Interesting night in the WNBA. I flipped back and forth between Houston-San Antonio on ESPN2 and Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals on TNT.
Before I left work, Houston had a big lead early, but I looked at the lopsided shooting and figured it wouldn’t last. I was right, but I didn’t figure things would change so dramatically. A la the Storm’s comeback on Opening Night, the Silver Stars outscored the Comets 24-7 in the second quarter. The Comets hung around, but San Antonio won 82-71.
I’ll admit being a little dubious of the Silver Stars’ off-season moves, but so far, so good. Becky Hammon (26 points and nine assists tonight) is controlling the game better than she ever did in New Y ork, Erin Buescher is giving San Antonio a great reserve (with help from Shanna Crossley) and the Silver Stars d has forced at least 19 turnovers in each of their games. That’s scary. San Antonio will be at KeyArena for a rematch on Saturday night that you won’t want to miss.
On the Houston side, the big question is what’s wrong with Sheryl Swoopes, who made only one field goal and scored six points. At least in the second half of the Storm game, it seemed Swoopes got lost. She showed she can still dominate in the first half of that game.
We have started to see the tough side of Ashley Shields’ transition to the WNBA. Shields scored 21 points last Friday at Phoenix, but it took her 23 shots and eight (8!) turnovers. Tonight, Shields was 1-for-4 with four turnovers in 15 minutes. Nobody can contain Shields one-on-one, but when the help defense comes, her decision-making has been shaky at best.
Surprising outcome in Phoenix, where the Mercury overcame a 17-point deficit without Diana Taurasi (ejected during the second quarter after starting the game 1-of-7 from the field) to beat Sacramento 76-75. Stunningly, Phoenix won this one with defense. The Monarchs shot 37.7% from the field and had 19 turnovers, allowing the Mercury to win while shooting 34.9% from the field. You aren’t going to see Phoenix beat Sacramento in an ugly game too often.
In Minnesota, a predictable outcome: The Fever remained unbeaten and the Lynx remained winless. The schedule hasn’t been kind to Minnesota, but you’re in trouble when your starting frontcourt totals 11 points on 5-for-17 shooting. Nicole Ohlde continues to struggle. Lindsey Harding had another solid game: 17 points, six assists and three turnovers in 27 minutes.