Wednesday, December 17, 2014

LSU's Sheila Boykin defeats life-threatening illness

Here's a day-brightener:

As the effects of the syndrome left her body, Boykin was determined to come back. Collins and the team’s staff put her on an aggressive rehab program, as the muscles in her legs had wasted away. She started lifting weights to get the muscle back, and soon, she was practicing again.

Her coach was impressed, but not surprised. “Sheila has a different level of fight in her,” says Caldwell. “That’s one of the first things that attracted us to her when we were recruiting her. She’s not a quitter. Even when things were looking as bleak as they were, she still found a way to get back.”

More biting the dust

Tonight's upset:

Chattanooga took down #7 Stanford, 54-46. It's the second major upset for the Mocs this season:

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- The star power of the opponent doesn't concern Chattanooga. As long as the Mocs are playing at home, they believe they are going to win.

Still undefeated/no longer unbeaten:

Undefeated #21 Mississippi State handed Lousiana-Lafayette their first loss, 66-51.

#1 South Carolina, #3 Texas, Youngstown State and Northwestern all won, and remain among the 12 Division I teams without a loss.

Other notables include Montana's 70-64 win over Seattle University, which makes me wonder whether Redhawk coach Joan Bonvicini is on the hot seat.

North Carolina nipped Liberty, 67-64.

Full scoreboard.

Player and team news:

The rich get richer.....Imani McGee-Stafford has been cleared to play for Texas.

Rutgers senior forward Betnijah Laney will sit out Saturday's game with a sprained thumb.

UConn coaches weren't surprised by the departure of Sadie Edwards.

Kentucky assistant Christian Stefanopoulos has resigned due to an undisclosed illness.

Baylor has a deep, talented young roster.

It's a women's movement in Gonzaga country.

Iowa is staying focused this month.

Lauren Hill:

The Mount St. Joseph's freshman has retired as a player and will serve as an honorary coach for the team.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

And then there were 13

North Carolina's loss to Oregon State tonight brings the number of undefeated Division I teams to 13:

Texas A&M, 11-0
Mississippi State, 11-0
Princeton, 11-0
Georgia, 10-0
South Carolina, 9-0
St. John's, 9-0
Texas, 8-0
Oregon State, 8-0
Northwestern, 8-0
Akron, 8-0
Youngstown State, 8-0
Lehigh, 7-0
Louisiana-Lafayette, 6-0

Team news:

Texas Tech's recent long break hurt them.

Cool retrospective walk down Oklahoma State's memory lane by longtime game callers Kevin Gum and Casey Kendrick.

Player news:

Guard Madison Cable is giving Notre Dame a toughness.

Walk-on Marie Berthuel is living her dream at Oregon.

High school news:

ESPN tries their hand at a top 25 list.

Tonight's stunner

There is one less undefeated team in the country now, as #16 Oregon State shocked #6 North Carolina on their home court, 70-55. The Beavers are 8-0 for the first time in program history.

(Just wait til Kelly Graves gets going at Oregon, and the Oregon state rivalry match up will burn barns across three states)

More results:

Long Beach State just finished beating LSU, 59-44. They're now 9-1, which is their best start since 1986-87.

#11 Tennessee outlasted Wichita State, 54-51.

Pepperdine got past Northern Arizona, 66-63.

Alabama routed Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 71-27.

And it's here that I introduce Wade Chapman, a high school freshman in Alabama who will periodically contribute stories here. Wade is a women's basketball fanatic, an athlete in his own right, and he writes for his school newspaper. Wade's writing is better than that of many adults whom I have edited. Here's his first write up:

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The Alabama women’s basketball team earned a decisive 71-27 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Tuesday afternoon inside Coleman Coliseum. The win moves the Crimson Tide to 9-4 on the season while the Lady Lions fall to 2-7 overall.

Alabama limited Arkansas-Pine Bluff to just 27 points, the lowest total by an Alabama opponent this season and the second-lowest in Crimson Tide history. The lowest opponent point total in Alabama history was 21 by Georgia State on Dec. 21, 1990. The 47-point win was also the Tide’s largest margin of victory since Dec. 1, 2010, when Alabama earned a 49-point victory over Alabama State, 80-31.

The Crimson Tide recorded a season-high 16 steals and scored 40 of its 71 points off turnovers. Eleven of the Tide’s 12 players scored a point in this afternoon’s contest, with senior Briana Hutchen leading the Crimson Tide with 15 points. Freshmen Meoshonti Knight and Hannah Cook also scored in double-digits, with Knight recording 10 points and Cook adding 11 points along with a team-high five assists. In her second game for Alabama, sophomore transfer Breanna Hayden recorded a team-high 10 rebounds while adding five points to the Tide total.

Alabama will play its final game before the holiday break, returning to its usual home of Foster Auditorium to take on New Orleans on Sunday, Dec. 21. The Crimson Tide and Privateers will tip off at 2 p.m. CT with the game airing on SEC Network+.

Wade is at:

Today's full scoreboard.

USA Today top 25 poll

USA Today top 25 looking a lot like the AP poll.......

1. South Carolina
2. Connecticut
3. Texas
4. Notre Dame
5. Texas A&M
6. North Carolina
7. Stanford
8. Kentucky
9. Baylor
10. Louisville
11. Maryland
12. Tennessee
13. Duke
14. Oregon State
15. Nebraska
16. Oklahoma State
17. Georgia
18. West Virginia
19. Rutgers
20. Mississippi State
21. Michigan State
22. Syracuse
23. California
24. Iowa
25. St. John's

Could there be anymore going on?


Player news:

Southeast Missouri State coach Ben Coomes has been fired for violating NCAA rules: he shared a Netflix account with a recruit.

Bianca Cuevas has persevered through loss for South Carolina.

Drexel guard Meghan Creighton is out indefinitely with a knee injury.

Team news:

Xavier has turned things around with focus

Lauren Hill:

"I want everybody to know I never gave up."


San Antonio coach Dan Hughes has signed a multi-year contract extension.

Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame:

2015 inductees will include Tamika Catchings and MaChelle Joseph.

FIBA's first-ever Women's World Basketball Cup:

Spain will be the host in 2018.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Injury bugs bite

Today's results - and there are no surprises....a rarity this year.

Player news:

Kentucky senior Bria Goss will miss 4-6 weeks with a broken left thumb.

Missouri forward Kayla McDowell is out for the season with a torn ACL.

Team news:

Texas A&M is the NCAA's team of the week. They are 11-0.

Boise State has climbed out of its offensive rut.

Central Michigan is looking to improve their shooting and bench contributions.

Coaching news:

Abi Olajuwon is embracing her new role as assistant coach at Cal State Fullerton.


Former Texas great Joy Willams-Purnell died Sunday after a battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

AP top 25 poll: just a few changes

This week's AP top 25 poll:

1. South Carolina
2. Connecticut
3. Texas
4. Texas A&M
5. Notre Dame
6. North Carolina
7. Stanford
8. Kentucky
9. Baylor
10. Louisville
11. Tennessee
12. Nebraska
13. Duke
14. Maryland
15. Georgia
16. Oregon State
17. Rutgers
18. Michigan State
19. Oklahoma State
20. Syracuse
21. Mississippi State
22. West Virginia
23. Iowa
24. California
25. DePaul

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cal's "black lives matter" statement passionate and unplanned

It was something else to witness this yesterday:

"They articulated so well that they weren't comfortable playing for Cal and not talking about what they stood for," Gottlieb said. "There was a lot of emotion in the room - tears. They wanted to be part of the solution."

"They wanted to play ball, to protest, and to be non-violent. I asked them, 'what do you want the message to be?' And they came up with 'we are Cal' and 'black lives matter.'"

High school top 25 rankings

Via, as of Dec. 11:

1 McEachern (Powder Springs, GA)
2 Oakland (Murfreesboro, TN)
3 Long Beach Poly (Long Beach, CA)
4 Chaminade (West Hills, CA)
5 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA)
6 Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, FL)
7 Neumann-Goretti (Philadelphia, PA)
8 Rock Bridge (Columbia, MO)
9 Blackman (Murfreesboro, TN)
10 St. Mary's (Stockton, CA)
11 Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, NY)
12 Myers Park (Charlotte, NC)
13 Bedford North Lawrence (Bedford, IN)
14 Elizabethtown (KY)
15 Bishop McNamara (Forestville, MD)
16 Montini (Lombard, IL)
17 Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, MD)
18 Northside (Fort Smith, AR)
19 Gonzaga Prep (Spokane, WA)
20 Leavenworth (KS)
21 Paul VI (Fairfax, VA)
22 Braintree (MA)
23 Lawrence North (Indianapolis, IN)
24 Millennium (Goodyear, AZ)
25 Miami Country Day (Miami, FL)