November 23, 2017

Play4Kay, first day

Although the seating layout at the Mandalay Bay Event Center is similar to many college arenas, it has not been used for basketball before this year. As a result it has no big screen and no scoreboard! The only score presentation was by small illuminated signs on the floor beside each basket, and from one side of the floor they were partly blocked by the basket support itself.

Presumably this lack will be remedied before the former San Antonio Stars of the WNBA begin play in this facility next season.

Fortunately we could get statistics on the internet. We had been told that there was "no wi-fi in the arena" but in fact the Mandalay resort wi-fi system worked just fine and we could get live stats on our phones.

Florida Gulf Coast University over DePaul, 87-84 (OT)

Both teams in this entertaining contest were athletic and aggressive on defense. The lead changed many times, and the result could have gone either way until the very end. The game was still tied 84-84 on a desperation three-point shot by DePaul with 6 seconds to play, but FGCU made their free-throws to seal the game.

Ohio State over Memphis, 100-69

Stephanie Mavunga, who had a career-high 26 rebounds against Stanford two weeks ago, today notched a career-high 35 points (and 16 rebounds) as Ohio State dominated their game. We did not actually watch this one.

Stanford over Kent State, 79-54

Stanford countered a salvo of three-point makes by the Kent State Golden Flashes with strong inside play from Dijonai and Alanna for a decisive win.

The game opened in unusual but encouraging fashion when, less than twenty seconds in, Marta made a three-point shot from the top of the key. A minute later, she drove for a layup, and later hit another three and another layup. At the end of the first quarter Stanford had 18 points, ten of them by Sniezek.

Opening the second quarter, Kent State hit four consecutive three-point shots to take the lead, 20-25. Stanford then got serious, and Alanna, Dijonai and Nadia combined to put on a 22-0 run. That quarter ended with Stanford ahead 48-30.

Scoring was slow for both teams in the third quarter and Kent State crept back in to trail by only eleven, 57-46. In the fourth quarter the Flashes seemed to run out of steam and Stanford cruised to the final score of 79-54.

Dijonai led all scorers with a career-best 24 points, plus 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season. She hit eight of eight inside shots, and two of six three-point tries, and also recorded four assists, a block and a steal.

Alanna scored 15 points. She hit six of nine inside shots and one of two three-point tries. She recorded three assists, three steals and three blocks.

Nadia scored eleven in only 15 minutes playing time, plus four rebounds and a steal.

Marta's ten points were all in the first quarter, but she played 37 minutes and recorded a career-best eight rebounds, seven assists (with only two turnovers) and three steals.

Kiana had seven points, two assists and a steal. Kaylee and Alyssa had five points each.

The team could have wished for more consistency, but in the stretches when they were good, they were dominant. Tomorrow's game against Belmont will be more of a challenge.

Belmont over Gonzaga, 71-63

The Belmont Bruins turned out to have both a strong 3-point attack which was most effective in the first half, and strong post play that maintained their lead in the second half. The Zags stayed in the game to the end, getting to within four points in the final two minutes, but though they got the defensive stops they needed, they couldn't make the buckets.

The Cardinal watched most of this game, so along with Lindy's having coached the Bruins for two seasons, should be well-prepared for tomorrow's game. (Brit was present, still wearing a boot.)

Here are game reports and commentary:

The game statistics,

And the audio press conference with Tara.

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