The Women’s Beat with Bob Joyce
In Charleston and Still #2 – Greetings from a city of great southern charm in Charleston, SC. Even without bags (lol – they’ll be here soon) 24 hours removed from a great night of basketball in Waco where big players made big plays in Baylor’s come from behind win over UConn. It reminded me of the days it would be the Huskies All American’s who’d make the big plays late to get a win. And make no mistake, this year the Lady Bears have two of the best in Brittany Griner and the one who Geno Auriemma said could/would be the difference in Odyssey Sims. Her early pair of threes in the 2nd half were the catalyst of the first rally to tie the game at 37 before she and Griner led the rally from 11 back to win.
Let’s start with the atmosphere. Great, energetic crowd. A standing ovation for Geno when he came out and acknowledged the crowd right back. And then the game spoke for itself. Punch, counter punch all night long. Each team had runs and answered them. The Huskies got the three ball going and eventually led 50-39 thanks to 10 triples in 18 chances. But when Baylor upped the pressure, it seemed to rush UConn a bit. The three ball well went dry, making just 1 of their last 11. And Griner, the force inside went block crazy. That’s not to say, UConn didn’t make layups. They brought Stephanie Dolson or Heather Buck out high and left the post open for backdoor cuts which the Huskies had success. But in the end when more than 50% of the offense comes outside the arc and the team only got three FT attempts, chances of winning are thin. And as I said earlier, Baylor’s big timers stepped up. Kara hit it on the head, the Bear offense should go thru Brittany Griner all the time. If and when it does, forget it, this and next season, they’ll be tough to beat.
Sure Geno is disappointed the Huskies lost, but what comes out of this game in a positive sense outweighs the negative. To go into Waco where they just don’t lose much at home, do the things UConn did on both ends for a long stretch of the game where they led by 11 at one point says a lot. Sure, not finishing is disappointing, but maybe this group of Huskies quite just ready for that yet. But for their first major road game/test of the season, I’d say there is plenty to build on. And it makes me believe that this group of Huskies could indeed be a Final Four team playing in Denver. Time will tell…Next big Road game January 7th at #3Notre Dame on CBS. Let’s hope that game is as entertaining as the one we saw last night.
Wednesday it’s the College of Charleston in the last game before Christmas. Should be able to get back on track. And kudos to the AP voters who kept UConn at #2 this week. Sure, you could flip-flop the Huskies and Irish. But weighing the two losses at Baylor, UConn kept the score down and lost by 5. That is the difference between 2 and 3…FOR NOW
Join us Wednesday at 6:30 from TD Arena for all the action. And special thanks to Deb Antonelli and her Husband, Frank for a fabulous night out on the town tonight. If you ever come to Charleston, I’d suggest dinner at Magnolia’s. mmmmmmmmmm yummy !