Monday, December 29, 2008

PSU women trail Utah Valley at the half

With the men's squad out of town tonight, no good bowl games to watch I decided to watch the Vikings take on Utah Valley in the Stott Center.

The result so far: unimpressive.

Taking on a squad that they gave up 104 points to in a game last season in Orem, Utah, the Vikings have yet to play solid defense on two consecutive Wolverine possessions.

Utah Valley is in their final year of transitioning to become a full-fledged member of Division I. They seem to be making a good go of it. I know they have fielded competitive men's and women's basketball squads this season. This comes less than 10 years after serving as a junior college feeder school to BYU, Utah and Utah State.

Back to the game-

Attendance is pretty scarce. I am not going to bail out the students on this one. It seems weird sitting on press row and being able to hear every cheer, complaint and comment from either bench. I guess I have been attending to many men's games.

Freshman point guard Eryn Jones started her third consecutive game and has played well although I have not quite figured out the logic to head coach Sherri Murrell's rotation yet. She seems to be favoring her bench heavily and point guard Claire Faucher and wing Katia Hadj-Hamou have yet to look comfortable on the floor.

It has been interesting to watch the development of former walk-on Kate DePaepe
. After a solid career at Tualatin High and playing sparingly in nine games last season the southpaw is serving as one of the more consistent performers coming off the bench this year replacing some of the scholarship players that she played behind last season.

The Vikings have kept the game close thanks in large part to Kelsey Kahle's 14 points but have hindered their own ability to come back by missing several close-range layups. they have also committed dozens of turnovers. (I do not know the actual number but I do know they have been very careless with the ball)

I am not sure if it's the post-Christmas spirit kicking in but the dainty crowd is all over the referee's here. The zebra's aren't helping themselves either, missing a few painfully obvious calls.

One fashion note for you uniform heads... I know that this is small college women's basketball but Utah Vally looks more like a high-school team than any I have ever seen. Maybe it's the font on their jerseys... They are also all wearing some sort of black knee-pads. Not quite as big as the ones that Patrick Ewing used to wear but nonetheless interesting.

The Wolverines aslo feature a 5-4 point guard from Saitama, Japan. Reading from her bio she isn't some exchange student or someone who prepped in the United States, (a la Donotas Visockis) she is actually from Japan and led her team to the National Championship in high school.

I point this out because the player, Asumi Nakayama, is wearing the first pair of Asics basketball shoes I have ever seen. Besides being pretty unique they stick out like a sore thumb in contrast to the rest of hte players Nike's and Addidas'.

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