and this will be the season where we finally get over the Elite 8 hump.
~ Zhihao

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