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Kate Smith of Detroit Shock

Kate Smith of Detroit Shock

The Detroit Shock defeated the New York Liberty tonight, 75-73 in game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals.

According to the AP article, Deanna Nolan scored 21 points and Taj McWilliams-Franklin put in 19 to help the Detroit Shock reach the WNBA finals for the third straight season.

This was definately an exciting game. The Shock were up by 20 in the first half, but had to fight of New York’s determination, as they got within two early in the fourth.

The deciding moment seemed to occur when Loree Moore missed a free throw and Alexis Hornbuckle answered with five quick points for the Shock.

The WNBA finals will match up the Detroit Shock and the San Antonio Stars on Wednesday, October 1 at 7:30 PM on ESPN 2.

Here’s what the complete schedule will look like:

Game 1: DET at SAN, Oct. 1, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 2: DET at SAN, Oct. 3, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 3: SAN at DET, Oct. 5, 4:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 4: SAN at DET, Oct. 6, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)
Game 5: DET at SAN, Oct. 9, 7:30 ET (ESPN2)

I’ll be covering this regularly. This will be a great matchup!

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Yesterday’s WNBA action was certainly exciting for both the Eastern and Western Conference Finals. The Detroit Shock beat NY Liberty 64-55, and LA Sparks were eliminated by San Antonio Silver stars, 76-72.

The two heroes of the day were Deanna Nolan of the Detroit Shock (pictured on the right) and Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Stars.

Deanna Nolan scored 22 points to lead the Shock in their victory over the Liberty in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals Sunday. They play again tonight at 7pm EST on ESPN2.

In the West, Becky Hammon led the Silver Stars in their Western Conference Championship by scoring 35 points and making four free throws in the final 36 seconds.

It was definately an exciting day for the WNBA. Tonight’s matchup will be equally exciting; I just wish we wasn’t so overpowered by all of the football coverage going on right now.

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Just a reminder to everyone: WNBA playoffs are today, taking place in Detroit. Tune in to ESPN2.

At 3pm EST, Detroit Shock plays NY Liberty for the East; right now, the Liberty are up 1-0.

At 5pm EST, the LA Sparks take on San Antonio Stars for the West; right now, the two teams are tied at 1-1.

These should be some pretty good games; I’ll be posting about them later. For more information, check out WNBA.com.

Have a great Sunday!

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The Big Lead, one of the most-read, popular sports blogs on the Web posted today about lesbian relationships in college basketball.

His source: The Dallas Morning News (great pick! <insert sarcasm here>). This story discusses a female basketball player named Jennifer Colli at SMU who is suing the school and its head coach basketball Rhonda Rompola for revoking her scholarship.

This all happened after Colli complained to the athletic director about “inappropriate questions and comments” regarding her sex life and other gay relationships on the team.

Now, of course The Big Lead will have something intelligent to say about this, since they’re so familiar…

“In football, we could see Urban Meyer shouting at Tim Tebow on the sideline, “What’s the matter, man, you get so much ass last night that you can’t focus?” and teammates laughing. But for a coach to say, ‘hey Sally, did you spend all night gettin’ busy with Suzie?’ and both Sally and Suzie were in the huddle, well, that’s pretty messed up.”

Actually, dude, BOTH of those situations are wrong… for multiple reasons.

First, college sports is a job. And nobody should be discussing anyone else’s relationships OR sex life. It’s something that needs to remain private, because (obviously) too many people have differing opinions.

Second, college coaches have no right to pry or ask their players about things going on in their personal lives, no matter what the nature.

Third, these things should NEVER be discussed in front of other players, if at all.

As for Urban Meyer shouting to Tim Tebow, that’s ridiculous, incredibly degrading, sexist and also inappropriate.

I have to say, with the WNBA FINALS happening over the weekend, don’t you think The Big Lead could find something slightly more interesting in women’s sports to talk about?

If you really want to be disgusted, check out the comments.

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If you’re in the New York area on Friday night, you should consider getting tickets to the New York Liberty – they’re selling them, cheap!

In case you aren’t aware, WNBA is right in the height of their playoffs. Friday’s game will be a great preview and might be your last change to see a game.

Semifinals start Sunday:
Eastern Conference Finals: New York Liberty vs. Detroit Shock (Sunday, 3PM on ESPN)
Western Conference Finals: LA Sparks vs. San Antonio Stars (Sunday, 5PM on ESPN)

But if you’re in the NY area and want to catch a good game, click the picture below and enter the code STRETCH.

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I came across this podcast on the WBCA Web site. Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli were at Nike Nationals in South Carolina this summer, one of biggest AAU recruiting event of the year. This is a great overall outline of what we’re looking at for women’s basketball on multiple talent levls.

They talk about the recruiting process, how AAU influences a girls’ ability to get into college and what a high-level AAU tournament is like. They also discussed the WNBA fight and USA’s preparation for the Olympics.

On the high school level, the topic of conversation was Brittney Griener, the AAU star I wrote about earlier. Other players mentioned were Destiny and Tamika Williams. They said you can go down the list from every team there and find a girl who is going to “play major basketball.”

As I mentioned earlier, Beth and Debbie also touched on other subjects such as the WNBA fight (it was the most publicity the league has ever gotten), and preparing for the Olympics (this podcast was recorded before the Olympics) and some highlights from college basketball (top paid coaches).

They also talked to Mark Lewis, the columnist for women’s basketball at ESPN.com’s Hoopgurlz. Mark discussed how attention is drawn to younger girls who might progress to be stop stars, and “hot spots” around the country (highlight on Texas).  Mark also provided some advice on what girls should be working on, including emphasis upon skill work.

Mark was right when he said we need to “give hats off” to Nike, who sponsors multiple tournaments and camps to work on girls’ skills. Their sponsorship is certainly important for the future of women’s basketball.

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In today’s issue of USA Today, we earned an entire section of the paper. Its title: “Women in Sports.”

I almost jumped out of my chair when I started reading. Seven complete pages of content and photos of women who have completed milestones in sport.

The cover article is particularly interesting.

Heather Tucker published a groudbreaking article in the world of women’s sports. She discussed the heroines of milestones of the past, heroines of the present and obstacles that lie ahead for the future of female sports. If you haven’t done so already, please go check it out here.

She discussed Billie Jean King’s defeat of Bobby Riggs in 1973 in the “Battle of the Sexes,” a day after Title IX was passed.

She said, “King, who accepted Riggs’ challenge to play a televised match at the Houston Astrodome, soundly defeated him in three sets and put a damper on critics’ voices that women could not compete with men.”

Awesome. Totally awesome. I wish I were alive for that moment. Even though I wasn’t I know that what she did affected my ability to compete and succeed in sports twenty years later.

Tucker then pointed to Candace Parker, calling her a hero of today’s image of women’s sports due to her ability to beat five male competitors in the 2004 McDonald’s All-American Game, including Josh Smith, who won the NBA dunk contest the nest year.

She also mentioned Danica Patrick’s milestone in her “breakthrough” Indy-car race in Japan in April, when she became the first woman to triumph in a national oval-track touring circuit (Indy Racing League or NASCAR).

Then, Tucker talked about perceptions, and how the above milestones have inspired and influenced young women to compete on the playing fields today.

She said, “Perceptions of what women are capable of and what they can offer have been elevated thanks in part to these stars.”

Then, she wrapped up by highlighting the challenges that lie ahead, such as coaching, managing and team ownership, areas of influence that women have yet to solidly break through in terms of a “glass ceiling” in sports.

This is an incredibly crafted article. In my opinion, it’s too short. A lot of names are missing from this list of heroines. It takes much more than three influencers to break barriers. It takes an army, and decades of time and struggle.

Hopefully one day we’ll get there. Until then, articles like these will help keep the spirit alive. Thanks USA Today.

Other stories include player profiles on Jackie Joyner Kersee, Pat Summit, Mary Lou Retton, Janet Guthrie, Anny Meyers Drysdale, Nancy Lopez, Leslie Visser, Dot Richardson, and Brandi Chastian.

A separate article discussed sports marketers and how their altering their pitches as more female fans tune into sports. That particular article along warrants another post from me. I’ll be back in just a moment with more. (so excited!)

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